Zee to launch daily sitcom 30 March

MUMBAI: The bubbly, na?ve 'Sweety'(Rakhi Tandon) of Zee's mega success Hum Paanch is coming back to the channel in the form of 'Simi' in Pyar Zindagi Hai, to be aired daily at 8 pm from 30 March.

Produced by Rajeev Tandon's RT Films, the serial stars Rakhi Tandon, Mukul Dev, Bharat Kapoor, Sadhana Singh, Paintal and Sheela David Sharma and is billed as a feel-good fun-filled family show extolling the joys of loving one's parents. The serial is directed by Jitendra Kumar (Heena, Tara, Yehi Hai Zindagi).

(Sony's Heena; Hostel for Saturday Suspense and Professor Pyarelal on Zee; Cincanatti Bubblaboo for Star Plus; Dulhan for Sabe TV).

Addressing the media this afternoon, Zee TV president Apurva Purohit, who shared the dais with the TV stars elaborated: "Following Chausath Panne, Pyar Zindagi Hai is the second major initiative for Zee TV post World Cup 2003. The timing of the serial is apt as there is bound to be much cynicism in the air due to the potential threat of war. However, the serial is not merely a slapstick attempt at plugging the gap which exists in the comedy genre but a lovable tale which promises to ensure that "haste haste aankh bhar aayenge (You will laugh so much that tears will stream down your cheeks)." Companies such as Amul and Dabur have already evinced interest in sponsoring the show.

Later, speaking to, Purohit added: "We feel that several independent producers are coming up with lovely concepts. We aspire to give them support and direction without compromising on the creative aspects of the content. We have always believed in giving producers a free hand within the context of the channel's broad framework of programming. After all, the differentiation comes from the creative freedom. With Rishtey, Astitva Ek Prem Kahani, Kittie Party, Lipstick and now Chausath Panne and Pyar Zindagi Hai, we feel that we have a judicious mix of various genres." Purohit also said that they would aggressively start promoting these programmes after the cricket world cup. Of late, advertisers have been lamenting the drop in noise levels for Zee's new offerings including the Thursday Premiere movies. 

Rakhi Tandon who plays the female lead Simi in the serial says PZH promises to extol the positives of Indian culture in terms of joint families, love for parents, respect for in-laws (without them being portrayed as scheming villains). "We set out to spread a simple message - 'Get your parents together because you cannot progress without their blessings'. But viewers will experience the differences in the way in which we have treated the subject. The underlying emotions are so beautiful that all viewers will relate to them." Tandon refers to a twist in the plot wherein her father-in-law (played by Paintal) dresses up in woman's garb to unite the two lovers Simi and Sunny. 

Tandon's Simi has shades of Hum Paanch's Sweety in terms of her conscience assuming the role of a constantly chiding alter ego (shades of schizophrenia??) personality. Some of the snapshots of the serial shown during the press meet gave an indication that Simi's conscience raises doubts in Simi's mind at crucial moments whenever she faces trying situations. "This happens throughout the serial and is in a way similar to the mirror in Hum Paanch," says Tandon.

The male lead Mukul Dev said: "This is my second serial for Zee TV. I love the programmes on Zee - especially Rishtey. I fell for the story idea which was set against the backdrop of a Punjabi family." 

When questioned whether the story line which has the parents and in-laws of the young lovers staying under the same roof would ring true in today's urban context, Tandon hoped that the programme would make this scenario a reality.

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