Television

UTV pitching pilots for four new shows

MUMBAI: Ronnie Screwvala's UTV has readied four new show concepts that it is pitching to channels.

First is an action thriller titled Sarfarosh, second an emotional drama Holi, third a comedy Shanoo ki Shaadi and last - an untitled kiddie show.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com about Sarfarosh, UTV director Zarina Mehta said: "It is a counter intelligence show. It is a story about a special intelligence cop Aditya Chaudhary who has been assigned to protect a nuclear scientist."

The story starts when Aditya Choudhury is assigned to provide protection to Prof. Siddanth Mehra, the chief nuclear scientist of the country, played by veteran actor Shivaji Satam. The scientist has invented an anti nuclear device, which will help the country defend itself from other nuclear power. Along with his colleagues Natasha and Aman, at SIA (Special Intelligence Agency), Aditya aim is to protect both the device and its creator from falling into hands of vicious foreign powers. While the villainous foreign elements in a bid to get to the professor, kidnap Aditya's sister.

Speaking about the plus points of the show Mehta says: "Although it is an action thriller, the dramatic and emotional element is very strong. Sarfarosh isn't just a slam-bang beefy thriller. The focus is on the struggle between devotion and duty that the main protagonist faces."

UTV has roped in Arbaaz Khan to play Aditya's character. According to Mehta, he is the perfect cast for the role. Besides the Khan, the cast also includes Sandya Mridul who plays his partner and Shruti Ulfat as his wife. While Parmeet Sethi plays the negative lead. With pilot already being readied, the show is deigned as a weekly one-hour show to conclude in 26 weeks.

Within those 26 episodes, Aditya's character will be going through a gamut of emotions where he has to choose between his duty and family. Though Mehta refused to divulge any details as to which broadcaster has been approached, she indicated that 26 episodes one single case and that the same character 'Aditya' could be repeated in another case. UTVs Glenn Baretto and Ankush Moholla are the directors for the project and Jayesh Patil of Kumkum fame is the writer of the series.

The second project that UTV has readied is Holi. Directed by Sanjay Upadhyay with Sukesh as the Creative Director and Satyam Tripathi as the writer. The basic premise is about a star-crossed lovers. Mehta says: "To put it simply, it is the story about two brothers and two sisters, who albeit for different reasons, do not see eye to eye. The elder brother of the duo falls in love with the elder sister. But the wrong brother gets married to the girl and the situation between the two worsens."

An ideal subject for a soaps, the serial also has a flashback track wherein the roots of the "enmity" between the mothers (who were fast friends at one time) is traced. While the youngsters are bunch of UTV regulars, Navneet Nishan and Reena Wadhwa are playing the older ladies. Both Nishan and Wadhwa are back on the screen after a hiatus.

The third pilot being shot is a comedy, unlike their co-production Khichdi. Shanno Ki Saadi has sort of Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice kind of storyline. It is a story of a Punjabi 'halwai' family with Kulbhusan Kharbanda as the patriarch 'Shadi Singh Halwai'. Complete with a nagging wife and three daughters, out of which two are yet to be married.

The story is about the second daughter Shanoo played by Divya Dutt, a master chef at their roadside Dhaba. As for Shanoo, she is a 'different' sister caught between two perfect and beautiful sisters. Enter Aman Verma, the eligible bachelor who eventually gets married to Shanoo. The story has an old a wise grandmother 'bebe' who is one of the main sources of humour in the show. Besides the usual twist-n-turns Mehta has also planned to insert few songs to the Cinderella kind of story.

Last on the agenda is a kids show that is yet to be named. Complete with magic its about two naughty kids who have a 'magical' friend a la ET. It does have a dose of religiosity thrown in with goddess 'Durga' being the guardian angel of the kids.

The new ventures are a casting coup of sorts, with big names in the entertainment industry included, Mehta said: "It isn't a planned venture but they were the most suitable for the role." She also did not divulge any details on which channels were being approached.

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