In its bid to regain audiences from its rival, Star Plus, Zee TV
is, once again, piggybacking on mythology. Beginning October 1, the channel will air Jai
Ganesh, the 104-episode magnum opus based on the life and times of Lord Ganesh, also
known as vighnahar. Lord Ganesh occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of
Hindus and Indians and is among the most revered of gods in the Hindu pantheon. The serial
will replace Ramanand Sagar's Sri Krishna, which completed its schedule on 24 September.
In a preview screened on 28 September, Jai
Ganesh, gave an impression of having been handled well, characterised by grand sets
and tight scripting penned by well-known screenplay writer, Bhushan Banmali. The serial
has been directed by Sunil Agnihotri, a master of fantasies, whose earlier work on the
small screen includes serials like long-running and popular serials like Chandrakanta,
Yug and Betaal Pachisee,
According to Agnihotri, to bring out the
right impact on the minds of the viewers, most of the work has been done through computer
graphics, the cost of which is likely to be in the range of Rs 20 lakh per episode.
Explaining the source of the story Mr.
Banmali said he had extensively researched the subject and even referred to the puranas,
18 in all including the Shiv Purana and the Ganesh Purana. (The puranas are a
collection of religious writings, each specific to a particular god from the Hindu
To a specific question raised by domain-B Mr.
Deepak Ranjan, channel head Zee TV, said, "The initial response of advertisers has been very good and we are
already booked through the main sponsors. Further booking of commercials will depend upon
viewer response and the consequent TRP ratings."