In recent years, the television soap opera audience has arguably grown with shrill melodrama and torturous kitchen politics making way for exciting concepts and reality drama.
And in the new year, the small screen promises to offer some more fresh stories to its viewers. While some of them will flaunt social awareness themes, others have stories that inevitably succumb to the pull of the stereotype. Hitlist takes a sneak peek into some promising soaps that will be launched in the next couple of months.
Tere Sheher Mein
Cast: Gautami Kapoor and Heeba Nawab
What to expect: The story of a pampered girl who comes from Paris and discovers herself in the journey with circumstances conspiring to take her to Benaras. It's been shot extensively in Paris and Benaras - places that the television industry has barely explored earlier.
Cast: Gaurav Chopraa and Aakanksha Singh
What to expect: A finite series set against the backdrop of the hospitality industry, as the name suggests. It is expected to give us a taste of the real functioning behind five-star hotels.
Vikas Bahl's untitled show
Cast: Sohail Khan
What to expect: Sohail, who is making his debut on the small screen with this show, will be seen as an industry struggler dreaming it make it big. Big brother Salman Khan and the rest of khaandaan will make special appearances in the series.
Cast: Celebrity couples and judges
What to expect: With Ekta Kapoor backing the upcoming season, the show is set to get bigger. Expected jodis are Mohit Raina-Mouni Roy, Sanaya Irani-Mohit Sehgal, Ruslaan Mumtaz-Nirali Mehta and Jay Soni-Pooja Shah among others. It is rumoured that the existing judge trio of Shilpa Shetty, Sajid Khan and Terrence Lewis will be replaced in the new season.
Cast: Hiten Tejwani, Gungun Uprari and Sushmita Mukherjee
What to expect: Set in Benaras, the story will have a little village girl playing the titular character. It will highlight socially relevant issues like those related to girl children and their constant battle against parochial ideas.
Ye Galiyaan Yeh Chaubaara
Cast: Humayun Ashraf, Sidrah Batool
What to expect: The Pakistani show will focus on a man who is against the idea of girls pursuing higher education.
Somehow, his wife manages to convince him to allow at least one of their two daughters to study further. The girl then falls for her professor's son - and all hell breaks loose.
Cast: Pallavi Subhash, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Siddharth Nigam and Manoj Joshi
What to expect: The show will chronicle the life story of emperor Ashoka, which has never been attempted on the small screen. Child star Siddharth Nigam who was seen in Dhoom: 3 will play the title role.
Cast: Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna and Ranveer Brar
What to expect: Season four of this cooking game show goes green with only vegetarian dishes to tantalise the judges' taste buds - and appeal to the average Indian's palate.
Cast: Saurabh Raj Jain and Mohit Raina
What to expect: A mythological show on lord Vishnu's 10 different avatars. Saurabh, who played Krishna in the new Mahabharat series, will be seen as Vishnu. And Mohit, who became popular with his portrayal of lord Shiva in Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, is likely to essay the role of Krishna.