MUMBAI: The channel is known for its offbeat shows, and yet manages to be on the top three of the TAM ratings every now and then, and doing that is not an easy task. From domestic violence to spirituality, the channel has experimented with various genres.
“After beating Colors for four consecutive weeks, the pressure from our bosses has increased tremendously,” laughs Life OK general manager Ajit Thakur.
Keeping with its philosophy of creating content through differentiation, Life OK is back with a new series Laut Aao Trisha (LAT). Delving into strong social issues, the new show is not so different from the channel’s current offerings. Come 21 July, every Monday to Friday at 10 pm, viewers will get to witness one of the boldest content ever on Indian television screens. Life OK brings to the fore topics which in general have not found a standing in the general entertainment space.
LAT will see the return of Bollywood’s sweetheart Bhagyashree Patwardhan in the lead role along with television stars Rajeshwari Badola, Jai Kalra and Eijaz Khan.
Adapted from the highly acclaimed Spanish telenovela Dónde está Elisa? (Where is Elisa?) (The Missing), the series revolves around the quest of a mother in search of her missing daughter. What if the person who has committed the crime is within the family? The channel which has talked about crimes outside has now taken on crime within the house, with this show.
The channel has kept the storyline almost the same compared to the adapted ones.
Life OK has always aimed to work with new people, new producers and writers and with LAT it has also done the same. Produced by 24 Frames’ Nandita Mehra and Bhairavi Raichura, along with BP Singh of Fireworks Productions, it is an intriguing story full of tricky plots that deals with the issue of in-family crimes. The writers of the show are Raghuvir Shikhawat and Amit.
According to Raichura (Balika Vadhu fame), it is an interesting storyline with an interesting star cast. “The concept won’t only attract women audiences, but every individual who believes in social issues. Plus, the star cast which will add spice to the storyline making it more real with real emotions.”
The show is a finite one as the channel does not believe in dragging storylines. “It is a 10-12 month storyline. I don’t think it is a new genre, we have done this in the past with Saubhagyavati Bhava, a social thriller, and this show is an extension of it. Every second week, you will see a new suspect,” revealed Thakur.
Thakur informs that in terms of boldness, the channel had to tone down a bit keeping Indian audiences in mind. “The original show is very bold, we have toned down the boldness and which is why we have decided to air it at 10 pm and not earlier. By Indian standards, it will be by far the boldest show ever on television.”
With TV being a family viewing medium, Life OK programming head Yuvraj Bhattacharya was initially a little apprehensive about calling LAT a family show. “If you have your book, magazine or an iPad, you can actually have a private and a personal consumption of content which is not possible in the case of TV. I was nervous about it. Now that I have seen about eight to nine episodes which are ready to go on-air, I am confident that this is still a family show.”
With the initial episodes being shot in Goa, the set is located at Filmcity, Mumbai.
Though the channel terms the show bold – it is not a regular candy-floss love story - LAT will allow a family to sit together and watch it. Bhattacharya believes that there is always a thin line. The producers have been working for more than a year on this project. “It is a show that where you can easily go wrong. Now we feel that it is the step forward for Indian television,” said Bhattacharya.
Thakur revealed that, unlike other fiction shows, this is a high-budget show. “It is more expensive than any other fiction show because of the cast which was more expensive than the regular cast of the show. Overall, by regular standards, it is a more expensive show.”
Life OK is investing heavily on digital apart from television. Promos are running on a big scale across all the Star network channels as well as on other channels apart from the kids genre channels.
This story is a thriller and as family drama has taken front stage in this show, people are sure to watch it, said a confident Thakur. “For the women viewers, it will still have that social thriller drama and that urge to see what happens to a mother who loses her teenage daughter. For male viewers, while they follow the story, they will also see how the police investigation is happening in context of the family.”
LAT is going to compete with Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara on Star Plus. About the competition at 10 pm slot, Thakur comments: “How does that matter to us? We have nothing to lose. We do not look at competition at all. We are way different from kitchen soaps and whoever is bored, can come and watch something new on Life OK.”
According to a media planner, LAT is not likely to attract much of the audiences because of its bold content. “For housewives, who are used to watching soaps, it is difficult for them to follow a storyline of this kind.” Many households today depend on one TV set, and such kind of content can only create the sense of awkwardness, he feels.