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Akashdeep's back

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By: Shaheen Parkar, Mid-Day

Monday, June 05, 2006

He managed to have Karisma Kapoor make her small screen debut in his show Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny, which aired on SaharaOne. Though the daily had her essay a triple role, it failed to attract eyeballs and was mired in controversy over copyright violations.

After the show's exit, producer Akashdeep went missing from the small screen whirl. Though he and his actress wife Sheeba are spotted in the party circuit, the couple, who run Cinetek Production, kept themselves away from television.

Lavish scale

Akashdeep begins anew with Johny Ala Re, his new show for Zee, which has funster Johny Lever (he makes his television debut) take on numerous garbs. Does that spell that he is back in the thick of things? "Yes," says Akashdeep.

"Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny was mounted on a lavish scale and I could convince Karisma Kapoor to do television, but there were many things around it that didn't gel with it."

He has let bygones be bygones with his new show. "Johny Ala Re is not a stand-up act by Johny Lever. It is on the lines of Saturday Night Live. Johny takes on different characters from politics to showbiz. It will be a variety show.

There will also be skits, gags as well as guests like Bollywood singers Sonu Niigaam and Kunal Ganjawalla who you will see in a different light. Plus, there will also be a segment in which the common man can showcase his talent." This tri-weekly show airs from June 5.

Travel show

Besides Johny Ala Re, Akashdeep is also looking forward to Bhoot Aaya, slated for Sony. "It will be an episodic travelogue reality series that will take on cities and the unsolved mysteries that are peculiar to the metropolis. There will be well-known faces from the telly world enacting the mystery."

Cinetek is also planning to enter as co-producer for films as well as set up a mobile content company. "There are several thing unfolding on our front, and Johny Ala Re is just the beginning."

Playing momma

Sheeba who was seen in her Bollywood films like Sunil Dutt's Yeh Aag Kab Bujegi, was seen in Karishma as well as on the floorboards in Paritossh Painter's play, Ye Dil Maange More.

"Our two young sons, Bhavishya and Hriday, keep her busy. There is their swimming class and several other activities. But that does not mean that she has stopped acting," says Akashdeep.

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