Small screen is ready to take a historic leaphttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/entertainment-others/small-screen-is-ready-to-take-a-historic-leap/

Small screen is ready to take a historic leap

Indian television is waking up to a new change.

Indian television is waking up to a new change. Even as the nation can’t get enough of the saas,bahus,betis,bhabhis and their saazish,innovative programming is slowly but surely carving a niche. While youth band shows with a slew of new age shows are hooking new followers,even GEC (General Entertainment Channel) fiction space is tweaking rules to cater to the demands of home viewers. Presently,TV channels are betting on historicals and epic tales. The big idea is to look back and take a dip in our kisse kahaniyaan and tell stories rich in our value system.

Take for instance Sony,which is replacing the Balaji show Kya Hua Tera Vaada with Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap. It’s a big ticket historical on the great warrior with Dance India Dance Li’l Masters 2 winner Faisal Khan playing the title role. Well-known TV stars Rajshree Thakur of Saath Phere-Saloni Ka Safar and Shakti Anand also play pivotal roles.

Buzz is rife that Star Plus will replace Masterchef-Kitchen Ke Superstar with Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s Mahabharata. Though the channel is tight-lipped about developments,it is believed that just like BR Chopra’s saga,this edition will be equally star studded and high on special effects. Incidentally,Ekta Kapoor had tried to tell the epic saga with a Greek- Roman flavour Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki but that one didn’t find many takers. This time round,the Balaji czarina is sticking to tradition with her interpretation of Jodha Akbar for Zee TV. Rajat Tokas and Paridhi Sharma get to be small screen’s Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Kapoor’s vision.

This leap of faith that TV producers and broadcasters are taking on mythological shows is a lot to do with the successful run of Life Ok’s Devon Ka Dev Mahadev,which has a loyal fanbase much attributed to lead star Mohit Raina. The premise that channels are following is simple: If we don’t tell our stories,who will?

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Keeping this in mind,come August and The Mahindra Group will be launching Epic — pitched as a genre specific “segmented” channel which will only offer content based on Indian history,folklore and mythology but narrated in a contemporary format. It is learnt that the channel has already secured the rights for a series on Indu Sundaresan’s Taj Triology (The Twentieth Wife,The Feast of Roses and Shadow Princess). Get ready then for a refresher course in history.

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harneet.singh@expressindia.com