SE­RIAL DREAMER

BALAJI TELEFILMS | ES­TAB­LISHED IN 1994

India Today - - STATES - —Suhani Singh

THE PLOT

The el­dest child of Bol­ly­wood ac­tor Jee­tendra, Ekta Kapoor took her father’s fi­nan­cial help to start a com­pany with mother Shob­haa in his garage. Af­ter a few ini­tial fail­ures, the Kapoors scored their first big hit in the fam­ily com­edy Hum Paanch (Zee, 1995-97) star­ring Ashok Saraf, Priya Tendulkar, Vidya Balan. Soon be­gan the K se­ri­als band­wagon with Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi en­joy­ing such suc­cess that, on pub­lic de­mand, Balaji had to bring back a key char­ac­ter it had killed off. In Fe­bru­ary 2000, Balaji Telefilms be­came a pub­lic lim­ited com­pany.

Such has been Kapoor’s dom­i­nance that in 2001 she had 18 shows run­ning on air si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The pro­duc­tion house has played a pioneer­ing role in the glam­or­i­sa­tion of the TV in­dus­try as well as bring­ing the scale and scope of cin­ema

to tele­vi­sion with the use of equip­ment such as jimmy jib, steadicam and later special ef­fects.

ON THE ANVIL

Never hav­ing suc­ceeded at grasp­ing the imag­i­na­tion of the youth in the coun­try, Ekta launched ALTBalaji in April 2017 in the ex­pec­ta­tion to woo a gen­er­a­tion which likes to Net­flix and chill, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously ful­fill­ing her dream of hav­ing a channel of her own. The subscriber video-on­de­mand digital plat­form has lim­ited web se­ries with con­tent that pos­si­bly wouldn’t pass muster on tele­vi­sion. Re­cently Mukesh Am­bani’s Re­liance In­dus­tries ac­quired a 25 per cent stake in the com­pany, the pro­ceeds of which will now be used to pro­vide more pro­gram­ming on the stream­ing plat­form. Ad­di­tion­ally, the part­ner­ship will give ALTBalaji di­rect ac­cess to the cus­tomers of Re­liance Jio.

FAWZAN HU­SAIN

SHOOT AT SITE Ekta Kapoor with the cast of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi

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