Television

Spate of new shows on Star from July

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Don't look, it's changing.

In another fortnight, Star Plus is all set to roll out some fresh programming, calculated to lull the devout and hook the soap addict, and tickle the couch potato's curiosity with a re-packaged comedy. 

A still from Gurukul

In a marked departure from the usual mytho fare, the channel has decided to devote Sunday mornings to religion, mythology and culture, with three new shows from 7 July. Jai Mata Ki at 9 am brings Hema Malini back to the small screen as Mata Bhubaneshwari donning various avatars including those of Durga, Saraswati, Laxmi, Gauri and Jagdamba.

Yatra, up next at 10 am, has model-actor Deepti Bhatnagar donning the role of producer, director and anchor as she takes viewers to various pilgrim centers in India and even allows them a view of the sanctum, where prayers and rituals are regularly performed. Star has managed to get melody queen Lata Mangeshkar to sing the title song of Yatra, which has been penned by Manoj Muntashir and composed by Roop

A still from Kehta Hai Dil

Kumar. Gurukul, the third of the Sunday package, is a show that is 'packed with inspiring tales of ancient Indian civilization, told through Upanishads, Vedas, palmistry and the Gita'.the series will shed light on little know aspects of Indian civilization, age old temples, saints and parables and myths, says the channel.

According to Star Plus senior VP programming Tarun Katial, the shows are designed to bring solace to jaded souls bogged down by stress, fatigue and deadlines during the week gone by. 

A still from Kumkum...Asoka, the series that winds up end June, will be replaced by Kehta Hai Dil, a weekly show from the UTV stable that will address different issues like dowry, teenage infatuation and bigamy at a social and emotional level. The cast of this show that probes the 'mindset of the majority', includes current small screen icons Aman Verma, Ram Kapoor and Gautami Gadgil and will air every Tuesday at 9 m. 

And for those who thought the lather on the soap was wearing thin, Star is working up a fresh one. Kumkum - Pyara sa bandhan, a new mondays to Thursdays afternoon show, has all 

the hit ingredients of popular soaps distilled into 

one. It's all about a close knit family, the 

Deepti Bhatnagar in Yatra

favourite daughter in law, emotional conflict, business tangles, illegitimate children and terminal illness - all rolled into one. With not a single element of the classic Indian soap opera left out, this one should score bull's eye with viewers. Directed by Sanjay Upadhyay and Neelima Bajpai and produced by Anuradha Prasad, Kumkum, starring Juhi Parmar (who played the lead in Shaheen), Hussain ( Chirag in Kyunkii) and others will go on air from 3.30 pm on 15 July.

Hema Malini in Jai Mata Ki..

Krishna Sharma c.a, the weekly comedy on Star Plus too is readying for change. Commening with a change in name - its now Krishna Arjun, the show comes in a new format - concept, packaging and cast. Krishna (Shraddha Nigam) is now to be joined by Arjun (Hussain) to make up a savvy investigative team, a la Remington Steele. The channel says the new series is racier and highly stylished, with each story broken up into two or three episodes.

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