Sahara looks to expand viewer base with new shows

MUMBAI: Sahara seems to be finally getting its prime time programming line up in shape. Apart from the star studded Karishma - The Miracle of Destiny and Humaari Bahu Malini Iyer, two new serials are ready for launch in the next two weeks.

Producer actor Sachin Pilgaonkar makes his debut on Sahara with a children's programme Gilli Danda, beginning 1 May. Yesteryear's film star Saira Banu also premieres her debut production Kisse Apna Kahein on 18 May on the channel.

Both shows are placed strategically, one a little before the Karishma show, and the other immediately after, presumably to keep the viewer engaged and hooked for more. Kisse Apna Kahein replaces the year old family saga Virasat, while Gilli Danda replaces the Ruby Bhatia anchored Hello.

Sahara TV programming head V Basav Raj says: "Just like its namesake local Indian game 'gilli-danda', the kids programme scheduled to air on Thursdays at 7 pm is a good old fashion entertainment for kids."

The storyline sounds suspiciously similar to famous cartoon strip Dennis the menace and explores the relationship between Gulshan aka 'Gilli' and the next-door retired neighbour Mr. Dhandha, 'Danda uncle'. Produced under the Sushriya Arts banner, by the Tu Tu Main Main director and Chalti ka naam antakshari anchor, the show, claims an official release, is fictional story minus any special effects.

Kisse apna kahein, meanwhile, is a daily that has been in the pipeline for some time now. Starting on 18 May, the programme is a prime time daily soap tentatively scheduled to air at 9:30 pm, just after the big ticket Karisma Kapoor show. Based on the trial and tribulations of a Muslim family, the show promises to offer something different than the previous ones based on Muslim families.

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