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500 episodes on, Star Plus’ ‘Veera’ claims story line maintained

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MUMBAI: In an age when peers play a more important role than the family, Ek Veer Ki Ardaas...Veera, a show on Star Plus tells a different story. The show is about a pious relationship of a brother-sister duo.

While brothers and sisters are usually always fighting, the makers of Veera adapted a different route. It started off showcasing a beautiful bond between the duo featuring talented kids Bhavesh Balchandani and Harshita Ojha as the lead pair touching the hearts of audiences and getting them hooked to the show. For Star, this was a big risk as it was replacing a popular show Pratigya.

Moreover, the slot it was launched at- 10:30 pm, was one with intense competition from shows like Bade Achhe Lagte Hain on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and Punar Vivaah on Zee TV.

Produced by Beyond Dreams Entertainment, the show was flagged off on 29 October 2012 and completed successful 500 episodes on 18 August 2014.

On the celebration mode, producer Yash Patnaik feels younger with every 100 episodes. “People say when you complete 500 episodes, it feels old. But we are getting younger with Veera. We have many stories to tell now,” he says.

Patnaik is happy the way Veera is panning out. Star Plus SVP marketing Nikhil Madhok and Patnaik believe that the USP of the show has been that it is character neutral. “We have many well defined characters that viewers can relate to. So we never run out of stories. Fortunately, for a show like this, it is not dependent on a central character,” says Patnaik. Apart from Veera and Ranveer, characters like Baldev, Ratan and Gunjan have an equally important role to play.

Madhok believes that in the first year, the main premise of a brother and sister who were not related by blood caught the fancy of a lot of older audiences. “They could relate to the emotion of the mother who had to deal with one child who is biologically hers and another one who is not. It had very mature emotions,” he says adding that the writer Purnendu Shekhar took it to a complete different level.

In the next phase, the makers and the channel decided to target the young audiences. It introduced a time leap of about 15 years with the characters grown up and a message of progressiveness.

“The aim was to convert the character with a large town mentality with the way Veera would dress and behave. This became her strong attribute. Similarly Ranveer became a musician, an unusual profession as far as Hindi GEC protagonists are concerned,” says Madhok.

Going forward, he reveals that viewers will get to witness the journey of Ranveer becoming a proper musician and will also see composition of original songs on the show itself.

Patnaik states that they haven’t deviated from the story at all. All the stages have been executed as planned. Just about 30 per cent of the plot has been told till now.

Industry sources reveal that the production cost ranges anywhere between Rs 6-8 lakh per episode. Madhok says Veera’s advertisers give a significant premium as compared to other shows. Media planners peg a 10 sec slot in the range of Rs 80,000 - Rs 1 lakh. Post the time leap, youth focused categories like telecom, apps and technology companies have come on-board as advertisers. But in the bargain, it did not lose traditional clients like FMCG products.

In week 33 of TAM TV ratings, Veera got dislodged from its leadership position with 4,991 TVTs. On the other side, it faces tough competition with Yudh on Sony Entertainment Television with 708 TVTs in the week 33 of TAM TV ratings, Uttaran on Colors with 2,436 TVTs, Savdhaan India: India Fights Back on Life OK with 2,721 TVTs, Doli Armaano Ki topped the slot with 5,378 TVTs and Tu Mere Agal Bagal Hai on Sab with 1,025 TVTs. 

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