Ekta Kapoor is taking the saas-bahu saga a step forward.
She and Star Plus are planning to launch a talent search across India and Pakistan for someone to play the granddaughter-in-law of Tulsi in Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
Does that mean she has a readymade script till end 2006? We ask her about her plans:
What will the talent hunt be about?
It will be a search for Tulsi's granddaughter-in-law in Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, a completely fresh new face.
There will be four episodes of a reality show and Star Plus will cover Tulsi and me going around in homes looking for that face. The first time transition in January where we have Tulsi going to jail for three years.
When she comes out she finds everything has totally changed. The whole family ignores her.
On April 1 Baa dies and April 10 the second major time transition occurs where we will have the repeat of Tulsi meeting Savita Virani (her mother-in-law). Now it will be Tulsi meeting her granddaughter-in-law.
What else do you have lined up in television?
Balaji has three new serials lined up. There's Kkavyanjali for Star Plus, Kya Isse Pyar Kehte Hain on the 8 pm slot at Sony and a high-powered weekend romance on 8 pm at Zee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on February 25. We are exploring the weekend format for the first time so I hope it works.
There are lots of slots like the 8 pm slot on Sony that we haven't explored that we shall be doing now. We shall also be looking at increasing our base in afternoon programmes and also go into international programming. In March, Star Plus and Balaji plan to launch the Indo-Pak talent hunt.
It's heard that you have plans to also go into film production in 2005?
Yes, in a big way. I want Balaji to be like a brand like Yash Raj Films (Yash Chopra) and Dharma Productions (Karan Johar) are in the film industry. We have already signed on Abbas-Mastan, Satish Kaushik, Raj Kanwar and a Sangeeth Sivan who has almost completed Kya Kool Hai Hum.
But your earlier films, Kuch Toh Hai and Krishna Cottage didn't do well at the box-office?
Today we have a strong infrastructure – a strong base of managers, directors who know their job and a chief financial officer who with a financial team will look into the budget and make sure that we won't lose money.
This time we plan to make sure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.
Earlier we had a TV staff looking into film production, directors who were good but fresh. We also chose wrong stories and concepts. Now we will have directors heading their own projects and completely dissect a project before taking it on.
So where do the big bucks lie?
Television. The real growth lies there. In 2005 we shall be taking a huge giant leap into television.