Television

Two more shows on Plus from the Balaji pad

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NEW DELHI: Star India though doesn't foresee Balaji Telefilms, in which a Star affiliate has picked up more than 20 per cent stake, as the only provider of content for Star Plus in the future, today it unveiled two other offerings from India's top production house --- K.Street Pali Hill and Karma.

Karma, which is about a super hero on the lines of Spiderman with the same sort of angst and doubts --- though, according to Star, it relies more on Hindu mythology than Spidey --- will start airing on Star Plus from 27 August ( every Friday) on the 10:00-pm slot replacing Shhhh..Koi hain, while Pali Hill, a thriller, will go on air some time next month, the details are yet to be disclosed by the channel.

"Star Plus is not a channel that is only dominated by saas- bahu serials. We do offer variety and the new offerings are part of that initiative," said Star network's sr. vice-president, content and communications Deepak Sehgal at a press conference here today.

Ekta Kapoor was supposed to be part of the presscon, which was largely attended foreseeing a possible interaction with the queen of soaps, but could not make it as she was ill. As if on cue, Star India COO Sameer Nair said that even with the strategic investment that Star had made in Balaji, the production house was free to do programmes for other channels. But the unwritten rule on Star having the first right of refusal on any new product from Balaji would possibly continue.

Balaji's latest thriller K.Street Pali Hill is skewed towards male viewing. The premise of K.Street Pali Hill is that a person's (can be more than one too) past will always catch up with no matter what he/she does. This late-night thriller is about three friends who, as boys, made a pact to share their fortune and, as men, had a dream to be successful businessmen and well-known personalities to reckon with. Living together in a huge palatial bungalow with their families, Aditya Khandelwal (Ritu Raj), Bikram Kaul (Vikram Kapadia) and Dhrubo Keshab (Aly Khan) are today enjoying the life they have dreamt about and worked for. Known to be among the richest and the mightiest business houses.

Aditya is a financial wizard whose only interest is to keep check on the company finance and the profits. He is married to Ishita. Bikram is warm, savvy and always immaculately dressed and known for his marketing skills. His grief in life is that he had to depend on his wife Misha for financial assistance. The third friend is Dhrubo Keshab, tall, dark, handsome, has a doctorate in fine arts and loves Rabindra Sangeet. Calm, unruffled and an introvert, he is very creative and a loner, a poet at heart he talks to people with great respect. His wife Deboshree is a simple housewife, who has also been a fine arts student. K.Street Pali Hill, takes the viewers through the bold and the beautiful world of these three friends and their families.

The story begins with the decision to refurnish & renovate the outhouse that stands a few yards away from their palatial mansion. The outhouse has not been opened for decades together and the only access to the outhouse, the keys, is with the family's loyal Man Friday, Jaisingh. The interior decorator arrives and what follows is a series of mysterious incidences and untoward mishaps.

The three friends believe that they have satisfactorily left behind their dark past and moved on until they meet their nemesis. Directed by Hansal Mehta, the cast includes Aly Khan, Ritu Raj, Vikram Kapadia, Iravati Harshe and, of course, Ektaa's new discovery.Karma is about a young boy who can see through walls; can hear sounds travelling some thousands of miles away; can run as fast as a train and, of course, is quite adept at the twists and turns that Ekta gives her serials.

The story begins with Devdutt, an elderly gentleman, who has resigned from life and is wandering as a sanyasi, in search of God and enlightenment. The true purpose in life is to nurture the will of God. His prayers are answered when he is told that his soon-to-be-born grandson will be God's chosen one to fight the dark forces of evil Markesh.

A child is born in Devdutt's house and the child is named Karan. Young and handsome Karan grows up under the tutelage of his grandfather Devdutt who teaches him everything from Vedas to righteousness. But as the prophecy goes, the young boy has to wait for the right moment, chosen by God, to be bestowed with God's powers. It is after he gets the powers that he changes from a mere human being to Karma the superhero.

As Karan, the young man's powers are unimaginable. Initially, he is frivolous with the gift bestowed on him and he uses his special powers to tease friends, flirt with Mrinal, the girl he secretly loves (shades of Spidey-MJ love fling). Unfortunately, he is not aware of the extreme powers of his enemy Markesh, who designs and schemes a painful death for Karan. 

But Karan's mission in the world is not complete. He is resurrected from the dead to become Karma (here there are some shades of Catwoman), the superhero who has come back to redeem the world. It's only with his father's death that Karan realises the seriousness of the situation, his true mission and begins to understand the purpose of his special abilities --- with great powers, come greater responsibilities.

Karma is Balaji Telefilm's first adventure-thriller targeted towards the younger audiences. It is directed by Pawan Kaul & Manikia. Siddharth Choudhary plays Karan and Karma, Riva Bubber (Damini of Kyunki Saas.) as Mrinal, Tinu Anand as Devdutt, Mohan Kapoor as Markesh and others form the part of this interesting cast.

Star Plus, the parent company claimed, enters it's fifth consecutive year as India's No.1 Hindi entertainment channel. With over 50 million Indians in urban India alone tuning-in to Star Plus every week (it is more than the population of South Africa and Canada), time spent by audiences on Star Plus is almost two times higher than the combined time spent on competition.

An average of 42 out of the top 50 shows across all channels in the Hindi speaking markets belong to Star Plus. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kasautii Zindagii Kay consistently feature as India's top three shows, though today at the press conference some journalists wanted to know why doesn't Star Plus take up serials with social causes. 

Star's answer: we are in the business of entertainment and such programmes are not watched on Star Plus, though in the past some experimentation had been done.

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