Star readies its arsenal for post KBC phase

For the flagship channel of the Star network, it could be a tall order retaining a hold on audiences in the 9 PM slot after 9 January. But lest it be said that the channel is not trying its best, Star is lining up a variety of new shows on all bands to keep those fickle viewers from reaching for the remote.

A strong line up of soaps is waiting to be unleashed on the channel as the year draws to a close. The channel has also packed in telecasts of a variety of events to ensure that the TRPs remain on a high.

The strongest weapon in Star's arsenal is Kamzor Kadii Kaun, the Indian cousin of BBC's The Weakest Link, which will be Star's Christmas gift to viewers. Beginning 25 December at 9 PM, Neena Gupta takes on a bunch of participants in a keen battle for intellectual survival and a prize kitty of Rs 2.5 million. Siddharth Basu directs the show produced by BBC Worldwide in association with Star India.

Wednesdays 9 PM will be taken over by Sanjivani, a Cinevista Communications creation set around hospital life and the lives of four young doctors, and loosely structured like the hugely popular US show, ER. Beginning 16 January, the serial is directed by Kaushik Ghatak, and stars Mohnish Behl, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rajiv Verma and Daisy Irani.

KBC Junior at 10 am on Sundays will be replaced by Bol Baby Bol, a show on which 10 children get to ask questions while adults guess the answers. Hosted by Manoj Pawa, it is an adaptation of Small Talk, produced by Freemantle India.

Immediately following on from 10:30 to 11 am there is Yehi Hai Right Price, a game show that begins 6 January. The format for this one has been picked up from a successful original, The Price is Right. Host Ronit Roy invites participants from among the audience to test their consumer knowledge and walk away with a host of products. Remember Tol Mol Ke Bol hosted by Ritu Raj on Zee TV a couple of years ago anyone?

A talk show, Kashmakash also makes its debut on 4 January at 3 PM Anchored by Renuka Shahane and written by Sathya Saran, the programme deals with marital and other problems, with experts providing solutions. Also in line is Wajood, a four part series directed by Sukhwant Dhadda that kicks off on 3 January at 8 PM Set in Punjab, it weaves a story of family feuds, misunderstandings and revenge. It stars Kanwaljit Singh, Ashish Chowdhary and Shraddha Nigam.

Saturday noons from 5 January will be dominated by the three headstrong protagonists of Eeena Meena Deeka, a whacky sitcom about three single women who hate to believe it's a man's world and are out to change it. This one boasts of Reena Roy, Anita Raaj and Asha Sachdev in lead roles. All three are filmstars from the eighties era who are now trying to make their presence felt on TV.

Star Plus has also filled in all the Sundays of January 2002 with proposed telecasts of glamorous events in the past months. Beginning with the Hero Honda Indian Television Academy Awards at 8 PM on 6 January, the channel will also show the Raymond International Fashion Awards at 11 am and the Best of Screen Awards at 8 PM on 13 January, the 8th annual Star Screen Awards at 8 PM on 20 January and a concert, Celebration of a Nation at 8 PM on 27 January. Hosted by lyricist Javed Akhtar, the concert features Sukhvinder, Abhijeet, Jaspinder Narula, Kumar Sanu, Usha Uthup and veteran singer Mahendra Kapoor. Star's Republic Day treat for viewers is J P Dutta's Border.

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