Television

Channels geared up to entertain viewers on I-Day weekend

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As the nation gears up to celebrate its 56th Independence Day, television channels are not about to take a back seat.

Channels have arranged an array of shows for the benefit of viewers, not just on 15 August but also for the weekend that follows. Seems like they have gone out of their way to give die-hard couch potatoes a great extended weekend.

Indiantelevision.com takes a brief look at what the channels have planned to keep the viewers entertained on I-Day:

NDTV

The show will see Bollywood star Aamir Khan and NDTV news anchor Barkha Dutt spending quality time with army soldiers on the Dras and Kargil sectors at Pakistan border. The duo spent over five days with the Indian Army during which time they mixed freely with soldiers, exchanged anecdotes and brought them surprise gifts and video messages from their families. "The idea is to convey to the jawans that India cares."

NDTV will telecast Jai Jawan, an exclusive two-hour show on NDTV India and NDTV 24X7 at 9 pm and 10:30 pm respectively, on 15 August.

24X7 will also air an interview with cartoonist and ?common man? RK Laxman in its half-an-hour show X-Factor hosted by Rajdeep Sardesai as a precursor to Jai Jawan. This show will start at 10 pm.

While the viewers? verdict is still awaited, the media fraternity appears to have bought into the idea. Many of the media professionals that indiantelevision.com spoke to found the effort on the part of NDTV as noteworthy.

Star News

Star News will launch Mera Gaon Mera Desh, a programme about rural India catching up with it?s urban counterpart on the Independence Day. While it will be aired as a special half-hour episode on 15 August, a weekly 15-minute daily will begin from 18 August at 5.45 pm.

The show will talk about how new age technology and innovations have touched the lives of developing India.

Sony Entertainment Television India

SET has an extravaganza lined up for I-Day starting 10:30 am. The day for Sony will begin with Dance Dhamaal, in which actor Govinda will boogie away with Bollywood actresses.

At 1 pm, the channel will telecast Sanjay Chhel?s film Kya Dil Ne Kaha, starring Tusshar Kapoor, Esha Deol, Rajesh Khanna and Raj Babbar.

Shava Shava Pravasi Bhartiya Divas at 4.30 pm will be a special feat for non-resident Indians. Actors like Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Urmila Matondkar, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan and Simran have been roped in to give a stage performance for it. Music -- new age as well as traditional -- will be the highlight of this show. Look forward to world-renowned percussionist Trilok Gurtu and ghatam player Vikku Vinayakram?s jugalbandi and UK-based singer Malkit Singh?s Bhangra pop.

At 7 pm, the channel will end its celebrations on the note of struggle for freedom with its Kkusum Special. This will be a one-hour episode on Kkusum?s struggle to create her own identity in the world.

Zee TV

Zee TV has lined up five movies for the day: They are The Hero, Gadar, Legend of Bhagat Singh, Krantiveer and Tirangaa.

Channel [V]

Channel [V] will take the Freedom Express ?03- Kargil se Kanyakumari Tak on I-Day. The show will see VJ Purab and Yudi, Euphoria vocalist Dr Palash Sen and Punjabi pop star Sukhbir, travel across India by foot, trucks, boats, buses, bullock carts, cars and aircrafts. Their quest: to understand what freedom means to the millions of Indians across the country!

The show will be relayed thrice on 15 August (at 10 am, 3 pm, 7 pm) and repeated on the following two days (at 2 pm and 9 pm respectively). Viewers will see the Freedom Express spreading the message of peace and unity and stirring patriotism among people.

Sukhbir?s song Aisa Hai Hindustan, composed during this trip, has used the backdrop of Freedom Express in its video. Palash Sen?s Aisa Hai Jaha, also recorded during the journey, has been dedicated to the nation.

The team traveled through the country in two teams for seven days for the show.

MTV

Though MTV has no programme highlights especially for I-Day, the channel will flag off its 7 MTV and Hero Honda Roadies from Chennai on 15 August.

The roadies include Divya Shukla (18) from Bangalore, Tony Kordelia (20) from Pune, Mini Goel (19) and Ranjit Bajaj (24) from Chandigarh, Rannvijay Singh Singha (20) and Natasha Gulati (21) from Delhi and Iqnoor Bains (21) from Rajpura in Punjab. The channel says the contestants were selected after tough search which lasted 20 days in five cities. They received over 6,000 entries for the show.

The roadies will start their toughest adventurous ride on the I-Day. The show will test their limits of endurance, physically and emotionally. For the following 40 days they will live on the road, create new relationships and bonds and form a whole new family. At the end, each roadie will win a 223cc Hero Honda ?Karizma?.

ETC

ETC Networks? channels, etc Music and etc Punjabi, have great plans for 15 August under its credo Aakhir Dil Hai Hindustani.

In etc Punjabi, the channel will air Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani, a half-an-hour show, starting 11.30 am. The show will discuss the events and experiences pertaining to the Indian army. Veteran actress Tabassum will anchor the show, which will be interspersed with patriotic songs.

etc Music will telecast Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo at 7.30 pm. The show will see anchor Suresh Menon chatting up lead pair of Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya, Kapil and Saloni. The trio will talk about independence and pledge loyalty to our leaders, freedom fighters amid a string patriotic songs.

All through the day, the two channels will have Indipop singers crooning patriotic songs, Bollywood stars greeting viewers, and anchor Suresh Menon wishing them in different languages. The repeats will continue through the following two days.

B4U

The B4U Music crew has visited the young cadets and officers at The National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakvasla, to celebrate the I-Day week. The series of shows, which began on 11 august, sees VJ Keith having a blast at the Academy.

Every day till 15 August, Just Request at 4 pm shows song dedications by the cadets. At 6 pm viewers are given a glimpse into NDA?s daily training and unwinding on Video Active, at 6.30 pm their favourite tunes are played on I Like. These programmes will continue through the weekend.

Discovery

Discovery Channel has planned a series of nine India specific programmes for 15 August. Their extensive shows will pay a tribute to the rich culture and heritage of this country.

I-Day programmes will start with Amazing Worlds: India at 1 pm. The hour-long episode will captures India?s spirit as revealed on the city streets. It will show India?s religious diversity and focus on the country being the second largest jewel and gem producer in the world.

At 2.30, Sacred Flamingoes of Lake Bhamke, will delve into the beliefs that surround the cycle of death and rebirth in India. The proagramme will visit the lake Bhamke to uncover the legend of the Rabari princess who was transformed into a pink flamingo.

Tigers Next Door, at 3 pm, is woven around the Indian tigress Sita and her cubs. Filmed in the forest of Bandhavgarh in Central India, the show will express that the political changes sweeping across the nation could mean a better future for the locals and tigers alike.

Destination Rajasthan, to be telecast at 4 pm will cover to the region?s unique cultures and sights. The show will visit markets that sell everything from spices to saris, profile the architecture and arts of three different religions, watch camel races and elephant processions, meet pilgrims and merchants, gem cutters and stonemasons.

At 6 pm Himalayas: Descending India will captures the skiers in Himachal Pradesh. All shows will be telecast again at night.

NGC

The National Geographic Channel (NCG) will broadcast a two-and-a-half hour programme Tricolour Dreams at 8 pm on 15 August. The show will meet three Indians from different fields to illustrate the myriad personas of new India. Herpetologist Gerry Martin, tiger conservationist Latika Rana and actor Hrithik Roshan are profiled.

Star Gold

Star Gold will run a 24-hours movie marathon starting 12 midnight, for I-Day. It will start with Dharmendra?s Tahalka. At 4 am, Chetan Anand?s Haqeeqat, at 8.30 a.m, award-winning Shahid Udham Singh, at 12 noon Sunny Deol?s Zor, 4 pm J P Dutta?s Border will be telecast.

At 8 pm, an event In Celebration of a Nation, will mark the finale the celebrations.

Zee MGM

Zee MGM will be telecasting a series of interesting movies. It has pitched When Harry Met Sally at 11 am, Cider House Rules at 1.30 pm, Heartbreakers at 4 pm, Serendipity at 6:30, Birthday Girl at 9 pm and Fargo at 11 pm.

Raj TV

It is movies for Tamil language channel Raj TV with two films branded Independence Day Mega Movies as its main attraction. Parthen Rasithen airs at 2 pm and the Kamal Hassan starrer Kalingan at 8 pm.

Star Vijay

Star India?s Tamil channel Star Vijay has a more diverse I-Day menu on offer. From 9 am to 10 am, the channel will air a light-hearted debate hosted by Dindigul Leoni, a famous reviewer, on the title Cinema Padalgall Penmaiyai Azhagu Paduthugiratha.

At 10 am, a show by comedian Vivek will delve on issues ranging from the lifestyle of women today, to the future of our nation.

Then at 1 pm veteran actor Kamal Hassan will talk about his latest initiative Sandiyar and the controversy it has stirred. An Independence Day Special, Kodikaatha Kumaran hosted by Kumari Anandan, at 3.30 pm will be the last special show for the day. The show is about the Independence legend Tirupur Kumaran.

Radio City (91 FM)

Star India?s FM station has also readied I-Day plans. Radio City?s 91 FM in New Delhi will air a special on chief minister Sheila Dikshit. The CM will recall the Dawn of Independence on the programme Josh from 8 am to 11 am.

She will talk about the day India got Independence, when she was just 10 years old; on her dreams for Delhi; her likes and dislikes on films; music and the new lease of life that radio has got in India, among other topics.

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