Shah Rukh Khan enters UAE homes from today
India is ready to launch another television channel, this time hanging by the coattails of Bollywood box office king, Shah Rukh Khan.
The actor returns to television screens with his fourth outing as a gameshow host, this time with Zee Entertainment's brand new launch, &TV.
The group's second Asian entertainment channel will air for Middle East viewers from 7.30pm today with the launch of 'Razia Sultan'.
However, only some UAE residents will be able to see king Khan's fourth innings on the idiot box, as he plays host to the Indian version of the hit US gameshow, 'Who's Asking' or 'India Poochega – Sabse Shaana Kaun?'.
Accoding to the group, &TV is currently only available with eLife on Channel 632, free to those who have subscribed to the Basic package and higher; others will just have to wait awhile.
In a media statement, Mukund Cairae, CEO, ZEE Middle East, said: "&TV will offer a more substantial viewing experience to the South Asian audience in the Middle East that is always seeking fresh and relevant content.
"...Middle East is the first international region to launch &TV and we are proud to simultaneously launch the same on March 2, along with India."
Speaking on his involvement with the channel and the gameshow, Khan stated: "I am very excited to be a part of &TV’s game show 'India Poochega – Sabse Shaana Kaun?'.
"It is a unique gameshow that gives merit to the street smart ones. You might not be a scholar or a master in any field but if you are smart then this gameshow is for you."
Produced for India by Siddhartha Basu of Big Synergy, the show aims to return power to the people by roping in the common man (or woman) to pose questions to three contestants playing.
In the international version, the first round allows contestants to pick an ‘asker’ for themselves; in the second round they will pick for their opponents. In the third and final round, the finalist will face a pyramid of 'celebrity askers'.
The show airs in UAE at 9pm.
Shows to tune into...
The channel kicks off its maiden voyage with the launch of the period drama, 'Razia Sultan', produced by Swastik Productions and written by Mihir Bhuta.
The show chronicles the life of 13th century princess and daughter of Shams-ud-din Illtumish, who goes on to become the first woman Sultan of India and the only woman to have successfully ruled and unified the Mamluks - a fierce and extremely vicious race of men.
Meanwhile, 'Begusarai' is tagged as a quintessential drama, filmed in the hinterland of Bihar; think 'Gangs of Wasseypur' on small screen.
The show has been produced by Saregama Productions and the channel has roped in filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia to design the first look.
Talking about working on the project, Dhulia said in a statement: "The plot of 'Begusarai' was narrated to me like a movie and what really hooked me on was the quirkiness of the characters. My challenge, in directing the first look of the show, was to encapsulate the eccentricities of the characters without any dialogues.
"That's how we decided to shoot at real locations instead of the set to treat it like a film. The show is as good as a movie and I am certain that it will attract audience attention."
Another show creating a buzz is 'Gangaa', narrating the story of a child widow who is considered a threat to age old customs of society when she refuses to adhere to norms.
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