A still from Teen Bahuraniyaan

Primetime soaps Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Teen Bahuraniyaan and their respective channels (Star Plus and Zee TV) are certainly cashing in on their leading ladies, Gautami Gadgil and Smriti Irani.Mumbai Mirror had earlier (December 12, 2007) reported about Teen Bahuraniyan replicating the look of Smriti’s character on the lines of Tulsi. In the same interview, Tarun Mehra, business head of Zee TV, had said, “We are in the business of entertainment. The show is in the 10.30 pm slot and we will definitely do all we can to cash in on our strengths.

And so the channel lives up to its words. Now they have gone ahead and scheduled Smriti Irani’s Ahmedabad visit at the same time as Gautami Gadgil’s visit to the city’s slums.

While Star Plus is planning to take Gautami Gadgil (Tulsi of Kyunki…) to Ahmedabad for a chawl visit on January 11. Zee TV has planned to take Smriti Irani to Ahmedabad for the kite festival. Smriti is supposed to land in Ahmedabad on Janary 13.

Zee has been playing its cards well to take the sheen away from the rival channel’s (Star TV) top-grosser. Says a source, “This is a brilliant action plan on the part of Zee TV. They have not only cast Smriti’s character in Teen Bahuraniyaan in the Tulsi mould (Vrinda, Smriti’s character in Teen… also means Tulsi), but also scheduled her Ahmedabad visit at the same time as Gautami’s.”

Gautami Gadgil in Kyunki…
Our source adds, “Smriti being a more well-known star will easily grab the limelight. Zee is using Smriti (who was once Ekta Kapoor’s protégée) to pull down Ekta’s show, Kyunki…, the same show that made stars out of both Ekta and Smriti.”

Tarun Mehra of Zee says, “We are planning to take Smriti to Ahmedabad on January 13 to celebrate Sankranti. She is very popular in Gujarat and we are sure that the people will love to have her participating in their celebrations.”

He adds, “Smriti and Janaki (the main lead of Teen…) might go to Ahmedabad together for the promotion of the show. Though it was the channel’s idea to take her, Smriti herself was quite keen on the visit. I am not aware that Gautami will be going to Ahmedabad at the same time.”

When asked about Smriti’s Ahmedabad visit being planned at the same time as that of Gautami’s, Anupama Modoloi, creative and programming head of Star Plus laughs and says, “Gautami will be going to Ahmedabad to interact with the local people. It has already been delayed because Gautami’s daughter was unwell. About Smriti being taken to Ahmedabad at the same time, you have to ask Zee.”

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