2019 has been a year filled with challenges and opportunities for the Indian Television Industry. The year started with various channels launching fresh and engaging content to entertain its audience all year long. In this space, dominated by narratives of different genres, &TV chose to celebrate stories and characters that authentically bring alive the essence of India. As we gear up to embrace another year full of opportunities, let’s have a look at the year gone by.
A fusion of Indian Cultures
Living up to its refreshed identity, &TV presented stories that strongly reflected the khaas andaaz of the nation’s varied traditions and ethnicities. With characters and stories deeply rooted in our Indian culture, the year saw a mix of narratives that echoed the essence of the city it was based in.
An unusual love story (Main Bhi Ardhangini)
Capturing the picturesque backdrop of Rajasthan, Main Bhi Ardhangini, a unique and rare, yet unusual love story, portrayed the sacredness of marriage, the undying love of a wife for her husband and the complexities that tear them apart. The show brought together a love story with a supernatural twist that further delved into the life of Madhav (Avinash Sachdev) and his best friend turned second wife Vaidehi (Aditi Rawat). Depicting an invaluable bond between a husband and his better half, Main Bhi Ardhangini gave a true glimpse of the selfless effort and unconditional love that Vaidehi showers as a true ‘Ardhangini’. On the other hand, showcasing the eternal love of the spirit of Madhav’s first wife, Chitra (Anjali Priya), the story portrayed the endeavours that she took to keep them together to shield them against any source of evil even after death.
Gharelu Comedy (Happu ki Ultan Paltan)
From the oil-slicked hair that perfectly twirls on his forehead, to his goofy paan-stained grin that highlights his atypical moustache – the funny potbellied Daroga Happu Singh (Yogesh Tripathi) has made viewers laugh like none other over the years. But is the sher of Modern Colony a bheegi billi at home? Presenting the true Kanpuriya style of this officer, while introducing a new chapter in comedy, &TV presented Happu ki Ultan Paltan. Highlighting his comedy misadventures and ‘gharelu’ funny tragedies, the show narrates the escapades of Daroga Happu Singh, his ‘Dabangg Dulhan’ Rajesh (Kamna Pathak), an obstinate mother Katori Amma (Himani Shivpuri) and his nine notorious children.
The wedding mayhem (Shaadi Ke Siyape)
Given the nation’s obsession with wedding shenanigans, &TV presented a weekend ‘dramedy’ titled Shaadi Ke Siyape. Showcasing the various cultures, traditions, and siyapaas of different marriages in India, the show brought alive all emotions and fervor of a wedding. Giving an extra-terrestrial twist to the show was the unique and humorous journey of how a wedding planner takes on the world of weddings with her uniquely gifted human-aliens. Shaadi Ke Siyape brought together a strong ensemble cast with popular television names like Alka Badola Kaushal, Sheen Das, Bhavya Gandhi, Rahul Singh, Mishkat Varma and Ankita Bahuguna amongst others.
A tale of forbidden love (Jaat Na Poocho Prem Ki)
Unfolding against the rural backdrop of Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, Jaat Na Poocho Prem Ki narrated the tale of forbidden love. It traced the journey of a young Dalit boy, Badal (Kinshuk Vaidya) and an upper-caste Brahmin girl, Suman (Pranali Rathod) who fight for their love against the oppressive caste system prevalent in their society and family. Pursuing the hopes and struggles of these two lovers, the romantic drama attempted to gently highlight the harsh realities of casteism that continue to oppress lovers and people even today.
An ordinary girl’s extraordinary tale (Gudiya Humari Sabhi Pe Bhari)
Bringing a strong local flavour, of Madhya Pradesh, Gudiya Humari Sabhi Pe Bhari, is a light-hearted, fresh and homegrown narrative that takes the viewers through the fascinating journey of Gudiya, intertwining the raw appeal of the region in its dialect, depiction, and characters. The show introduced a new face – Sarika Bahroliya, a native of Gwalior, who essayed the role of Gudiya along with well-known television actor Sarrtaj Gill portraying the role of Muddu.
Co-written by eminent writers, Ravi Mahashabde and Samta Sagar, Gudiya Humari Sabhi Pe Bhari is a slice of the story. Gudiya embodies a girl who isn’t restricted by her current reality or any societal norms. Giving us a peek into Gudiya’s ‘all is well’ world, the show sets a light-hearted and humorous tone while depicting her unique approach to life
Ambedkar’s story on Hindi GEC (Ek Mahanayak – Dr. B.R Ambedkar)
Over the course of its magnificent history, India has been led by some of the most notable leaders who have set a precedent for the future and served as an inspiration for all. One such leader in Indian history, who rallied a revolution and became a voice to reckon with, is Ek Mahanayak – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The founding father of the Indian constitution and a man who has etched a prominent place in millions of Indian hearts. &TV presented a never-told-before life story in the Hindi GEC space of this extraordinary personality, his crusading spirit and how he became the precursor of united India, with its powerful socio-drama titled Ek Mahanayak – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The show features Prasad Jawade essaying the lead character of Dr. B.R Ambedkar, Aayudh Bhanushali as young Ambedkar, together with Jagannath Nivangune portraying the role of Ambedkar’s father, Neha Joshi as the Mother.
Connecting the audience with the commoners
&TV’s comedy caper Happu Ki Ultan Paltan brought to the screen a new dazzling face to play Rajesh, the hilariously funny Daroga Happu Singh’s dabang wife and mother to his nine notorious children. Kamna Pathak who hails from Indore fits the bill perfectly with her authentic Bundelkhandi accent. Big in the theatre scene and wanting to be an actress since she was a child, Kamna has performed in several plays, directed by notable directors. The gorgeous beauty took the audience by surprise with her uncanny resemblance to Bollywood’s Sonakshi Sinha.
Sarika Bahroliya: Presenting a fresh and homegrown narrative with a strong local flavor, Gudiya Humari Sabhi Pe Bhari, a light-hearted drama came alive with the simplicity and warmth of its protagonist, Gudiya. Set against the backdrop of Madhya Pradesh, the makers scouted for a face that reflected the traditional ethos and raw appeal of the region. After auditioning hundreds of faces, the channel zeroed in Sarika Bahroliya, a native of Gwalior to portray the role of Gudiya.
What continued ruling hearts?
While the viewers developed a fondness for the new faces, the old ones continued to be audience favorites.
Connecting with the nostalgic filmy era
Nation’s favorite comedy show, Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, which completed the 1000-episode milestone in the earlier year, continued being an entertainer to the audience this year. Inspired by iconic Bollywood characters, the show recreated scenes of two classic Bollywood films. Padosan’s peppy track, Ek Chatur Nath’ was recreated with a slight Kanpuriya touch featuring Angoori Bhabhi (Shubhangi Atre) and Vibhuti Mishra (Aasif Sheikh) bringing alive the essence of Mehmood. The effervescent, spunky Basanti of Sholay was brought alive on the small screen by the Saumya Tandon, along with a recreation of several other scenes from the iconic film.
Taking the leap of faith
&TV’s mythological show, Paramavatar Shri Krishna that narrated fascinating chronicles of the mischievous Makhan chor, took a 20-year leap to present the story of Mahabharat from Krishna’s perspective for the very first time on television. The leap brought in new characters with notable names and while actors like Ssudeep Sahir and Archi Prateek made their mythological debut, seasoned actors like Jaya Bhattacharya, Jiten Lalwani, and Raj Premi who chose to return to their famed mythological characters yet again. The show also featured notable actors as Hunar Hale, Ankit Bathla, Barkha Bisht, Sooraj Thappar amongst others
&TV’s Main Bhi Ardhangini took a leap, to venture into a supernatural phase wherein it introduced two new characters to the show. Bringing a drastic end to Madhav (Avinash Sachdev) and Vaidehi’s (Aditi Rawat) love story, the show introduced the newest naagin on television, Mohini, essayed by television actress Heena Parmar who made her supernatural debut with this show. Featuring opposite her was the television actor Ankit Raaj, essaying the lead character of Adhiraj. The show also roped in actor Rohit Bakshi who was seen essaying yet another negative character. Veteran actress, Deepshikha Nagpal who was seen essaying the royal, smart yet sly mother-in-law, Nilambari, became the powerful and overambitious Mahamaya, donning a completely new, bold and rather interesting avatar.
Launched last year, Meri Hanikarak Biwi managed to successfully infuse the narrative with a massive dose of drama and entertainment. The story managed to climb up the popularity charts to become the audience’s favourite. The show underwent several leaps, first being a 5-year leap introducing Ira and Akhilesh’s daughter Mishri (Vaishnavi Prajapati) followed by another that brought in a little twist to Akhilesh and Ira’s relationship. The 3-month leap showcased Akhilesh grieving at his wife’s murderous death. Building up the entertainment quotient, Akhilesh’s life saw major emotional trauma when a look-alike of his dead wife (Ira) walking back into his life. With yet another change of events, we saw a huge epiphany wherein Dr. Ira (Jia Shankar) realized that she is mother to not one but two children! The revelation came that she was once also a mother to a young boy, who was reported to her as dead but, was abducted by Chanda (Rajeshwari Datta), the woman who had helped Ira deliver Mishri. The show introducing a new face and reality show dancer, Gauransh Sharma as Ira’s son, Chuttan Yadav had a successful run of 500 episodes.
Santoshi Maa – Sunaye Vrat Kathayein
With the unprecedented success of Santoshi Maa launched in 2015, &TV is all set to present a fresh narrative of its socio-mythology show titled ‘Santoshi Maa – Sunaye Vrat Katheyein’, showcasing the sacred relationship between a Bhakt and Bhagwan. Conveying a message of the ultimate triumph for the sincerely devoted, in a storytelling format, the show marks the come-back of popular Bollywood actress Gracy Singh as Santoshi Maa and will have Tanvi Dogra portraying the role of Swati, an ardent devotee and how she makes way through various problems under the guidance of Santoshi Maa. The show is produced by Rashmi Sharma Telefilms.
Kahat Hanuman Jai Shri Ram
A captivating story of devotion in its truest form, the show is set to bring a fresh perspective on one of the greatest Indian Gods, Lord Hanuman. It will depict the many unexplored sides of Lord Hanuman, including the purpose of his life. Giving viewers a glimpse of the unheard tale of Lord Shiva and the invincible evil Ravana, the show, is set to take the viewers on an interesting mythological journey of how Bal Hanuman eventually emerges as the greatest devotee of Lord Ram and manages to bring a successful end to Ravana’s reign of terror. The show will feature Ekagra Dwivedi essaying the young lead character of Hanuman along with an ensemble cast featuring actors such as Nirbhay Wadhwa, Raj Singh, Waseem Mushtaq, Deepak Dutta, Arhaz Kahn, Dhiraj Miglani, Sneha Wagh, Jiten Lalwani and Priti Gadwani amongst others.
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