Industry veteran, writer and creative Salil Sand throws light on TV shows, its evolution overtime and the current scenario

Salil Sand Writes: How Different Is Different in TV

Of late, broadcasters have only been asking for different shows, thoda hatke, as they say; but, the sad part is that shows that work both on TRPs and in popularity are the ones that have the same mundane story line. Let’s look at the success stories and the not so successful stories.

In my career of 25 years, I have seen about five phases: Phase One: Buniyaad / Humlog; Phase Two: Tara; Phase Three: Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bhu Thi; Phase Four: Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin; and Phase Five: Balika Vadhu.

Rest, all the shows that were made have been in and around these. As audiences, there has been a huge shift– people who were viewing YouTube are now on platforms like Netflix; television viewers are now on to YouTube; and what’s left are a handful of people who see television, and that too, simple stories.

Just to substantiate my above statement, we can look at shows that are successful – Kundali Bhagya, Kumkum Bhagya, Yeh Rishta, Naagin, Nazar, Kulfi Kumar, etc.

The formula of the above is similar, and if you look at each one closely, there is nothing different or thoda hatke in them.

The so called thoda hatke shows are Mitegi Lakshmanrekha (&TV), Silsila Badalte Rishton Ka (Colors), Yeh Pyaar Nahin Toh Kya Hain (Sony Entertainment Television), Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara (Star Plus); well, the list is endless.

All in all, a show that gets you TRPs is the show that will get broadcasters money from the advertisers and the same show will then have a successful run. So why push producers / writers to come up with something different.

Well, the reason is marketing – they will be able to sell the so called different concept to their advertisers easily. But then it’s the same marketing that will ask the show to be pulled down if it goes not give them ratings.

One look at the top-rated channel and it’s very clear that it is Zee Anmol, the channel which re-runs all the old shows which were dramatic, simple and so called mundane.

Guess it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Make good and interesting family dramas that not only work with the viewers, but also work in terms of numbers.

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