Prajjal Saha

Born-again SaharaOne has sky-high aspirations

The channel is launching two new shows – Kuch Love Kuch Masti and Ken Ghosh's Chu Lo Aasmaan aimed at the young audience

Sahara Manoranjan, which was recently re-branded as SaharaOne, is undergoing a makeover in terms of programming. The channel plans to launch one new show every month for the next six months.

To begin with, the channel is launching a show called 'Kuch Love Kuch Masti'. The daily soap is slotted at 10 pm on weekdays. And from November, the channel will be launching a show produced by Ken Ghosh (of Ishq Vishq fame) - 'Chu Lo Aasmaan'.

As the titles depict, both these shows seem to be exclusively targeted at the youth. While Kuch Love Kuch Masti is a daily drama with a bold storyline, Chu Lo Aasmaan is a story revolving around aspiring actors on the back-drop of an acting academy.

Karuna Samtani, COO, SaharaOne says, "Both these shows look at a world through the eyes of today's youth."

Talking about the strategy behind the changeover of Sahara Manoranjan as SaharaOne, Satish Menon, president, sales, marketing and distribution, SaharaOne Television, says, "This makeover was long overdue. We were actually waiting for the right moment to shake the television industry."

He continues: "We have branded it as SaharaOne as we want to indicate that we will be the number one channel in the Indian television domain very soon."

Menon's aspiration seems to be very high going by the present status of the channel. But the Sahara boss defends his statements. "It takes only one or two programmes to get the TVR charts rocking," he says. Menon is certainly sure that these two shows will do wonders for SaharaOne.

The other show that the channel will be launching is Power Trip with Shobhaa De. This is a chat show where Shobhaa De will make her television debut interviewing different personalities. The show seems to be on the same lines of ‘Rendezvous with Simi Garewal' on STAR World

It is to be noted that SaharaOne (then Sahara Manoranjan) had placed very high hopes on serials such as Karishma, which had popular Bollywood heroine Karishma Kapoor and other well-known filmstars in its starcast. The costly production unfortunately turned out to be a damp squib.

Menon defends, "Karishma and Mrs Malini Iyer have done their job. We needed shows like these to create a buzz in the industry and build a connect with the viewers."

He, however, indicated that Sahara has had enough with tinsel town glamour. "None of our future shows will have filmstars."

Menon says, "With the new look and feel on SaharaOne, we are confident that the channel will be the future of media entertainment in India. Today, we have the unique opportunity to offer entertainment concepts across different avenues on a scale and magnitude never seen before in the Indian entertainment industry."

In line with best practices adopted by leading international studios, SaharaOne Television will enter into exclusive long-term tie-ups with leading artistes, producers and technicians to develop original entertainment content with international production values for Indian audiences.

Apart from these shows, the channel is also looking forward to producing event-based shows in a big way. Menon indicates that SaharaOne will be airing events, which will be a first-of-its-kind in the Indian entertainment business. He also clarifies that the programming will go beyond `only Sahara' events that the channel used to air till date. He refused to comment any further fearing that the idea might be copied.

SaharaOne will also launch a dedicated channel on movies and Bollywood called 'Filmi Channel' from January 1, 2005.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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