'Tumhari Paakhi' to replace 'The Bachelorette'

MUMBAI: Life OK is all set to add a new show to its kitty – a differentiated love story called Tumhari Paakhi.

Slated to premiere on Star Plus’s sister channel at 9.30pm on 11 November, the new series will replace the much-hyped Mallika Sherawat-starrer The Bachelorette India.

Produced by Shashi-Sumeet Mittal Productions, Tumhari Paakhi is based on legendary Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Navvidhan.

About the show, Life OK general manager Ajit Thakur says: “With this show, we are innovating and venturing into a whole new genre of general entertainment; book-inspired fiction. It is inspired from the novel, and we are going to bring it alive in viewers’ drawing rooms.”

Yuvraj Bhattacharya, programming team, Life OK, reveals the show has only four characters, and is the story of handsome but self-centred Shimla-based businessman Anshuman (Iqbal Khan) and pretty but unassuming Chittor-based guide Paakhi (Shraddha Arya).

Married off as children, a grown-up Paakhi waits for Anshuman to acknowledge their relationship even as Anshuman seems unaware of it.

Explaining how it is different from run-of-the-mill love stories, Bhattacharya says: “Paakhi has waited 18 years for an answer, to close the pages of their story. She stands strong, undeterred and hopeful. This is not a show, but it is only about these two characters.”

At the time of writing this article, 12 episodes had already been canned; shot at various locations including Udaipur, Shimla, Chittaur and Panchgani, with the basic set located at Film City in Mumbai.

The channel always needs to be experimentative in nature believes Yuvraj Bhattacharya

Isn’t the choice of prime time a bit dangerous, considering there would be viewers hooked on to other soaps on different channels? “The channel always needs to be experimentative in nature. On other GECs, this slot is occupied with mostly soaps and saas-bahu content. So we came up with the concept, breaking all the common factors. People always want to watch new content on television, and Life OK is the perfect destination for a change. It depends on us how better we engage with the audiences and give them some freshness,” reasons Bhattacharya.

That said, the show still faces tough competition from the likes of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai on Star Plus, Big Boss season seven on Colors, Qubool Hai on Zee TV, Jeanie Aur Juju on Sab, and Jee Le Zara on Sony.

Marketing wise, the channel has an official Facebook page which has not so convincing around 800 likes. On Twitter, the channel is constantly updating with news, polls and promo links using #TumhariPaakhi hashtag. The promos are already on air and lot of hoardings can also be seen across cities.

So, will Tumhari Paakhi do for Life OK’s prime time slot what The Bachelorette was obviously unable to do?

“The channel has definitely created out-of-the-box content, but it has never worked for them. Apart from shows like Mahadev and Shapat, which are the channel’s flagship properties, which it is known for, Life OK has experimented a lot in the past but it hasn’t really worked. People want to see something different and spicy. So taking that into consideration, I don’t think people can ever leave Big Boss and switch to this new show. Different would have been the case if the channel would have aired it during early prime time. Maybe channel loyalty could work for them,” says a highly-placed media planner.

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