Television

Star World ramps up programming next month

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MUMBAI: English general entertainment channel Star World has announced a slew of shows that it hopes will keep viewers tuning in for more.

They run the gamut from a hit sitcom to a family drama.

Kicking things off on 3 August 2006 is The Office. This is the US broadcaster NBC's version of BBC's show im the UK. For the uninitiated, the show looks at the humdrum everyday goings-on in a typical nine-to-five workplace, straight out of the 'Dilbert' school of work ethics. The Office is a mockumentary of the office Dunder-Mifflin, a paper product company.

The show has won praise form the characters and the many mini-plots. As the camera follows the Dunder-Mifflin staff around, viewers are treated to a plethora of stories and character backgrounds. There's Michael Scott, the manager/dense buffoon who may not be diabolical, but is certainly oblivious to what's going on around him. There's Pam, the permanently-engaged sweetheart receptionist who's with a habitual jerk who is constantly putting off their wedding date.

There's also Jim, the witty and charming nice guy who harbors a secret crush for Pam despite her engagement. Dwight meanwhile is somewhat nerdy, Lord of the Rings obsessed, and comically abrasive/intrusive to the point that no one takes him seriously. Steve Carrell won a Golden Globe Award this year for his portrayal of Scott.

Those in the mood for family drama can check out Sons and Daughters from 24 August. The zany and slightly troubled members of a family try to make it through life as comedy ensues. In the center of the mess is Cameron (Fred Goss), who is happily married to second wife Liz (Gillian Vigman), with three children.

Cameron's teenage son from his first marriage has officially moved in-and has a little-well, a lot-of trouble becoming comfortable in the new environment. Cameron's sister Sharon (Alison Quinn) seems to have the perfect life-although her husband, Don (Jerry Lambert), are both in denial about their sex-less marriage. Then there's Jenna (Amanda Walsh), the gorgeous little half-sister who had her life upturned when she became a single mother. Jenna doesn't really know what's good for her.

She always goes for the bad boys like Tommy White (Greg Pitts), while the nice guys like Wylie Blake (Desmond Harrington) love her. Equally problem-filled Colleen (Dee Wallace Stone) and Wendal (Max Gail), the parents of the siblings, try to keep their family in order somehow. Colleen, though, is admittedly uptight and impulsively judgmental. Even though they're all a little nuts, the Halbert family hangs in there and keeps it all together.

The supernatural thriller Ghost Whisperer kicks off on 29 August. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays newlywed Melinda Gordon. She communicates with earthbound spirits - ghosts who cling to the living because they have unfinished business which prevents them from moving beyond the familiar plane of existence we call life. Inspired in part by the work of famed medium James Van Praagh and Mary Ann Winkowski, a real life communicator to spirits, Ghost Whisperer explores the spiritual side of life and death.

Actor Charlie Sheen saw his acting career being revived with the comedy Two And A Half Men. This kicks off on 31 August. Sheen and Jon Cryer star along with young Angus T. Jones as three males from two generations, each learning what it really means to be a man. Charlie's casual Malibu lifestyle is interrupted when his tightly wound brother, Alan, who's facing a divorce, and Alan's son, Jake, come to stay with him. Together, these two and a half men confront the challenges of growing up-finally.

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