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For daily soaps, owning the IP is not a great idea: Saurabh Tewari

Star Plus is strengthening its weekday prime time line-up with a new fiction show – ‘Krishna Chali London’. The show is slated to go on air from May 21, 2018 at 9 pm and will be aired Monday to Friday. Produced by Saurabh Tewari’s Parin Multimedia, ‘Krishna Chali London’ stars Gaurav Sareen and Megha Chakraborty and is inspired by a real life character in Tewari’s family. 

According to various reports, 'Krishna Chali London' will replace 'Naamkaran', which will reportedly go off air from Friday, May 18, 2018. 

Set against the backdrop of Kanpur, the show delves into the life of Radhe Lal Shukla, the the 21 year old boy-next-door who is a complete romantic at heart and is in search of his love. While boys of his age are interested in meeting desired career goals, joining a mega conglomerate, making big bucks and partying at exotic places, Radhe has always nurtured one dream since childhood, that is ‘of getting married’. He wishes for that someone special with whom he would go on long bike rides, enjoy chaat and pani puri, watch Friday evening movies and spend Valentine’s Day. He longs to have a perfect romantic life with her after marriage. While he himself is a 9th fail and has no ambition or career goals, he will go to any lengths to fulfill his would-be Mrs’ dreams and keep her happy. 

Though the youngest in his family and the apple of their eye, he doesn’t have much say in the family affairs. It is his innocence and charm that wins everyone’s attention. He loves to dance to foot tapping numbers, is a complete crooner and sways to the 90s music. He believes that he has got everything in life – a good family, good friends and a comfortable life, and once he finds his Mrs, his life will be complete. 

Writer and Producer Saurabh Tewari commented, “I am very grateful to Star Plus that they are bringing a show like ‘Krishna Chali London’ to the audiences. It’s a concept which I conceived 7 years back and is inspired by a real character within my family. Thus, the tonality of the show is very real, rooted and hence hoping that it will be relatable to the viewers. While the show has a high entertainment quotient and freshness in terms of its narrative, it has a subtle messaging in its core thought which will make the show more relatable for the audience.” 

Talking about his character Radhe, actor Gaurav Sareen said, “Very rarely one gets to essay a role like Radhe’s. There are a lot of elements to this character which makes it all the more interesting. He is somebody who is dreamy, passionate and can do anything to win the love of his Mrs. He’s a hardcore lover boy with a clean soul and a heart of gold. It’s the multiple layers of the character that makes it a challenging affair to play on screen, but I am totally enjoying it.” 

In a quick chat with Adgully, Writer & Producer Saurabh Tewari speaks about the concept behind ‘Krishna Chali London’, relationship with Star over the years, the challenges in owning the IP of a show and more. Excerpts: 

You had conceptualised this show 7 years back. What took it so long to hit the screens?
The story kept changing over the period of time. While we were developing it, the social fabric of the place where the story belongs kept on changing every six months. After writing a few chapters and further developing the thought we found that it was not working out and so we moved on to some other project. But this was one concept that kept on haunting me every six months – it’s about a boy whose ambition in life is to get married and take care of his wife. Whatever shows that I had done were always women centric and the male character was an anti-hero, but this show is completely different, it’s about a person who wants to take care of his wife. 

How has your relationship with Star grown over the years?
I have made the maximum number of shows for Star. When I was at the other side of the table, I had worked with various networks except Star, but when I moved out and started producing, I made 2 shows for Colors, 1 for Zee and 4 for Star. So, the maximum business that I have done is with Star. The best part of working with Star is the way they take care of the production house. Because, according me, production is far more a risky business now as compared to what it was 5 years back. There are lots of federation issues, some strike-related issues and uncertainty of shows. But when I talk about Star, it takes care of everything and covers all such aspects. So, business wise it’s fantastic to work with Star. 

How has the transition from being a Content Head with a TV channel to being a Producer been?
It has been a long journey. I left programming in 2011 and started my own production house, there have been lots of ups and downs. Being on the other side of the table is a completely different life because we knew exactly how to play with numbers. But on this side of the table, the definition of numbers gets changed. Now, it’s no more around TRPs but its more about the cost in which you are making the show and how you will control the cost as things are changing drastically in television these days in terms of economics. 

I think the first two years were fantastic and then we ran up a huge lull. Two shows from our kitty didn’t work and that’s when I realised that it’s very easy to sanction shows on corporate’s money, but when your own money is at stake, the real game begins. But later we bounced back with ‘Mahek’. For me, it’s far more challenging and at times I do miss the corporate life. 

Have you thought of holding the IP of your show, which is now becoming a trend?
We keep discussing this for every show, but the problem is that it’s not that simple. Even if we get into that discussion of IP at an individual show level, then where will I go and sell that IP? I think that networks know better. Overall, it’s a very fascinating idea. 

Every day we keep hearing that the television market is shrinking and digital is taking over, one doesn’t know which side things are going; so, for daily soaps owning the IP is not a great idea. It just sounds like a fascinating idea, but whether it will convert into a kickass business plan is still debatable. With historical/ mythological shows you can take this risk, but how many producers will take the risk of putting in that kind of money; Swastik, with their background, has been able to raise that kind of money. But with soaps, it’s a big question mark. 

Any plans to foray into the OTT space?
Two years back I produced and directed ‘Chinese Bhasad’ for Voot, which was the OTT platform’s first Original series. It was a love story and we got a decent response. However, I think the problem is that when it comes to digital content, the economics still doesn’t work out. 

Do you still have the tie-up with the Singapore production company? How does it work our?
Yes, we have. Tequila Shots Entertainment is the parent company which funds our projects. They have a 51 per cent stake in our parent company.

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