Television

Vir Sanghvi's 'Cover Story' among new shows coming on Star World

MUMBAI: It's the season of new launches all round. The Star Network's English entertainment channel Star World has lined up a varied menu of fresh offerings that kicks off today at 8 pm with a new season of daily sitcom That 70's Show. 

This is the second run of That 70's Show on Star World and it is the sixth new show to launch on the English entertainment channel in the last month or so. New seasons of sitcoms Becker and The Third Rock From The Sun are have recently come on air. Besides, trio including three-in-one drama Third watch, a weekly sitcom Yes, Dear and a sci-fi venture Adventure Inc were also launched between last week on July and first week of August.



There is a new addition to Star World's Sunday "Made in India" band as well. Senior VP content and communication Tarun Katial revealed to indiantelevision.com that a personality based show to be hosted by Hindustan Times editor and television personality Vir Sanghvi titled Cover Story would be launching on 14 September.

Interestingly, Cover Story is not being managed by sister channel Star News, which already has a show that Sanghvi hosts in Vir ke Teer. It will be looked after by the Star Plus content team, says Katial. Cover Story will be a celebrity-driven show, that will feature the usual 'Page 3' suspects, politicians, filmstars sportspersons and the like. Two of the guests who will feature early on the show are Smriti Irani aka Tulsi Virani of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi fame and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

But before Cover story makes its entry on the channel there is another daily sitcom premiering next Monday (8 September), a critically acclaimed ensemble comedy from NBC, Just Shoot Me, which will be aired in the 7:30 pm slot currently occupied by Friends.

Created by the maker of Frasier and The Larry Sanders Show, writer/producer Steven Levitan, Just...is set in the New York editorial offices of the fictional fashion magazine Blush. It follows the lives of Blush's colourful staff Maya Gallo (Laura San Giacomo) - a serious journalist who is determined to change the magazine's "fluffy" tone despite the efforts of her father, Blush publisher Jack Gallo (George Segal). Jack meanwhile remains focused solely on his bottom line and the things he feels women want.

Besides the family connection, other significant staffers include beauty and fashion editor Nina Van Horn (Wendie Malick) - a fast-living, neurotic ex-model, commitment-phobic, in-house photographer Elliott DiMauro (Enrico Colantoni); and Jack's wisecracking, power-hungry assistant Dennis Finch (David Spade). Friends, meanwhile, gets pushed back to the 7:00 pm slot in the process.

And rounding off the new season fare are Sci-fi Smallville and detective drama Monk, both of which are coming to Star World in October.

An interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters, Smallville is a blend of realism and adventure into an exciting action series. A Warner Bros. production, Smallville tells the story of teenager destined to be the fictional character Superman.



The meteor showers, which raining destruction twelve years ago on the unsuspecting citizens of Smallville, Kansas, left the town's inhabitants with scars and secrets. From the ashes of tragedy, Clark Kent has grown into an awkward teen and discovers that he came to earth on this meteor and has superhuman powers.

The guardians of Clark's secret identity are his adoptive parents, Jonathan (John Schneider) and Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole). Also in the picture are his best friends, Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack), who have also been kept in the dark. Interesting twist is that a teenage Lex Luthor (Superman's main nemesis) also lives in SmallVille.

Last in the pipeline is USA networks Monk, story of Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), once a rising star with the San Francisco Police Department, legendary for using unconventional means to solve the department's most baffling cases. But after the tragic (and still unsolved) murder of his wife, the devastated Monk became obsessive-compulsive. His condition eventually cost him his job, and continues to pose unique challenges in his daily life.

Monk's personal nurse, Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) is there to help Monk make it through the day and along the way becomes Monk's own "Girl Friday," an unlikely Dr. Watson to his Sherlock Holmes.



Although Monk is no longer a member of the police force, his former boss, Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) still often calls upon him to provide unique insights into cases that have the cops stumped. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Randall Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) aspires to be the department's new go-to guy, and relishes every opportunity to bolster the ego of his commanding officer. 

There may be a huge question mark hanging over conditional access, but there's a lot for viewers to look forward to this season. And since it does not look as if many (if any?) will have to shell out for set top boxes and the like, their "free lunches" are coming to them with a lot of fresh gravy.

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