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Sony turns to 'Star bahu' to revive prime time
 

Indiantelevision.com Team

(12 March 2007 5:00 pm)

 

MUMBAI: Amidst reports of its declining fortunes and speculation that chief creative head Sandiip Sickand may have been asked to put in his papers, SET announced the launch of its prime time soap 'Viruddh'. The show will air from 26 March, Monday to Thursday at 9:30 pm replacing Anuj Saxena's maiden production 'Kulvaddhu', which was unceremoniously axed to make way for this magnum opus.

'Viruddh' will be Smriti Irani led Ugraya Entertainment's second production venture. The show has been produced jointly by Smriti Irani and Aditya Birla group's media arm Applause Entertainment for Sony. Thodi Si Zameen, Thoda Sa Aasman on Star Plus, the debut venture for the production house didn't fare well with its viewers.

Making way for the new show, the channel has rescheduled Kaajal at the 8:30 pm slot. Says Sickand, "You do take chances with new production houses and new shows. Unfortunately Kulvadhu didn't work for us. But with Smriti Irani and a host of other power packed performers like Vikram Gokhale, Sushant Singh and Achint Kaul we are hoping that Sony's prime time will pick up.We have already covered the 10 to 11 pm slot."

Sony has spruced up this slot with Durgesh Nandini and Jeete hai Jiske Liye. While the channel heads insist that the shows have been getting a good response, there has been huge concern over its drop in ratings and falling behind Sahara One. This had given rise to rumours of Sickand being asked to 'perform or leave'.

Rubbishing these rumours, SET business head Albert Almeida said, "The last time I checked Sandiip is very much a part of the team."

Speaking on the line up of daily programmes Almeida said, "We start our daily soap line up with Kaajal at 8:30 pm where we have more of the small town and metro audiences (1 lakh +), our prime time soaps like Viruddh would see an intersection of both metro and urban viewers. Durgesh Nandini at 10 pm again sees a peak in small town audiences who leave us post 10:30 pm. The idea has been to grab an audience share across the board, especially the urban viewer in prime time. For the time being, we are concentrating on fiction."

On consciously moving away from the successful K-serial mode he added, "We did taste success with a progressive show like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi and Kkusum. Even the soaps within the tried and tested formula are seeing a decline so why try something which is on its way out."

Viruddh spans two generations involved in a power play of relationships set against the backdrop of a powerful media house.

Actor producer Smriti Irani who considers producing shows a bigger challenge than acting in them also hinted at new shows in the pipeline although she refused to divulge details.

 
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