Television

Key to weekdays prime time in hand, Star Plus aims to lock in Saturdays too

MUMBAI: When you have dominated the weekday afternoon and evening prime time for a length of time that probably has no parallels in television history, what next? Well, Star Plus is looking to plug the only gap in its dominance - weekend prime time - Saturdays to be more specific.

Kicking off on 11 October is Star Plus' branded block Star Shanivar (Star Saturday) that runs from 7:30 pm to 11 pm. The first programme off the blocks is a half-hour magic show hosted by Aman Verma - Jaaduu - which is the lead-in show for the new-look Saturday programming menu that Star Plus is serving up.

The weekend blockbuster film will now be showcased on Sundays from 8:30 pm on, says Star India senior V-P content and communication Tarun Katiyal.

In Star Plus' sights is SET India's hold on the weekend that has painstakingly been built up with Balaji Telefilms' weekend supernatural thriller series Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat (KHKH). Incidentally, Balaji is set to launch the ninth series of KHKH - Khaall - with Sumeet Sachdeva and Achint Kaur in the lead. KHKH is a one-hour thriller series that airs Fridays through to Sundays in the 8 to 9 pm slot.

Jaaduu will feature magic show clippings from India and abroad. It will also be promoting new talent by introducing new magicians.

Taking up the baton after Jaaduu at 8 pm and continuing with the magic theme is a one-hour spoofish series Vikraal Aur Gabraal, "a tale of ghosts, black magic, monsters and creepy creatures under your bed," as the show's blurb line goes.

In the 9-10 pm slot is a fresh series of the Nirja Guleri-produced family sitcom Gharwali Uparwali (there's a ghost in this show as well), which had a year-long run in 2000-2001.

Coming in at 10 pm is the Aman Verma-hosted game show Khul Ja Sim Sim, which is shifting to Saturdays from the Friday 9:30 pm slot it currently holds. Replacing Khul Ja... on Fridays from this week on (10 October) is Jeet, the Indianised version of the popular American high school saga, Boston Public.

Will Sony's KHKH be able to hold firm in the face of this concerted assault from Star Plus? The next few weeks should tell the TRP tale.

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