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Posted: 03 October 2013 at 10:26am | IP Logged


Interview: Ajit Thakur, General Manager, Life OK, on programming strategy


After creating significant buzz with Ramleela' featuring Ajay Devgn in last year's festival season, Life OK has raised the ante to strike a chord with viewers this festive season. The channel launched Mahadev Putra Bal Ganesh ke Adventures' during Ganpati which airs on Saturdays and Sundays in the 7 PM slot and will run till Diwali. Besides, the channel is launching Bachelorette India' in October in the 9.30 PM time band on weekdays. While the channel has gained momentum post IPL this year, the special programming for this festive season seems to add more excitement to it.

Newsroom spoke to Ajit Thakur, General Manager, Life OK, on his plans for the channel this festive season and his vision for the channel. Excerpts:

What is the idea behind Mahadev Putra Bal Ganesh ke Adventures', especially as Mahadev' is already on-air and the show will have the same characters?
Ganesha is grown up in Mahadev' and is the third most popular character after Mahadev and Parvati. There are several stories around Ganesha which couldn't be told in Mahadev'. So we planned to do an entire limited series during this festive season. No other channel has original programming in the 7 PM time band on weekends and through this we are targeting families along with kids. Mahadev Putra Bal Ganesh ke Adventures' will strengthen our weekend line-up that includes Mumbai Fights Back', Shapath', UP Fights Back'.

Isn't Mahadev being stretched simply because it is doing well on ratings?
Mahadev is also a finite series and the show will end as the story gets over, and every addition is linked with Mahadev. Besides Shiv Puran, there are several important literatures on Mahadev, Kartikeya and Ganesha across the country which we simply couldn't have ignored. So, there is no question of stretching the show. For example, if we picked Ramayan, it was to tell people how Mahadev, Ram and Hanuman were linked.

Life OK is all set to kick off October with its first big-ticket show. What prompted a high-cost show which you have resisted so far?
In the past, we have done reality shows like Sach Ka Saamna' with Rajeev Khandelwal and Welcome', but we stayed away from shiny floored, big non-fiction shows so far. We were of the view that we need to get some momentum before we invested on big-ticket shows. Thus, Bachelorette India' is certainly the biggest and costliest show ever on Life OK to build up for our second anniversary. It is a five-week show starting October 7 and consists of 26 episodes. For this five-week series we will be shooting for 13 weeks. By scheduling it on weekdays, we want the whole family to enjoy the show.
Our line-up for the festive season is usually focused at creating buzz for high brand recall. For example, people relate Ramleela' with Life OK.

Bachelorette India' is pitted against an established reality show, Bigg Boss'. How confident are you about its success?
Bigg Boss' caters to a completely different set of audience while Bachelorette India' is meant for family viewing. We are confident that we will perform better against Bigg Boss' as, beyond a point, people find it uncomfortable to watch Bigg Boss' with the family. So Bachelorette India' will give them a perfect dose of reality entertainment. Not only that, we are confident that Bachelorette India' will also help Hindi GECs grow the pie.

What's your immediate goal with fresh programming line-up?
Post IPL, we started Do Dil Ek Jaan, Ek Boond Ishq' and now we are all set to launch Bachelorette India'. These shows, combined with our entire new weekend line-up, make Life OK's arsenal quite competitive. I'm sure this push will help us grow by 15-20 per cent and achieve our goals.
When LC1 towns were added to TAM measurement in January 2013, every channel crashed including us. We were down to 110 GRPs that kept improving every passing week. Among men, we have moved from 90 to 140 GRPs and among women we have moved from 120 to 170 GRPs. Overall, we aim to reach 170-180 GRPs by the end of this year. To be honest, we don't plan for rankings, rather we plan for steady and consistent growth. Our focus also remains to become more talked about channel and Bachelorette India' is certainly going to create buzz for us. In the process, we will continue to be a channel for family viewing. With a variety of programming mix, we will be targeting male, female and kids in one TV household.

What about profitability? Creating buzz with high-cost shows must be hitting profitability?
If a channel reaches a steady 150 GRPs in the second year, there is a certain profitability growth attached to it. In calendar year ending June 2013, which was Life OK's first full financial year, we were the first channel to be profitable in the first year of operation. So, could we have done big shiny shows? We could have, but they are expensive and still deliver ratings of 2 to 4 TVR. Such shows make losses and they are almost similar to what everybody else is doing.

Life OK is profitable, it has successfully created buzz. What else about the channel brings cheer for you?
Today, when you watch GECs on weekdays, you will find similar daily soaps on every channel with the exception of Life OK and one more channel. Even the GEC weekend line-up is not much different. Our interactions with viewers show that they watch Life OK as one of the two different channels and their first perception about the channel is that it's different'. Our ambition was to be a competition to Star Plus, but by doing things differently. We succeeded in being different and real.

Moreover, the overwhelming response from our viewers acknowledging our efforts towards issues pertinent to our society ranging from domestic violence to conservation of the Ganges to terrorism and crime has been very satisfactory. And whatever have we achieved so far is because of the young team which has delivered Life OK.

But isn't it true that Life OK is hugely dependent upon one show - Mahadev?
When we asked our viewers about the show they watch on Life OK, majority of them turned out to be Mahadev fans. And we were fine with as every channel starts with one popular show. But now, if we go to the same set of people, they talk about four shows on an average - Mahadev, Savdhaan India, Shapath and Do Dil Ek Jaan. So it's a good sign that we have moved from one popular show to multiple popular shows.

Did you feel any pressure of 10+2 ad cap if implemented successfully?
The ad cap is linked to viewers' experience of watching television and as broadcasters we are all obliged to give viewers a better experience every year. One such step was digitisation and another is ad cap, and I'm very supportive of the view that eventually we must deliver a better experience for our audiences. Yes, it will bring some revenue challenges but it will attract more viewers which is equally important.
.
How much have you been benefited with TAM data reporting in TVT?
Of course TVT is helping the entire broadcast industry. Earlier, the reporting was not capturing the increased footprint of channels. For us, when LC1 towns were included, our footprint increased by 20 per cent, and this was not even reflecting in TVR or GRP. Now we are able to see the growth in terms of absolute number of viewers.
Did TVT data help you increase revenue figures or at least increase spot/sponsorship rates for delivering more audiences or advertisers are still buying spots/sponsorship on the basis of TVR?
The industry is getting used to TVT and I'm sure, in future, revenue will be driven by every eyeball that we reach out to. Currently we are in the middle of annual deals, hence I'd say it is still work in progress. But eventually the industry will move to TVT for buying also as it is a fair measurement of the reach of any channel.

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Posted: 04 October 2013 at 4:34am | IP Logged
Rival site - Mohit's Interview

according to the Rival Site article.. which is an interview of Mohit Raina..

the actor says that he is really speechless on the commendable success of Devon Ke Dev.. Mahadev.

On being asked tht whether he is bored of playing Mahadev, Raina replies tht he is not and that the show has crossed that point where it becomes boring.. 

one being asked about the plethora of Mythos adoring the small screen, he says that every era has it's own charm and people are also interested in the story and the VFX etc

also on being asked about his journey in Mahadev.. Mohit says tht it has been fulfiling  and by the grace of Mahadev he has essayed so many character in this show that an actor gets to perform later in his life..!

further he denies invitation for Nach Baliye 6  and whole heartedly thanks his fans for the support to the show



Edited by Proud-India - 04 October 2013 at 4:33am
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Posted: 05 October 2013 at 12:40am | IP Logged

Mohit Raina a wild card entry for The Bachelorette India?

Swasti Chatterjee, TNN | Oct 5, 2013, 12.00 AM IST
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Mohit Raina a wild card entry for The Bachelorette India?
Mohit Raina
While 1,27,000 men sent in their entries and 30 shortlisted contestants wait with baited breath! Who wins this battle to win over Mallika's love remains to be seen? But that's not all. 

Sources suggest that a wild card entry in Life OK's The Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika is expected to change the game. There is a buzz that the very charming, Mohit Raina has been approached to participate in The Bachelorette India as a wild card entrant. 

A source says, "Mohit Raina who has made the hearts of several women flutter has been approached to enter the show as a wild card entrant. In fact, the team had received several requests by other celebrity suitors; however only Mohit Raina fits the bill. He is a very popular TV actor who has taken the nation by the storm with his television show Devon Ke Dev Mahadev. However there is no surety whether or not he would agree to be a part of the show." 

While Mallika waits for her tall, well built, sharp dresser and a self made man; does she already have an image of Mohit in her mind? Only time will tell!

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Posted: 05 October 2013 at 1:03am | IP Logged

Vishal Kotian soon to produce a new show on SAB TV!

Actor turned producer Vishal Kotian is gearing up with his new show on SAB TV, which will hit the tube by this year end.



Friday, October 04, 2013 | 6:30:55 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)   |  Copyright: www.india-forums.com/TellyBuzz  |  Comments 1 Comments  |  1665 Views

The very talented actor Vishal Kotian, who is presently a part of the popular mythological show Devon Ke Dev. Mahadev, essaying the coveted role of Lord Hanuman is gearing up with his new project.

The handsome actor who has also turned a producer has already tried his hands in the production world with his debut show 'Tedhe Medhe Hain Par Tere Mere Hain' on SAB TV. Adding more to the list, Vishal's production house, named Drama Queen Company is all set to explore a new dimension of comedy.

Says our source, "Yes, you heard it right! Vishal's upcoming new venture is a comedy show, which will air on SAB TV. Vishal is not only producing it, but will also act in the same show."

When contacted the actor-cum-producer Vishal, he confirms, "Yes, my production house is working on a new show. Basically, it's going to be a comedy based show, which will air onSAB TV, respectively."

On being asked to divulge some more details about his new show, Vishal tried not to disclose much about it. He says, "At present, I can only say that it's a very good comedy-centric show about kids and elders. Since the show will be featured on SAB TV, it will maintain its notion of only smiles and no tears!"

Furthermore, when quizzed Vishal about the name of the show, he refused to reveal the name at this early stage. "It's too early to announce the name of the show. However, all I can say is it's going to be a daily show and will most probably go on air by December this year", concluded Vishal.

We at TellyBuzz, wish Vishal and his production house all the good luck for his future endeavors!

Monica Varma


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Posted: 05 October 2013 at 2:47am | IP Logged

If our Telly town actresses are given the power of Goddess Durga?

On the auspicious occasion of Navratri, TellyBuzz got in touch with the leading ladies of our Telly land to find out what evil would they want to eliminate from the society if facilitated with the power of Goddess Durga!



Saturday, October 05, 2013 | 1:10:48 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)   |  Copyright: www.india-forums.com/TellyBuzz  |  Comments 11 Comments  |  715 Views

As the festival of Navratri has arrived, which is celebrated more joy and enthusiasm in India; we honor the divine Shakti of Goddess Durga and look up to her for blessings, guidance and enlightenment. Each set of nights also corresponds with a particular spiritual goal and task. 

Therefore, on the much-awaited onset of Navratri festival, TellyBuzz got in touch with the leading ladies of Telly town and quizzed them on...

If they had the power of Durga- the Goddess of Shakti for a day, what evil would they want to eliminate and why?



Pooja Gor- presently seen as a host of Savdhaan India @11 on Life OK.

"There are too many evils in our society that you can't even count them on fingers. Yet, one evil that needs to be eradicated from its roots is illiteracy. I believe every individual needs to be literate, as illiteracy is the root cause of all the problems prevailing in the society. In fact, if you remember, this is the first thing we learnt in Social studies in school. Hence, if I get the power of Goddess Durga, I would like to team up with Saraswati and Laxmi to bless the society."


Chhavi Pandey- presently seen as Tara in Ek Boond Ishq on Life OK.

"If I'm provided with the command of Maa Durga in real life, I would want to eliminate rapists from the society because they are the biggest devil existing on the earth at present and therefore, women are not safe anywhere. In fact, I would punish them in the worst ever way! Just like Goddess Durga vanquished the demons and gained victory over the evil, in a similar way, rapists are no less than demons. Thus, I strongly desire to eradicate this particular evil from our society and let the woman lead a secure life."


Giaa Manek- presently essaying the character of Jeannie in Jeannie Aur Juju on SAB TV

"If ever given the power of Goddess Durga, I would want to abolish the feeling of insecurity in everyday life. In addition to this, I would also eradicate all the devil thoughts brewing in human mind and facilitate the females with the same opportunities that males have in our society. Lastly, I would also ensure safety and security for women as a human being."



Shrenu Parikh- presently seen as Aastha in Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon... Ek Baar Phir on Star Plus

"I would want to eliminate the evil of fear'. By this I mean, fear of losing and fear of weakness. I would also like to remove the fear of cockroaches from myself so that I can face life and be stronger!" (Laughs)



Rubina Dilaik- presently essaying the character of Sita in Devon Ke Dev. Mahadev on Life OK

"If blessed with the power of Durga, I would eliminate ego' from everyone's heart because only then true and unconditional love will permeate!"



Aashka Goradia- seen as Maharani Deer Bhai Bhatayani in Bharat Ka Veer Putra - Maharana Paratap on Sony TV.

"If I had Durga Ma's power then, I would kill the germ of not valuing life in total. It would actually be an endless list but still, I would kill human germs, that's all I know"



Shruti Seth- presently seen as a host of Comedy Circus Ke Mahabali on Sony TV.

"If I had the power of Durga- the Goddess of Shakti for a day, I would definitely eliminate disrespect towards human life and nature, because to disrespect life is to abandon God himself."



Ragini Khanna- last seen as a host of India's Best Dramebaaz on Zee TV.

"If given the supremacy to eliminate evil from this world, I would want to change the mentality of thinking of women as mere objects. Also, I would like to infuse some sensitivity in people who are insensitive towards others."


Aakanksha Singh- fame of Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha as Megha on Colors.

"If I had the power of Durga, I would definitely eliminate the crime against women, their exploitation, social evils like rape, dowry and other issues. I believe that the divine Maa Durga exists in every woman, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe; the only thing is just to realize is the power. And I don't think I really need to give reason for this, because with the present state of the country, everybody knows the reason very well."



Chitrashi Rawat- last seen as Jwalamukhi Chautala inF.I.R on SAB TV.

"Rather than eliminating, I would want to have the power to give away everyone a compassionate heart, peace of mind and a happy soul."


Sneha Wagh- presently seen as Ratan in Veera on Star Plus.

"If I had the power of Durga, I would not want it just for a day but for a long time because just one day will not be enough to wipe out all the evil and immorality existing in our society. First thing first, I would love to change the minds of a few people and inculcate some sense of righteousness in them. I believe that evil is not evil; it's all in our mind. Even Ravan was a good human being; however, his thoughts made him turn into an evil. So, I want to eliminate the devil thoughts in human minds."

With Goddess Durga's blessings and her petrifying avataar, we hope that the sins get eradicated at the earliest. On this auspicious day, Tellybuzz wishes you a very Happy Navratri and Durgashtami!!

Monica Varma

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Posted: 06 October 2013 at 2:11am | IP Logged

Manav Gohil believes in 'sticking around'

Right from his earlier shows like 'Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki' and 'Kasauti Zindagii Kay' to his more recent shows like "The Buddy Project" and 'Devon Ke Dev. Mahadev', actor Manav Gohil feels that it is important to stick to TV to get plum roles.



Saturday, October 05, 2013 | 1:08:04 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)   |  Copyright: IANS  |  Comments 4 Comments  |  1031 Views

Right from his earlier shows like 'Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki' and 'Kasauti Zindagii Kay' to his more recent shows like 'The Buddy Project Season 2 - Now in College' and 'Devon Ke Dev Mahadev', actor Manav Gohil has learnt that it is important to "stick around" in showbiz to get plum roles.

"I think everyone evolves in accordance to their own potential. The idea is to stick around. As an actor, you see the best of times and there are also lulls in your career. The idea is to sustain yourself in the industry and keep working," Manav told on phone from Mumbai.

After being a part of shows like 'Kkusum', 'Kahani Terri Merri', 'Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo', he feels novelty in performance helps an actor grow.

"The only way to get drained out, tired, worn out would be not to grow everyday. It is not that I haven't played emotions like anger before. It is all about how differently I do it each time," he said.

Even after spending more than a decade in the TV industry, Manav still looks forward to acting everyday.

"It is all about what keeps me challenged and going. I look forward to working each day," he said.

"Everything about me, my Hindi, the way I look, the way I have groomed myself, my speech, dialogue delivery, has evolved over the years. As an actor, you are constantly working on yourself. I guess all actors go through this," he said.

The 39-year-old says a lot of factors have to work in his favor before he decides to take on a role.

"There are a lot of things which have to work. I have to work for the character and the character has to work for me. Then, the finances and the creatives have to work," he said.

The actor also attributes many of his roles to destiny.

"It's not that I reject some shows. I feel that some roles are meant to be. They fall into your lap effortlessly and everything works towards it. I am fortunate that I have got to play unique and different characters," said the actor, who is currently seen in Zee TV show 'Khelti Hai Zindagi Aankh Micholi'.


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Posted: 07 October 2013 at 6:44am | IP Logged

Mohit Raina's look - alike in The Bachelorette India


Mohit Raina's look - alike in The Bachelorette India
Karan Sagoo
Rumours were rife of Mohit Raina being approached to enter as the wild card entrant on Life OK's The Bachelorette India with Mallika Sherawat.

However, the latest on the show is that not Mohit Raina but a Mohit Raina look - alike Karan Sagoo who will battle it out with the other contestants to win over Mallika.

A source says, "Yes we had approached Mohit Raina to be a part of the show, however things have not worked out. We have Karan Sagoo as one of the best contenders in The Bachelorette India. Karan has an uncanny resemblance to Mohit Raina. In fact when we first saw Karan, we mistook him for Mohit Raina. Karan is an NRI from London and is a model by profession. "Will Karan Sagoo prove to be Mallika Sherawat's Mohit Raina on The Bachelorette India? Only time will tell!
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Posted: 08 October 2013 at 4:00am | IP Logged

Pooja Bose becomes Pooja Banerjee!

Even as everyone around is confused about why the actress has changed her surname and gone back to her maiden name recently, we try to find out the reason behind it and were left confused ourselves!



Tuesday, October 08, 2013 | 2:18:39 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)   |  Copyright: India-Forums.com/TellyBuzz  |  Comments 0 Comments  |  1136 Views

Yesterday was the launch of Govinda's new music album 'Gori Tere Naina'. The very well known Parvati of Nikhil Sinha's popular mythological show Devon Ke Dev. Mahadev a.k.aPooja Bose, also features in the album opposite senior Bollywood actor Govinda.

The invite caught us by surprise as we saw the surname change of the light eyed beautiful actress Pooja. For so many years now, she wrote her name as Pooja Bose and out of the blue there was a new surname Banerjee attached to her name. Even as we tried to get in touch with her we googled on the internet and on the most searched site Wikipedia, we saw her profile in the name of Pooja Bose. Our curiosity got the better of us and we tried to unearth the true story behind the surname change.

With a little bit of snooping around we got to know that Pooja Bose is a divorcee and hence now writes her name as Pooja Banerjee.

To know more about the whole story, we asked our reliable source who told us further, "Pooja Bose got married to a Bengali boy at a very young age of 20 years. But sadly the marriage did not work for long... in fact they were together for only one and half years. She divorced her husband soon thereafter."

"It has been around 4 to 5 years now that she has got divorced. The reason of her getting divorced is that her husband was totally dependent on her for all his needs and did not work at all. He also used to abuse her very much and hence she had to take the tough decision of ending the marriage and getting a divorce from him," concludes the source. 

Seems like Pooja took a serious interest in her career after the divorce since she got her major break in the television industry in 2008 with Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms mythological show Kahaani Humaaray Mahabharat Ki. After this she went on to do TV shows like Tujh Sang Preet Lagayi Sajana and Sarvagunn Sampana while also making her mark in Bengali and Telugu movies. 

While it is deeply saddening to know that the pretty actress was a victim of domestic violence it is surprising as to why she has not spoken about it till now.  

When we finally got in touch with Pooja to clear our doubts she had her own reasons for the name change, "Pooja Bose was just my screen name. It proved lucky for me and I kept using it for a long time."

"Somebody on the Wikipedia page has also mistakenly written my name as Pooja Bose. There are many actors who use screen names like Akshay Kumar, Govinda and many others, so even I used my screen name for a long time and people started knowing me as Pooja Bose."

When we asked her about her marital status she completely denied being a divorcee, "I was never married in the first place so how can I be a divorcee? These are all baseless rumors. Some years back too a television based website had reported that I had got married to my co-actor Kunal Verma and underneath the entire story they wrote that it was an April fool stint!"

Well, after these two absolutely contrasting stories, we wonder what is the truth! Earlier too there have had actors who have denied or hidden their love life and marriage but have had to speak about it when the truth is unveiled. 

Whatever be the case, Pooja has been doing a fantastic job in her career and we wish her all the very best for a wonderful life.

Krishma Solanki.


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