Sahara tries a different approach to primetime

While other channels are still biting the family soap bait, Sahara TV has decided to tread the untrodden path with a new series on the theme of sati, to be slotted on the 8:30 pm prime time band.

Har Mod Par is the brainchild of Rakhi Tandon, who says she conducted extensive research on the theme of sati before finalising a real life story on which the serial will be based. Premiering on 4 March, the serial is about an innocent girl from the interiors of India who gets married and widowed on the same day. Tandon, the producer of the show, says she chose Sahara to showcase the battle of a girl against social evils, as it has a better reach in the interiors of the country along with a wide range of programmes.

A daily, Har Mod Par will be aired Mondays to Fridays, with repeats every day at 1:30 pm. The show could well play a crucial role in the channel's programming, which is scheduled for a total revamp around March 2002. Says Tandon,"It will not be a social documentary, but an eye opener in an entertaining way." According to one of the directors of the show, Jitendra Kumar, the team screened more than 400 young girls and even postponed the shoot for more than five months till they could find the right face for the lead role. Tandon says she has two directors, Kumar and Rahul Mewawala for the show, as a daily series involves a lot of post production and shooting work. The serial has currently been sanctioned a run of 260 episodes. The shooting for Har Mod Par is on at Charkop in suburban Mumbai, where the small town ambience has been recreated to accuracy.

While Tandon is tight lipped about the costs involved, she maintains that it is a medium budget show. Quizzed as to why Sahara picked this concept for a show, channel VP Priya Raj said,"As a channel, we are not in the TRP race. As a communication major, our target is to reach to the maximum viewers who are not covered by other channels. We have always provided different kind of content. With this serial too we are looking to provide fresh content to our viewers." While no advertisers have been firmed up for the show, Raj said the channel follows a procedure of package selling wherein two or three programmes are sold as a package.

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