Balaji attempts to break Sony jinx with new show

MUMBAI: Mid-March this year, Balaji Telefilms' Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat (KHKH) which was originally a one-hour Fri-Sat-Sun show from 8 - 9 pm, became a Fri-Sat half-hour show from 8 - 8.30 pm in a new avtaar based on socio drama themes.

Two months down the line, the change seems to have done nothing substantially positive to the fortunes involved in the show, which some time back underwent another unsuccessful trial-n-error experiment when its original thriller format was changed to focus on supernatural themes. KHKH has finally come to an end. It's last episode aired on 15 May.Come 21 May, KHKH will be replaced by a new Balaji show - a sci-fi thriller titled King Aasman Ka Raja (KAKR). Sci-fi genre is becoming an in-thing. Lately, Doordarshan launched Bongo, another sci-fi thriller.

KAKR stars Riva Bubber and model-turned-actor Kushal Punjabi in lead roles. Bubber was unceremoniously replaced by Raavee Gupta in Balaji's flagship Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi but later recalled after Raavee was shown the door. Three months back, Bubber opted out from Star Plus' show Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr when her contract came up for renewal. Recently she did a few episodes of Sahara's Raat Hone Ko Hai and Star Plus' Krishna Arjun.

Manish Khandelwal, who directed Virasat, Sshhh... Koi Hai, Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka, Achanak 37 Saal Baad and Thriller at 10, wields the megaphone for this new show from the Balaji stable.

KHKH being replaced by KAKR has actually come as a surprise and mystery. Not so long ago, Balaji's Creative Head Ekta Kapoor had categorically told that she was not planning anything with Sony Entertainment Television for the current fiscal.

When contacted yesterday, she said, "It happened very recently and things fell into place. The channel did not ask for an end to KHKH. I suggested it. I started feeling that I had outgrown it. I wanted a change."

If that is the case, why has Kapoor not outgrown the long-running three shows on Star Plus- Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahanii Ghar Ghar Kii, and especially Kaahin Kissii Roz which has gone absolutely haywire and devoid of sanity? Seems, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Recently, Mrinal Jha, writer of the Zee daily soap Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan served a legal notice on Balaji Telefilms for "concept theft" over one of their series in Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat (starring Shilpa Saklani). Jha co-authored the novel November Rain on which Aruna Irani's Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan is based.For quite some time now, apart from Kkusum (that too till a certain point of time), nothing from Balaji stable has worked for Sony Entertainment Television. Kkoi Dil Mein Hai (Karishma Tanna, Poorva Gokhhale) launched last winter has turned out to be a damp squib. Kkehna Hai Kuch Mujhko (Pallavi Joshi, Kiran Karmarkar) may have been critically acclaimed but has found it tough going as regards making a mark on the ratings charts. 

Even Kaahin Kissii Roz attracted a good number of eyeballs until Kapoor decided to bring in the re-incarnation theory. And remember the SET story of the expensive failure Kahani Terri Merri coming in place of Kutumb which had bombed in its new avtaar? KTM was said to be Kapoor's dream project and some industry sources even claimed it to be a Devdas on television.Will Kapoor bring some smiles in Sony Entertainment Television this time? Or is it that Balaji Telefilms and SET are just not made for each other?

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