By: Rashid Sami

Nhile being a student of theatre, the first lesson that one received was about the essentiality of conflict in a script. As life produced, one also learnt that the script of a play or ---of life, characters and conflicts are the major clients. However, these facts become ugly when and individual interests to front seat.

---in all departments specially the media, started during the last ---has made its way into ---century as well. The function of fibre and satellite in entertainment and electronic business started producing results. Cable –can now offer international news and entertainment ---for a price easily able to all. At a time when vedeo is making a gradual ---the local home entertainment scene, the cable is ---a lucrative entry, pro---- uncensored and colourful ----

--society and industry is not yet ready or open ---, rapid changes or ---can bring negative or ---results, too. With state owned/monitored channels, namely PTV. Network, PTV World and now Channel 3, the present gurus of the mini-screen seem unhappy with the introduction of any new channel. With a relatively smaller revenue of Rs.2.2 to Rs.2.5 billion, the local investors, who have invested in the time-slots on the existing PTV channels, feel that the introduction of new television channel, satellite or terrestrial, would create an imbalance in the market as this “magre” revenue would split amongst “un-Pakistani” channels. The irony of the matter is that the local media gurus refuse to concentrate or target over Rs.40 billion revenue available globally with reference to Urdu viewer-ship.

With reference to the introduction of new channels, the local TV wallas are divided over an argument that the private film producers should make a choice between the PTV-owned channels or the new satellite channels in the offing. With plenty of golden handshake wallas, real estate agents, waderas, chaudhrys, Middle-East returns and other shaukeen, there is ample investment for anyone the everyone wanting to enter the “glamorous” world of the mini-screen.

The new bids invited for Channel 3 also contain a clause, not allowing the suppliers/investors of “other” channels bidding rights. There is also an affidavit, which is being required from the private producers, restricting them to produce for PTV only. The fact of the matter is that PTV does not purchase directly from private producers, and it is mostly investors or marketing firms who have bought time either in slots or bulk on the PTV channels.

Secondly, keeping aside the modus operandi of these investors, neither PTV nor the owners of time-slots on PTV channels ensure a “guaranteed” procurement of programmes. At a time when the electronic media in the country is under tremendous pressure due to across-the-border programming and local private production is mostly sub-standard due to the lack of proper training and depth, confining creativity through signed affidavits would be unfair and devastating. “Everyone in the (electronic media) business should support any positive endeavour to open new channels of creativity, because if one goes down, the rest would soon follow, “states a local media guru wanting to stay anonymous.

Now over to the programming on television. Pas-i-Aaina whose over 150 episodes were aired on NTM is soon going to be re-produced for Teleworld. Produced and directed by Haroon Rasheed, the cast of Pas-i-Aaina would include Rubina Ashraf, Noman Aijaz and others.

Dr. Dawlance, a comedy serial, was also announced by Goldwater Media Written directed and produced by Khalid Rauf. Dr. Dawlance has a long list of actors including Durdana Butt, Firdous Jamal, Khalid Abbas Dar, Naima Khan and Musharaf Ali Khan.

Weekend World has also announced four programmes for its new quarter. Colony 52, Dozakh, Alpha Bravo Charlie serial Tumhain Kaise Bata Doon and Fair & Lovely Aik Gana Aik Fasana were announced in a preview show at a local hotel.

Dozakh is based on the miseries of the youth of the country and is bound to make waves on the local media scene. It’s storyline discusses in depth how the youth are exploited by the powerful. Directed by Zahir Lehri and Zufarullah, also the producer of the play, Dozakh due to its unique treatment and simple but apt localns, would be a memorable serial. Cast includes Rehan Sheikh, Javeria, Abbasi, Ali Afzal, Yasir Nawaz, Zahir Lehri and Akbar Subhani.

The new Apand, this time, is Tumhain Kaise Bata Doon. The cast includes Nida Kazmi, Aijaz Aslam, Qaiser Naqvi, Azra Mansoor, Khalid Saleem Mota, Ali Saleem, Abbas and Zona Yousuf, Nida Kazmi, for the first time ever is playing a character, which as she says, is “more like her”.So far, twenty-four episodes of Aik Gana Aik Fasana have been aired.