Indian Television serials – Then and Now

Indian television has produced some of the finest daily soaps and shows for their audience, in a country which is mainly subjugated by Indian cinema. Time and again Hindi television serials have managed to deliver emotion filled, passionate romantic dramas which have managed to touch hearts of a million families at home. Be it with daily soaps like Balika Vadhu, Bade Acche Lagte Hai or with shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati and dance shows like Boogie Woogie, DID and more.

What’s amazing to see is that these Hindi TV shows have not only managed to create a space for themselves in the Indian market but have also continued to make waves across the international circuits.

The popular example defining this was Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. This Indian soap was ranked number 1 on the list of top 10 shows of all time. But even prior to Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi there were many shows that connected the audience with more than just emotions. Shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh created a buzz all over the country with its comedy timing and drama. Similar was the case with Shanti. This popular serial not only depicted a story of a woman fighting against the odds and the society but also managed to catch attention of every house hold.

Children had their share of knowledge and entertainment too. Ramayan and Mahabharat became the pick of the serials which were followed by fictional serials like Chandrakanta and Shaktimaan.Indian Television serials - Then and Now

This, however, was the story back then. Today Indian television is flooded with daily soaps and reality shows. Though it is a cluttered world out there, families still manage to pick a choice and spend time watching it. Popular shows like Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah have still managed, like very few serials, to keep their audience engrossed even today. Shows like CID, Crime Patrol and Shaitan keeps their audience engrossed with suspense and thriller while reality shows like DID, KBC, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, Indian Idol and comedy shows Comedy Nights with Kapil and more have managed to entertain their audience with providing quality content.

Since serials have become the hottest topic of discussion and Indians love the shows and the characters in it, channels have constantly tried time and again to provide the best content to their viewers. This again is not restricted to television. Channels have moved online to woo their audience to watch Indian TV serials online. Channels like Sony, Colors and Star have created a space for their audience online to watch TV serials. In the coming time it will be interesting to see how other channels exploit this opportunity to do better than these channels and entertain their audience online.

Get more details on latest Hindi TV shows and Indian TV serials on SETIndia.com

What the Indian Television Viewers Really Need?

Roll Camera and Action! The spotlight is on the stage and the characters are ready to pay their part right. In this game of TRPs only the mightier survives. And what makes a serial successful is the sense of connect that viewers feel when they watch it. That’s because today, in the world of television, every second day there is a new show coming our way. Some good and some really worth the miss! In such a case a viewer would just surf channels till they cling on to a show. For this very reason various channels prefer to come up with shows of different genre, apart from their reality shows and daily soaps. This has forced channels to come down to mere entertainment rather than sharing valuable content.

Image Courtesy: Microsoft Research

Image Courtesy: Microsoft Research

Which then brings us to what the definition of entertainment is? Is it what makes us laugh when we watch shows like Comedy Circus and Laughter Challenge or is it the nail biting excitement we experience when the hosts of reality shows like Indian Idol or Jhalak, declare the winners of the show. A million emotions and a million depictions of the word entertainment! But this has evolved over the years. Prior to this when we had shows like Ramayan, Mahabharat and a few more shows related to similar genre, the entire family would sit together on a Sunday to watch it.

Today in spite of such shows marking the schedule, there are very few takers to such shows. That’s why over time most channels have evolved themselves to survive in the TRP charts. Post a couple of seasons, a new format needs to be introduced which in most cases doesn’t happen. The only show which adapted to the change was KBC. This was when Sony reintroduced Kaun Banega Crorepati with their new format. The TRPs were regained from what was lost in the fourth season of the show.

More shows need to change their format or channels need to introduce innovative reality shows rather than just coming up with another dance or singing show. Same goes with daily soaps. The only reason shows like CID or Tarak Mehta Ka Oltaah Chashma have still managed to grab viewership is because they have created the space with fresh or interesting content or have found a way to keep their audience hooked on rather than providing the similar plot that other channels offer.

With building competition every day, it will be interesting to see what new shows channels can offer their viewers to climb the TRP charts.

Author: Writes articles on Sony Entertainment Television, India’s No 1 platform to Hindi TV shows and Indian Reality TV shows online.