Cinevistaas readies two new shows for Sahara

MUMBAI: Two years ago, Cinevistaas' show Draupadi on Sahara Manoranjan was taken off midway. Today, Cinevistaas is ready with two new shows - Saathiya and Zaroorat Hai - for the same channel. While the former will go on air from mid-July, the latter will see the light in about two months time.

Saathiya - Pyar Ka Naya Ehsaas - which will be telecast from Monday through Thursdays from 8:30 pm to 9 pm - is the story of three friends - Kshitij (Amar Upadhyay), Aryan (Sanjit Bedi) and Gayatri (Shraddha Nigam) of strong choices that define their destinies. Upadhyay plays the pampered son of an export baron, Bedi plays his best friend who is a Casanova and Nigam plays a small town girl.

Manini De (Pari of Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin) who plays Bedi's mother will also have an important role. Says Bedi, "De plays my step mom. There is not much of difference between our ages and that will be fun."

Bedi was also cast in Cinevistaas' Sanjivani- A Medical Boon (now in its third year) as Dr Juhi's (Gurdeep Kohli) best friend, but had opted out after a brief period when the serial had shifted its focus from the Sanjivani hospital to love tracks and soapy matters. "It feels great to be back with Cinevistaas who held no grudges against me because they understood my perspective on why I was opting out. That's the way it should be," he says.

Upadhyay, out of Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand when AK Films and Star Plus put their heads together to go for a 20 year leap, says, "I am doing just one serial presently. Playing a rich south Mumbai kid whose motto in life is to eat, drink and be merry will be different from playing the righteous son which I have been doing almost all along in my career so far. The time has come to evolve and grow as an actor."

According to Cinevistaas creative director Namit Sharma, this show was conceived in June last year when Cinevistaas made the pilot ready and ventured out to have a dialogue with Sahara Manoranjan. "We met Triptii Sharma (Sahara Programming, vice president). She told us that they wanted youth-centric romantic stuff. Since we had readied a pilot for a show on similar lines, we showed it to them. It was soon approved." The shooting began in February this year, but the momentum really picked up in April and May.

The balance cast includes Iklaq Khan, Saurabh Dubey, Vanita Mallik, Malini Kapoor, Nisha Lalwani, Vishal Sabnani and Ashita Dhawan among others. Binita Desai has penned the story and screenplay (of Kasautii Zindagi Ki, Kutumb and Kum Kum: Pyaara Sa Bandhan fame).

Shankar Mahadevan and Sneha Pant have rendered their voice to the title lyrics which have been set to music by the famous trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Says Sharma, "Saathiya could well redefine the meaning of love and friendship. It has been great working with Sahara Manoranjan. They wanted the show almost as it was. Every actor has been cast after making sure that he would fit the role. You may be surprised that Shraddha will portray a small town girl which would mean wearing salwaar kameez type of outfits, but then, we wanted an actress who could emote. As for Amar, we cast him when I had made sure after seeing him in one of the Des Mein... episodes that he could go through a gamut of emotions."

"There will be no bedroom and kitchen politics like the dailies generally have, there is an immense freshness in the show, the focus will be on youth" said Cinevistaas chairman Prem Kishen.

Zaroorat Hai will be a half-hour weekly starring Farida Jalal, Sushmita Mukherjee, Nitish Pandey, Cyrus Sahukar, Amit Sadh, Hiten Paintal and Vaibhav Jalani (of Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai). "It's the story of a woman and her five sons. She is desperate to have all her sons married, for only then something will happen which would change her life. All her sons are simpletons, not city sleekers. It's a slightly goofy family. The comedy that happens with each son's wedding and the induction of the bahus will be a treat to watch," promised Sharma.

This one will be directed by Rahul Mewawalla who has directed a comedy for Cinevistaas Mamla Gadbad Hai on Channel 9. This is Sharma's baby (concept) which he developed with Vijaykrishna Acharya (who also writes Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin).

While Saathiya is 30 episodes ready (that's quite a bank in contrast to what most other dailies are equipped with), Zaroorat Hai bank has seven to its credit (which is also not a bad score considering that it's a weekly). "We need to shoot three more episodes before of Zaroorat Hai before Sahara Manoranjan takes a call on the day, time slot and the launch date," concluded Sharma.

It will be interesting to watch how the rejuvenated relationship (of Sahara Manoranjan and Cinevistaas) withstands the pressures of different kinds this time.

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