Of big fat weddings on TV

OF TRADITION AND STYLE Billionaire-hotelier Vikram Chatwal with his bride Priya Sachdev

OF TRADITION AND STYLE Billionaire-hotelier Vikram Chatwal with his bride Priya Sachdev  

Discovery Networks will showcase the great Indian weddings in a new serial

When the Discovery Networks' team in India decided to launch a lifestyle channel, it had to convince the senior management team from the U.S. that India was the place to start from. "All it took was a trip to Gurgaon's swanky malls and call centres buzzing with an upwardly mobile young workforce," says Aditya Tripathi, vice president, Discovery Lifestyle Networks. One year and eight months later, Discovery India announces yet another milestone - its first ever Indian production. The "Great Indian Wedding" will showcase the drama, the tradition and the unique styles of weddings in India. And all done in the Discovery tradition of intelligent and entertaining television. The first episode will feature the wedding of the billionaire, hotelier and actor Vikram Chatwal's with model and socialite Priya Sachdev. Discovery India announced the launch of the series in great style, with a wedding-theme dinner party at the sprawling and palatial Oberoi Udaivilas, one of the many venues of the celebrity-studded festivities of the Chatwal-Sachdev wedding. It was attended among others by supermodel Saira Mohan, Bill Clinton and Lakshmi Mittal. The TV show, produced by Blue Mango, will be accompanied with a promo inviting people to share their unique weddings. By the end of the year, Travel and Living will also run "A Matter of Days", a travel and cuisine show hosted by Vir Sanghvi. They will come up with another show "Indian Rendezvous" that will feature celebrities introducing you to India's big cities, including actor Meera Vasudevan explaining why Chennai is rocking. According to Rahul Johri, senior vice president, Advertising Sales, Discover Networks India, "Discovery Travel and Living has done extremely well since its launch. But it's the quality of the niche audience that Discovery is more excited about." "In the only-cable scenario of the past, operators demanded a huge carriage fee that made it difficult for new entrants. With DTH (direct-to-home), cable operators will finally accept broadcaster as friends and not foes," says Deepak Shourie, executive vice-president and managing director, Discovery Networks India. The Great Indian Wedding will be telecast on August 20 at 8 p.m. (repeat telecast on August 21, 10 p.m. and August 22, 11 p.m.).MEERA MOHANTY

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