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Indian Television 2007

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By: Arya Aiyappan
Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Television is growing by leaps and bounds. 2007 promises to bring in a lot of new visual wonders for the audience. 2006 slowly went by after having revived the reality shows and talent hunts with "Nach Baliye", "Business Baazigar". 2007 promises a string of surprises with the CAS conferring power into the hands of the spectators.

Speculations are soaring high and more channels and programmes are vying for visibility. Pranoy Roy's NDTV 24x 7 is launching a new entertainment channel with Karan Johar's Dharma Productions. Celebrities are venturing into the small screen trying to disseminate their charisma with Shahrukh Khan following Amitabh Bachchan's trail in "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) and action hero Suniel Shetty joining the train with "The Biggest Loser", an adaptation of a American reality show focusing on health, fitness and inspiration. As the super stars are contending for recognition on the small screen there, the possibilities of exploiting the screen space is enormous.

Remake spree is still on its way to infect many as the small screen is all geared up to remake classics with Doordarshan and Famous Studios intending to remake the epic film Mother India into a serial "Dharamputra" with Mrinal Kulkarni playing the lead. As the first Indian serial to be shot on High Definition camera format, this serial has much to its credit. Though the essence of the film would be the same as the classic the ambience would be in sync with the spirit of the age with the city as its backdrop.

Akin to KBC enters into its third season MTV's Semi Girebaal is all set to greet the New Year with a host of new guests and a follow-up of Ghoom 2 (a take-off on Dhoom2). Nach Baliye and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa are also planning to come up with their respective sequels this year. Channel V with its two new veejays -Tanvir Gill and Neil Bhoopalan is geared up for a dazzling musical show, Big V concert in Mumbai. With satellite films in demand and movie channel increasing every other day Set Max has bought Dhoom2 and Kabul Express.

2007 also heads for a swapping of shows and stars. Star One and Zee are simultaneously showcasing "Antakshari" with the similar system, but a revamped look and new faces. Gajendra Singh walked out of Zee to join Star One, followed by Annu Kapoor who managed to get a prime time for "Antakshari-The Great Challenge" with the former consenting to produce it from the beginning of February. Nonetheless Zee latches on to its brand name in airing Antakshari from January 5 with Zee Challenge 2005 winner Himani Kapoor and Laughter Challenge (Star One) winner Sunil Pal as presenters. With the endless set of replacements on the way, Star Plus' prime time show Karam Apna Apna has roped in Yash Tonk to essay the lead role of Shiv when Iqbal Khan decided to quit.

Top-notch heroines of television are in for some exciting roles this year. Smriti Irani of Kyunki fame will be seen in her home production "Viruddh" along with some of the finest talents Sushant Singh, Ashwini Kalsekar, Vikram Gokhale, Achint Kaur, and Govind Namdev on Sony, written by Kamalesh Pandey. Mona Singh of Jassi fame and Jhalak Dikhla Ja winner 2006 is to host a show "Extreme Makeover" centering on people who cannot lead normal lives due to defects wherein a group of doctors, dentists and crew would help them overcome it and relate to the audience the success stories. With this aiming to capture the afternoon and early evening slot, Sandiip Sikcand creative director of Sony plans to telecast "Durgesh Nandini" based on the Bankim Chandra Chatterjee novel.

Balaji Telefilms and Ekta Kapoor is put up yet another soap Kis Rishtey Se based on a popular novel spinning around the mayhem in the life of two stepsisters and their life with most sought after actors Shabbir Ahluwalia, Karan Wahi and Ronit Roy. Renuka Shahane makes a comeback after her hiatus from the small screen with "Jeete Hain Jiske Liye" an adaptation of telenovella La Madratssa, which has been unlawfully used in the generation leap in "Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki".

Luck is twice benevolent upon ESPN-STAR Sports having secured the broadcast rights not only for UEFA league and French Open Grand Slam tournament rights for five years but also the ICC events from 2007 to 2015. Mandira Bedi will continue to host Mandira "Extraa Innings". Television is a fast booming industry and time has proved it again and again.

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