Television

Now 'Mahabharat' on Star Pravah

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MUMBAI: Marathi GEC viewers are set to be taken back into time. Marathi viewers will soon be introduced to two popular mythological shows for the first time. Come 21 October, between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, a new slot has been created on Star Pravah called Mahaparv that will start airing two of Star India's biggest properties in this genre - Star Plus's magnum opus Mahabharat and Life OK's Devon Ke Dev? Mahadev. The difference being both the shows will be telecast, dubbed in Marathi.

"The Marathi space has been missing this genre and these two shows are the network's prime properties. The whole idea behind spending so much is that the whole network gets to share it," explains Star Pravah programming head Jayesh Patil, pointing out that the astronomical costs involved in producing such shows was the very reason they hadn't been tapped so far by the Marathi GEC space.

Mahaparv will also serve as an experiment in how well (or otherwise) mythology is received by the Marathi audience. The question however remains whether Marathi GECs will be willing to spend several times more on original mythological shows.

"We are spending a lot on dubbing to establish them. Once the market is open for mythology, we can shell out more," replies Patil, adding that there's a lot of scope for showcasing mythological tales from Marathi literature. As it is, each episode of either of the two shows takes nearly a day for dubbing in Marathi, with costs ranging between Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 lakh per episode, according to industry sources.

According to Patil, 6:00 -7:00 pm is a good time to air these shows however Madison Media COO Karthik Lakshminarayan feels prime time would have been more suitable.

So will these shows work for the Marathi audience? Life OK GM Ajit Thakur believes that mythological shows are universal so they will work everywhere. Mahadev has already been aired on the Star network's Kannada, Oriya, Malayalam and Tamil channels, he points out.

Lakshminarayan however feels Mahadev might fare better in the Marathi space. "Mahabharat has been treated like a movie and Marathi audiences are unused to such grandeur on TV shows. In terms of set and costumes, it may just be a bit too much for them," he opines.

Star Pravah is in the midst of negotiations to get advertisers on board and Lakshminarayan feels that shouldn't be a problem considering both the shows are established.

Will this time travel work for the Marathi audiences?

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