The Marathi GEC from STAR India, STAR Pravah is now venturing into long format TV series. Christened STAR Pravah Premiere, a series of short stories will be telecast tentatively on the first Sunday of every month. To be launched on August 4 with a humorous family drama, the channel has already finalised eight stories.
The cost of production of the TV series is very high as compared to the regular shows, for two major reasons - the length of each story is two hours (four times the normal half-hour episode of any soap) and the high quality equipments being used for the shoot.
Shrabani Deodhar, creative director, STAR Pravah, states that the channel wants to serve content that can match the film-viewing experience for the audience. "While television has the highest reach, we are always looking at bringing something different to the audience. We wanted to stay relevant while being different from normal soaps. In the same effort, we have taken a smaller step ahead by bringing these short stories which will be contributed by various writers."
Interestingly, the channel hasn't tied up with any production house or director for the various stories that it aims to screen. It has asked writers to pool in stories and accordingly, the production houses will be given the tasks.
The channel accepts this as an experimented concept and hopes for a good response. If the series receives a favourable response, it may be made into a weekly offering.
The first story, Danga 2BHK, is about a couple staying in Mumbai and the fun that creeps in when the parents of the girl (from Pune) and that of the boy (from Pune, too) arrive to stay with the couple. The two sets of parents have different cultures and the clash between them is portrayed in a humorous way. Ninad Vaidya, partner, Dashami Creations (production house for the first story) says that a lot is expected from the story.
Vaidya adds, "With this, a new genre of content can emerge on general entertainment channels."
Danga 2BHK stars Uday Tikekar, Suchitra Bandekar, Uday Sabnis, and Priya Berde playing the roles of the parents while Siddharth Chandekar and Prarthana Behere play the young married couple. Uday Tikekar, a well known face in Marathi and Hindi cinema, will be seen in a humorous role for the first time since 1988.
For the record, STAR Pravah was launched in November, 2008 under the banner of Star Entertainment Media (SEMPL).