DD eyes balance of role as entertainer & pubcaster; to launch 4 new shows

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan is making headway in playing dual roles of being an entertainer and at the same time shouldering its responsibilities as a public service broadcaster.

Senior Doordarshan (DD) executives indicate that they have to walk on the razor’s edge as they have take care of their public service broadcaster responsibilities even as they entertain audiences.

As a step towards achieving this goal, the pubcaster will soon be launching four new shows in various genres. It may be recalled that in August too, DD had revamped its programming by launching five new shows. 

DD director general C. Lalrosanga and deputy director general Deepa Chandra said that DD could not be complacent because it had the largest reach in the country. “Bringing a channel on television and then ensuring it gets good viewership is a major task in itself, particularly for a public service broadcaster,” Chandra said.

Chandra added, “The slow and steady approach adopted by us to garner good viewership and ratings has started to show promising results. Keeping with that, our second stage of introducing fresh content in prime time band is beginning from 19 October.”

The four new shows that will go on air this month include two crime shows - IPS Diary and Mashaal, a love saga titled Albeli – Kahaani Pyaar Ki and a musical reality show called Sur Sagar.

Sur Sagar will, for the first time, see music bands competing against each other and not just singers or dancers. The weekend reality show will have three judges namely Leslie Lewis, Soham Chabraborty and Shilpa Rai. The show will go on air from 31 October and will be aired on Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm.

The USP of the hourly show will lie in the fact that both bands and singers share a common platform, and 20 bands and 20 singers have been shortlisted to compete for the title in the show. Live auditions were held in six cities: Delhi, Amritsar, Lucknow, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

The show will also be unique in that it will promote the original compositions of the singers and bands and not depend on film songs. The first season will have 52 episodes.

Lewis said he had agreed to be on the show after seeing the massive change in content on DD National, adding that a good song appeals to all. Director Shonal Bose and music director Siddharth added that bands were being given recognition for the first time, despite the fact that all shows featuring singers or dances always had a musical accompaniment.

The second show - IPS Diary, will see Kavita Chaudhary as the presenter and anchor. The show will be telecast from 19 October everyMonday and Tuesday at 10.30 pm.

It may be recalled that Chaudhary had became a cult figure with her role of a woman police officer in Doordarshan’s Udaan series almost two decades earlier. In IPS Diary, she appears as a retired IPS officer relating the tale of some of the crimes solved by her.

Chaudhary said that the aim of the show will not be to frighten people as crime shows on some other channels did, but to send out a positive signal that there were ways to fight the crime wave. At the same time, she said being a public service channel did not mean that DD should stop entertaining people. Producer Rajesh Beri, who is known for his crime shows on other channels said, “I do not want to sell the pains of others.”

The third show is yet another crime show titled Mashaal, which will launch on 21 October and will be telecast on Wednesday and Thursdayat 10.30 pm. Actor director Rajiv Kumar said that this series was based on actual crime stories, which have been cleverly changed to avoid any controversies. The show’s aim was to tell the people how they could change the system.

The fourth show titled Albeli will see actor Karan Trivedi, who had appeared as a child star in the Hamraahi many years earlier, as the show’s male lead. The series is the story of a poor girl marrying a rich boy, and will be telecast five days a week at 9.30 pm from 26 October.

The show has been written by Harsha Jagdish. “Entertainment cannot be without a message and a soul. It is often said that the man and the woman in a relationship are like two wheels of a horse-pulled cart but I have attempted to show that there are times when either the husband or the wife have to take on the role of the ‘saarthi’ (driver) as well,” she said.

In reply to a question, Chandra said that unlike the previous practice of some series being run only twice or once a week, DD was gradually moving to the five days a week pattern. However, she added that DD would make sure that no series went on endlessly.

DD officials also said that they were aware that the channel’s largest audience was in the 15 to 40 age group and had therefore planned its programmes accordingly.

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