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Weekend blockbuster 'Prithviraj Chauhan' launch set for 12 May; Star in marketing overdrive

MUMBAI: Star Plus will launch one of its biggest productions ever, the weekend blockbuster Dharti Ka Veer Yodha - Prithviraj Chauhan on Friday, 12 May at 9 pm. The serial will run Friday through Sunday with a duration of half-an-hour per episode.

Star is leaving no stone unturned to promote the historical saga. "The focus of our marketing activities will be to make viewers more familiar with Prithviraj Chauhan. People normally remember only the high points of Chauhah's life. The marketing efforts will be to make people aware of the real character," says Star India SVP Marketing & Communication Puneet Johar.

Apart from the obvious on-air, print, outdoors and radio promotions, Prithviraj Chauhan will have an extensive on-ground activity also - running from Rajasthan to Delhi.

"We will have a torch run 'Prithvi Jyoti' conducted from Rajasthan to New Delhi. The activity will culminate on 9 May in the capital with the vice president of the country addressing a gathering. The serial will be officially launched at the event," adds Johar.

The 9 May event will showcase the Prithviraj Chauhan costumes designed by a group of young fashion designers. The music of the serial will hit the market simultaneous with its launch.

As part of the marketing activities, Star will be merchandising Prithviraj Chauhan properties -- such as the weaponry -- on a commercial basis later. Star is also planning to release a cartoon book based on the life and adventures of Prithviraj Chauhan.

What makes the Sagar Films-produced Prithviraj Chauhan one of the much-awaited television programmes on Indian television is the sheer size of the project. According to Sagar Films director Shakti Sagar, the costume drama was launched with a start up budget of Rs 60 million.

"The Ajmer set we erected in our Baroda film studio cost us about Rs 45 million. We have shot 50 episodes of the committed 156 episodes, which will run for a year. That means, the cost of the show will go up manifold," says Sagar.

As part of its plans to revamp the weekend, the channel is also introducing a movie band Pus Superhits in its Sunday afternoon space, at 12 am. Star Plus will open the campaign with movies such as Viruddh, Black and Main Hoon Naa.

The entry of Prithviraj Chauhan in the weekend prime time band also triggers off a slight reshuffle in the Star Plus prime time schedule. The 9:30 pm & 10 pm Friday through Saturday slots will be occupied by the popular weekend soap Baa Bahoo aur Baby and Shanno Ki Shaadi respectively. Jodee Kamaal Ki will be shifted to the 8 pm slot on Saturday and the same slot on Sunday will be filled by Sai Baba. From 8 May onwards, prime time soaps Miilee and Kavyanjali will be telecast from Mondays to Thursdays only.

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