Hardly a couple of months after launching Love Marriage at the 9 pm slot, Zee has decided to lay it to rest. The reason appears to be obvious - soap was hardly able to reach beyond 1 TVR. Come 17th November, It would give way to ASTITVA -ek prem kahani. At a time when soaps and serials continue for months, it comes as a surprise.
Should they have pumped in more money in promoting the serial, than just pulling it off air? Disagrees Apoorva Purohit, President, ZEE TV, "Sometimes you have to take hard decisions. If a programme is not being well accepted by the audience, you have to replace it. You place a good product in the market, but if it is not well accepted, you have to replace it with a better product." Hiren Pandit, General Manager, MindShare tends to agree, "Obviously the channel must have had some feedback for removing the programme. As long as corrective action is taken early in the day and without making much noise, it has more chances of working."
ASTITVA -ek prem kahani is the story of a romance between an older woman (Dr Simran) and a young man (Abhimanyu), who get married!
The concept note describes it as "A torrid romance, a wedding shrouded in ambiguity, a short lived honeymoon, an insecure motherhood and the dramatic rise in Abhimanyu's career - all this and more is what is in store for Simran. How she finally emerges a winner out of a situation where she has no control, is what Astitva - ek prem kahani is all about."
Till now such a love story has only been shown in a handful of 'arty' movies. And if at all in a commercial movie or TV serial, it is shown as a big mistake or a short lived fling. Well then, has ZEE been wise in introducing such a bold serial. Purohit says, "Hasraten - when it was first aired on ZEE was considered to be extra bold - as it had an extra marital affair as its theme. However, it was really well accepted by the audience. Presenting different programmes has always been ZEE's strong point. As far as Astitva is concerned, it is a well-made programme with a good cast". And Says Pandit, "We can decide where the soap is headed only after a few episodes have been on air. However, if they are looking at pure shock value, they might get it. If you are watching same kind of programmes, and suddenly there is something completely different, people tend to sit up and take note."
Will (Astitva) - Ek Prem Kahani repeat the magic of (Gadar) - Ek Prem Katha for ZEE, only audience will decide. However, the channel is thinking out of the box and is making well planned moves is already being already noticed.