Geo TV opens new doors for Indian producers, actors

MUMBAI: In what could well be an unconscious bid to cement the Indo-Pak differences, a number of Indian TV artistes and producers have signed up for projects with Geo TV, Jung Group's Urdu-language entertainment and news channel that are broadcasting from Dubai.

Jang Group's CEO and editor-in-chief Mir Shakil-Ur-Rahman visited New Delhi earlier this week, to discuss distribution deals for the channel in India. On 19 August, he is said to have met information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to talk on policy initiatives. Later on, he also discussed possible business deals with media and film persons.

According to media reports, well-known television actors like Annu Kapoor, Ashok Saraf, Amit Behl, Sudha Chandran, Ravi Gosain and Anil Pandit have signed up for various shows with the channel. They will be working with Pakistani artistes like Faisal Qureshi, Javed Sheikh and Ismail Tara among others.

Sources in the media say, even Usman Peerzada, the renowned theatre and screen actor and director from Pakistan, has been roped in for one such Indo-Pak venture. From Bollywood, yesteryears' villain, Ranjeet will make an appearance on the channel.

Among the forthcoming Indo-Pak programming are the Sunil Salgia directed sitcom Lakhon Mein Teen. The 52-episode comedy involves around the adventure of three friends -- two Pakistanis and one Indian -- who go to Dubai in search of a job. The cast includes Ashok Saraf and Pakistan's Javed Sheikh and Ismail Tara as the three friends. Ravi Gosain and Anil Pandit are also roped in for the sitcom.

Kamran Durrani, who has penned down dialogues for the sitcom says, "The show is slated to be released by the first week of September. Every episode of the sitcom will be a short tale in itself -- all revolving around their three friends and their dalliance."

Durrani is currently writing dialogues for Khushi, a programme on women also for telecast in Geo TV.

Lakhon Mein Teen is one of the three shows being produced by Mumbai-based Ramesh Prasanna and Chitresh Srivastava. Their other two ventures are Faslay, a 26-episode family drama directed by Seema Kapoor, starring Ranjeet, Amit Behl and Sudha Chandran, Usman Peerzada and Faisal Qureshi; and Gayegi Duniya Geet Mere, a music game show, directed by Pratik Kadam, anchored by Annu Kapoor and singer Saima Shirazi from Pakistan.

Geo TV went on air from August 14, 2002. The channel broadcasts 24 hours a day from Dubai Media City to give viewers in UAE, Pakistan, Mauritius, the US and Bangladesh news besides reality and talk shows, soaps and quiz shows.

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