Pritha Mitra Dasgupta
After shelving two big Balaji Telefilms properties—Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii—recently, the Star Group is gearing up to launch a new set of programmes. Despite the fallout with long-term content partner Balaji, Star has picked a new show titled Tujh Sang Preet Lagayi Sajna from the Balaji camp to replace Kahani. However, Balaji as well as Star refused to divulge any information as to whether Indian audiences will witness more Balaji magic on Star Plus.
In their heydays, for more than six years, Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi dominated the prime time slot. Both shows garnered some of the highest television ratings during their peak.
Despite a fall in ratings of late, Star still commands Rs 1 lakh for a 10-second advertising slot for both shows. However, given intense competition from Colors, the new general entertainment channel from the Viacom18 group, Star is planning to launch three-four new shows.
Incidentally, when SGL Entertainment Ltd, part of the Star Group that operates the Hindi general entertainment channel Star Plus, issued a notice terminating Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi from November 10, Balaji Telefilms accused Star of breach of contract.
In a communiqué on the Bombay Stock Exchange, Balaji said, "The company is of the view that the termination is in breach of contractual obligations owed by the Star Group to the company and it is pursuing all legal remedies available in relation to the same." One of Star Group's top officials, who didn't want to be named, said, "The matter is currently sub-judice. However, it doesn't stop us from launching new Balaji shows. They will continue to be our content producers."
Nivedita Basu, a creative head of Balaji Telefilms declined to comment on the legal proceedings against Star. "As of now, one new show is being launched on Star Plus. I do not know about the future plans of Balaji," she said.
Even Suraj Rao, another creative head at Balaji Telefilms, who is handling Tujh Sang Preet Lagayi Sajna is of the same opinion. "The new show is about two friends turned enemies, and what happens when their grandchildren fall in love," he said. Although not a typical saas-bahu saga, Rao said that the new shoe is "completely family oriented".
7 months ago