By Nabeel A. Khan
Mumbai, Aug 12 (IANS) Popular TV talk show "Movers & Shakers" will be back in a new format - this time on the internet - with Sumeet Raghavan set to play show host instead of Shekhar Suman. Titled "Jai Hind!", it will go live on the web Aug 15.
"We are launching 'Jai Hind', the sequel to 'Movers & Shakers', exclusively on internet, which will make it the first ever programme to be exclusively made for the new media. The concept of the show is similar to 'Movers & Shakers'," Abhigyan Jha, the director and the producer of the show, told IANS in an interview.
Buzzintown.com is the internet partner for "Jai Hind", which can be viewed on http://jayhind.buzzintown.com. Or one can simply search for "Jay Hind" on Youtube and subscribe to it.
The 15-20-minute-long show is especially designed for internet users. Jha says he has changed the format of the show, but there are no changes in the creative team that worked with him on "Movers and Shakers".
"The same creative and writing team is working for this show... we can expect same exciting and hilarious content. We will also have guest appearances by celebrities. We will also do some zany gags outside the studio...we will shoot on the streets across the country and that will make it an interesting watch," Jha said.
From politics to Bollywood, business to Indian Premier League -- the show will hit various subjects to create humour.
Asked why he chose to launch it on the web, Jha said: "On TV there is a glut of mediocre programmes while on the internet there is a growing audience that wants to watch cutting-edge entertainment that is not even close to boring."
The original show "Movers & Shakers" went on air in 1997 on Sony with actor Shekhar Suman as its host. It helped the actor build his persona, but after hosting it for more than three years, Shekhar abruptly bade adieu to it in June 2001.
Jha feels Shekhar has lost his edge and therefore they opted for Sumeet, known for his funny portrayal of Sahil Sarabhai in sitcom "Sarabhai vs Sarabhai", to host the show.
"Shekhar has lost his edge. Just see what happened to 'Tedhi Baat'. I made 10 really funny episodes with Kunal Kumar, Gaurav Gera and Sidharth Randeria. Shekhar was supposed to market the show as a co-producer. But when he saw that the episodes were really funny, he decided to work in it. When he decided to work in the show, I walked out because it wasn't fair to the original actors who did such a terrific job," said Jha.
The director says he wanted to re-launch "Movers & Shakers" on Sony TV in 2001, but it couldn't be possible due to creative differences.
To generate interest regarding "Jai Hind", Jha has also come up with a new concept called "Boothnath" - he plans to set up booths where people can vent their anger in front of the camera.
"We plan to put these booths up all over the country. From September first week, every week there will be two episodes and once we have a sizeable viewership of say 500,000, we will shift to a daily format. Finally, the plan is to go live once we have one million subscribers," he said.
" 'Jay Hind' is a celebration of free India. It is also a celebration of the strong India that doesn't mind laughing at its ironies and follies."
Jha directed the movie "Sacred Evil" and authored the novel "November Rain". He says the novel was based on a reincarnation incident that he experienced himself. His literary work was later adapted into an episodic television series, "Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan" that was aired on Zee TV in 2004.
Apart from that Jha has also been writing stories and screenplays for both Indian and international media.
(Nabeel A. Khan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)