Doordarshan looks to past to shore up its viewership

Doordarshan has decided to repeat telecast of its serials `Buniyaad`, so popular in late 1980s, as also `Chanakya`, `Byomkesh Bakshi` and `Parsai Kehte Hain` to attract more viewers.

New Delhi: Doordarshan is delving into the past to shore up its viewership.

The public broadcaster has decided to repeat telecast of its serials `Buniyaad`, so popular in late 1980s, as also `Chanakya`, `Byomkesh Bakshi` and `Parsai Kehte Hain` to attract more viewers.

In a joint press conference with veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy who directed `Buniyaad`, DG Doordarshan Tripurari Sharan told reporters that the DD National would telecast the landmark serial every Thursday and Friday.

"Why Buniyaad again? Wherever I go, people ask me can I do something with `Sholay` again and the other is that serials like Buniyaad are never made. To put the second point to rest, I spoke to DG Doordarshan and we are presenting it again," Sippy said.

He said this repeat would help new generations to watch what a previous generation had thoroughly enjoyed.
Sippy added a great effort had been put in making the serial as the attempt was to create something for the small screen that was generally noticed only on the big screen.

Serial `Buniyaad` was first aired in 1986 and told the
story of Master Haveli Ram (played by Aloke Nath) and his falling in love with Laajo (a role essayed by Anita Kanwar), their marriage, separation and reunion in the backdrop of India`s partition.

`Buniyaad` had earlier been re-telecast on Doordarshan`s metro channel.

The DG Doordarshan said the re-telecast of the serial would help new generations to connect with an era to connect with a past era.

"I think from various angles, the cultural angle, philosophical angle... It is a very important event for the new generation, my generation and for those who are elder," Sharan said.

DD officials said other serials from its over one lakh hours of archives would also be presented to viewers in the coming days.

An official said Byomkesh Bakshi was being aired, Chandraprakash Dwivedi`s `Chanakya` and `Kundan Shah`s `Parsai Kehte hain` are also in line.

Asked if Doordarshan was trying to go retro, officials named several new projects that are in the offing.

Officials said talks were on with Mumbai-based producer Ekta Kapoor for a teleserial for Doordarshan.

Another new serial `Family number one` has been brought on air. A new season of Coke Studio with eight episodes and a classical music based show `Nad Bhed` produced through association with SPIC-MACAY are in the offing. Another new project `Triyodeshi` is based on poems of Rabindranath Tagore, an official said.

Sharan said there was availability of good producers who could generate new content and the aim of the broadcaster was to balance new productions with the rich content of its archives.

At the press conference, actors Nina Gupta, Kiran Joneja and Kamya also spoke about their experiences, nostalgia and recognition they got from the 105 episode `Buniyaad`.

Gupta said she remembered that Sippy, being a perfectionist, had made her act 22 times till he was satisfied with the take.

Sippy was asked if new serials like `Buniyaad` can be created. He said "a new Buniyaad can be created" and added all one needs is an expression of interest from the people.

He said changing times brought forth their own narratives and tragedies and there were Gujarat riots, the tsunami and other situations in which people are thrown into testing circumstances.

PTI

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