Television

Akshay Kumar forays into TV production with Zee’s ‘Jamai Raja’

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MUMBAI: In the world of evil in-laws, it is the petite and innocent bahus who have been made to do household work as well as tortured enough. But, it’s time to put an end to it.

Zee with its new property aptly titled Jamai Raja will break the stereotype and ask – if the bahus have done it all along, why can’t the son-in-law?

Come 4 August, the channel will convey the message ‘enough of the women, let’s go on men now’. The new series will replace Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se, which has been struggling to get numbers, and air on weekdays at 8:30 pm.

The son-in-law, without a doubt, has enjoyed great importance in Indian culture, but the upcoming show will show the male protagonist proactively take on what has been otherwise considered a woman’s prerogative, and embark on a journey of setting right the discord between his wife and mother-in-law, after marriage.

“I don’t think there has ever been a moment where Zee has been afraid of taking risks,” says the channel’s programming head Namit Sharma while elaborating that the channel never shied away from experimenting with content, be it any genre.  From Rishtey, Gubbare, Jhansi Ki Rani to Qubool Hai and Cinestars Ki Khoj, the shows have tried to capture all aspects of human emotions.

The show is produced by Ashwini Yardi and actor Akshay Kumar who will make his debut as television producer under the banner Grazing Goats Pictures. The duo is co-producing it along with Sagar Pictures.

The new offering is set against the swish backdrop of south Mumbai’s upscale Cuffe Parade and will star Ravi Dubey (Siddharth), Nia Sharma (Roshni), Achint Kaur (DD) playing the sophisticated mother-in-law and Apara Mehta as the uber cool naani. Popular faces like Delnaz Irani and Shruti Ulfat will be seen play significant parts in the show.

 “We are always trying to do something new with various producers, directors, writers and actors. There is no dearth of support when you want to take risks at Zee because our management really believes in that. Until we don’t innovate, we are not living up to our reputation,” believes Sharma.

He recalls the moment when he had joined Zee in February, this year, the show was his first project in the channel. “I have lived the journey with this show since its inception. Yardi came up with the brief; we approved and started working on it.”

According to Yardi, who makes her comeback on TV after two years, believes the small screen will always be her first priority and then the big screen. “It’s been a while since I was associated with TV, but Zee gave me an opportunity to narrate this beautiful drama and take it to various homes.”

She believes that there are different ways of seeing the same story and will touch every member of the family. “We are not targeting men with this show. We are targeting the entire family including housewives. We want the women to catch hold of their husbands and sons and make them watch,” laughs Yardi.

The set is located at Naigaon with 10-12 episodes already canned.

The new offering will have a cut-to-cut competition with the best performing shows like Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah on Sab and Mahabharat on Star Plus.

“Every slot is important for us. For me as a programmer, the main challenge is to deliver good quality of content rather than look at numbers,” highlights Sharma.

Though the makers and channel are confident about its new property, planners believe it is ‘just another show’. “Every show and every broadcaster claims it to be a different concept, but how well the story unfolds is important,” says a media planner.

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