New Delhi: From Ramayan, Mahabharat, Chanakya to Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s popular series Circus and detective show Byomkesh Bakshi, Doordarshan (DD) is all set to re-telecast six iconic series in the 21-day lockdown period.
An official from Prasar Bharati, the parent body of DD, told ThePrint DD National will telecast Ramayan, Circus and Byomkesh Bakshi. While Ramayan will be telecast twice from Saturday onward, the scheduling of Circus and Byomkesh Bakshi is still being worked out.
The other shows Mahabharat, Chanakya and Upanishad Ganga will be telecast on DD Bharati and their timings will be announced late Friday.
“The scheduling of all other shows is being planned across DD National and DD Bharati. We are mindful of timings and important news breaks on DD News and DD India,” the official said.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar Friday announced the schedule of Ramayan, saying it will be telecast twice from Saturday, between 9 am and 10 am, and again between 9 pm and 10 pm.
Happy to announce that on public demand, we are starting retelecast of 'Ramayana' from tomorrow, Saturday March 28 in DD National, One episode in morning 9 am to 10 am, another in the evening 9 pm to 10 pm.@narendramodi@PIBIndia@DDNational
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) March 27, 2020
Content shared now in ‘national interest’
A second Prasar Bharati official told ThePrint, Doordarshan began the requisitioning process for its iconic shows from the right holders much before this lockdown. But it decided to re-telecast some of the serials now in “national interest”.
“That process (of requisitioning) will continue, but right now lockdown being the priority, the content has been shared in national interest,” the official added..
Sagar brothers hold the rights for Ramayan, while filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi holds for Chanakya, and Chinmaya Mission holds rights for Upanishad Ganga.
DD re-ran some shows earlier too
Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan went on air on Doordarshan from 25 January 1987. It was aired for over a year and a half, spread over 75 episodes, each of 35 minutes duration. The series garnered such popularity that it was re-run years later by private channels such as Zee TV and NDTV Imagine.
B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat, which started in 1988, was equally popular and ran every Sunday for an hour for nearly two years. This too was re-run by private channels such as the EPIC TV.
Another popular show on DD was Circus, which had marked Shah Rukh Khan’s initial entry into the entertainment industry.
It was telecast in 1989 and directed by Aziz Mirza and Kundan Shah, and also starred director Ashutosh Gowariker.
Byomkesh Bakshi was another popular show, which was made in two seasons in 1993 and 1997.
DD had earlier, too, re-telecast some of these iconic shows in its bid to get back its dwindling audience, which it lost in competition to other private channels.
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