Prajjal Saha

Can Hema do an Amitabh for SaharaOne?

The channel's earlier trysts with Karishma Kapoor, Sridevi and Raveena Tandon has not worked

SaharaOne has launched a new show Kamini Damini, which has the Dreamgirl of yesteryears Hema Malini in the lead role. Banking on a Bollywood actress is nothing new for SaharaOne. Even in the past, the channel had tried its luck with actors such as Karishma Kapoor in Karishma, The Miracles of Destiny, Sridevi in Mrs Malini Iyer and Raveena Tandon in Saheb Biwi Aur Gulam. However the previous experiences hasn't been very encouraging for the channel. Karishma, The Miracles of Destiny, in fact, was a very costly production which turned out to be a damp squib.

The channel is hoping to be fourth-time lucky and offers reasons for signing up yet another film actress. Satish Menon, president, sales, marketing and distribution, SaharaOne Television, says, "Hema Malini has been chosen because she exactly fits into the role. She is a great actress and Ravi Chopra, who has produced this show, has recently worked with her in the Bollywood blockbuster movie, Baghbaan.”

"Even Sridevi was chosen for the show Mrs Malini Iyer because she had delivered some great performances in comedy roles. She had exactly fitted into the character in this serial. Even in Karishma, The Miracles of Destiny, the lead character was conceptualised keeping Ms. Kapoor in mind.”

Whatever may be the reason for bringing in Hema Malini, the big question is whether she can turn out to be lucky for SaharaOne. agencyfaqs! spoke to a couple of media planners to seek their opinion on this.

Kajal Thakur, director, OMS says, "The key to success of a television programme is content and the format. Not even a mega star can turn the fortune of a show if the storyline or the format is not interesting. On the contrary, a show with a great starcast with an interesting format is a winner. A great example of this kind is Kaun Banega Crorepati where Amitabh Bachchan created history for STAR Plus.”

Another media planner says, "Television creates its own stars and doesn't like to borrow from Bollywood. It's interesting to watch a filmstar for three hours in a movie but watching them daily doesn't really work. Whatever interest a television viewer has in the filmstar is fulfilled by events, which is telecast once or twice in very quarter.”

However, a Delhi-based media planner is of the opinion that a great starcast can certainly help the channel in garnering viewership in the initial episodes, but to survive in the long run, the show has to have a strong content.

Although Menon is quite hopeful about the performance of the show, he agrees that Kamini Damini cannot be the driver show for the channel. He said that the channel is on the verge of unveiling a new show that will certainly be the driver show for the channel. He, however, declined revealing any further details, saying it will not be a daily soap.

The channel is also planning to launch a new serial Ada, which has been made by Ken Ghosh of Ishq Vishq fame.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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