Sahara takes starry route to the top; Big B to feature in unnamed series

MUMBAI: Sahara TV is all set to bludgeon its way into the big league of the Hindi television entertainment stakes. And the hook it is using is Bollywood mega stars.

The biggest of them all - the 'Big B' himself - will be seen on the small screen once more for the very first time in an unnamed fiction series to be shown on Sahara TV, the channel says.

The 24-hour free-to-air digital Hindi entertainment channel has marked its third anniversary 28 March as the date when it launches a whole series of initiatives that centres around film stars. Its Sahara Samay news channel is also slated for launch on the same day.

Announcing these initiatives, Sahara TV vice president publicity Prriyaraj has been quoted in an official release as saying: "We have established ourselves as a channel with a difference and are now going to offer a range of innovative programmes reinforcing it as a channel with a difference. We also plan to offer blockbuster mega entertainment on Sahara TV that no one in India has been able to provide to the viewers so far."

Sahara's "big bang" takes off with Mission Fateh , a weekly one hour series launching Friday, 28 March at 9:30 pm. The series, which has been scripted around the Kargil War, has scenes shot on actual locations.

After that Bollywood actress Karisma Kapoor will be appearing in a 260-episode multi-starrer daily serial titled Karishma - The Miracle of Destiny featuring 52 songs specially composed by Anu Malik. Similarly. The launch of that series, industry sources say will be in mid-April.

Around the end of April, beginning of May, Hamari Bahu Malini Iyer , a daily comedy of 208 episodes and featuring former Bollywood Queen bee Sridevi launches. Malini Iyer is directed by Satish Kaushik and produced by Boney Kapoor.

The release further states that for the first time on Indian television, A-list Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Sunny Deol, Rani Mukherjee, amongst others, will be seen on Sahara TV daily to present vignettes from their personal lives in a series titled Dil Ki Baatein.

A global song and dance championship titled Grooves by Jaaved Jaffrey, a comedy programme featuring Johnny Lever, a star-studded movie series are some of the other programmes in the pipeline.

Sahara also announced the acquisition of a bunch of blockbuster movies that it will be showcasing. Aankhein, Shakti, Company, Khushi, Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin are some of the titles it has bought.

The first ever joint live concert of Lata Mangeshkar and AR Rahman Bharat Parva 2003 and the recently held South Africa concert featuring top Bollywood stars are the big-ticket events it has lined up.

"These new programming initiatives which will give never-before available mega- entertainment to Sahara TV will help us offer enriching television experience to our regular viewers and make not-so-regular viewers spend more time with the channel," says Prriya Raj.

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