Star Plus on a two-year high; readies fresh programming

3 July may not be its official birthday, but it marks a day when Star Plus was reborn and launched a gameshow that was to rewrite the script of Indian television - Kaun Banega Crorepati.

"9 Baj gaye kya?"

Two year's on, there is no KBC, but Star Plus continues to lord it over the TV landscape with the Balaji soaps Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki leading the charge.

KBC may be officially taking a sabbatical right now, but the channel that reaped the rich harvest of its success is celebrating the gameshow's birthday with a spate of new shows across genres.

The Tuesday prime time slot, vacated by Kamzor Kadii Kaun and Asoka The Series is now to be filled with Kehta Hai Dill a family serial that takes its inspiration from Picket Fences, beginning today. Neena Gupta, who enjoyed a cult following for her Saans on Star Plus will be back on the channel with Kyon Hota Hay Pyar on Thursdays at 8 pm, with a campus story on teenage romance and fun. Sonpari's success has spawned another kids' show on the channel, Shakalaka Boom Boom, a UTV production about a boy and his magic pencil that brings to life anything he draws with it.

Another UTV series Khichidi, that starts in September on Tuesdays at 8 pm will delve into the "deliciously wicked side of all human beings" and will look at the lighter side of mankind.

Hai Na Bolo Bolo a Sunday 11 am show, to be hosted by Nausheen of Kkusum fame, is a song-based game show "full of music and mischief". Sunday mornings however are going to belong to devotion and mysticism on the channel. The "divine" addition is Vandana, a three hour Sunday morning band consisting of three shows - Jai Mata Ki (with Hema Malini in the lead), Gurukul (a show on the ancient wisdom of India, hosted by Sakshi Tanwar) and Yatra (a pilgrimage tour with Deepti Bhatnagar for a guide).

The channel that claims to have a grip on the the afternoon band as well, is launching Kumkum - Pyaara Sa Bandhan from 15 July at 3:30 pm. Another new show, Chupe Chehre goes on air Fridays at3:00 pm from September.

The channel has also lined up blockbusters to hook the film buff too with Dil Chahta Hai, Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi, Ajnabee, Raaz and other movies lined up for the coming months.

"Catch me if you can" is the challenge that Star is throwing to its rivals.

(Star India has sent out a Power Point presentation toasting its two years of successful leadership in the Indian cable & satellite television sweepstakes. To go through the presentation click on the link alongside: Star's Toast to its second year of success!! It's a heavy file, so if you don't have a high bandwidth Internet connection, you will have to be patient!! Happy reading - Editor)

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