Television

Sab tells the story of a Firefighter

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MUMBAI: While general entertainment channels (GECs) are busy solving fights between saas and bahus, one channel has been fighting the constant battle to make the viewer laugh.

MSM’s family comedy channel, Sab, after its recent back to back launches is once again bringing a unique comedy series revolving around the amusing trials and tales of the neighborhood’s favourite firefighter ‘Chandrakant Chiplunkar Seedi Bambawala’.

The tongue twister name is the first which has caught everyone’s fancy. According to Sab senior EVP and business head Anooj Kapoor, the main moto of keeping a long name was to grab people’s attention. “We have got tremendous response both in terms of the concept and the name. We got a feedback saying that nobody has been able to get the name at one go, and that is what struck the right chord. We wanted people to think the reason behind the name and ask us, what does it mean?”

Coming from a theatre background, NamanRaj Production’s Dharmesh Mehta is quite choosy when it comes to titles. He reveals that initially the title of the show was supposed to be Chandrakant Chiplunkar Ki Happy Family Wala. “One fine day when the writer was narrating the script to Anooj Ji, he used a word Seedi Bambawala, which means Fire Brigade in Gujarati, and it caught our attention. That was when, we finalised with the current title.”

The series is named after the protagonist and features industry veterans Prashant Damle and Kavita Lad as a Marathi - Gujarati couple. The story revolves around a fireman by the same name and how he faces difficulties in balancing between his personal and professional commitments but with a touch of comedy to it.

Kapoor believes that it is extremely difficult to get comedy storylines on-board. He recalls that last year, at least 20 pilots were made for Sab and he had accepted only one out of them. “It is very difficult to create quality within the genre. As I keep saying that in India we still have a limited talent pool of producers, writers, directors and actors. Sab has taken upon themselves a challenging task of producing six-seven daily comedies which is remarkable.”

The channel makes sure that the pipeline stays robust and Kapoor is thankful that they have been fortunate enough to regularly keep finding concepts that meet the channel’s stringent requirements.

It took the production house three months to conceptualise the show. When Mehta approached the channel with the concept, he already had a tentative cast at place.

Raju and Rajan, who were earlier associated with Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma, are the writers of the show. Four episodes have already been canned in the set located at Filmcity.

The show launching on 10 August will replace Lapataganj which has successfully completed 1500 episodes.

Kapoor reasons to launch the new show at 10pm slot was that even with Laptaganj doing well, there was a certain fatigue setting in. “We feel that the slot potential is a little more than what LG is doing currently. And the new show will be able to optimise that potential.”

Right now the channel has planned for 130 episodes. “The channel always starts a show with 130 episodes and then depending on the performance it either gets extended or dies a natural death,” points out Kapoor.

The show will be facing a tough competition with Pyar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyara Pyara on Star Plus, Laut Aao Trisha on Life OK, Aur…Pyaar Ho Gaya on Zee TV, Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi on Colors and Maharana Pratap on Sony.

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