Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s small screen outing is apparently proving to be a harrowing experience for the filmmaker. His show Saraswatichandra, has apparently failed to live up to expectations and is facing severe production issues. Launched by his buddy Rani Mukerji in February, the maverick producer and the channel are not exactly on the same page over various aspects.
Recently there was a hue and cry when some of the cast members claimed they had not received their remuneration. Says a source, “The actors were not paid for a long time. Only when they made a noise about it, Bhansali got into action and released some payments to restore normalcy on the sets.”
Based on the Gujarati novel Saraswatichandra by Govardhanram Madhavrao Tripathi, at the launch Bhansali had declared, “I just have one wish that we make a good serial, the actors do a good job and it runs for 2,000 episodes and may it become the biggest and most memorable serial.”
As the source elaborates, “Television is a different ball game dictated by TRPs. Bhansali’s vision and style of working is different. The channel and he are at loggerheads. There has been discontent on the sets but everyone is tightlipped. The channel too is not exactly gung-ho about the show now. They are no longer even promoting it as their big ticket.”
With Jennifer Winget and Gautam Rode essaying the lead roles, it was to be like a Bhansali film on the small screen. “Despite the initial hype and the show’s grandeur, it has apparently failed to attract eyeballs - what is most needed to be successful and survive on the tube,” the source adds. The channel preferred a no comment stance about the issues pertaining to SLB’s show.
B-Town folk duds on small screen
When big Bollywood production houses have ventured into soaps, they have always failed to live up to the mark.
>>In 2010, Yash Raj Films produced shows like Lift Kara De, Mahi Way, Rishta.Com, Seven and Powder which proved to be disasters.
>>Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Idiot Box produced forgettable shows like Ghar Ki Baat and Ishaan among a few others. There were also plans to revisit his TV show Fauji, which was shelved after shooting an episode.