Hindi GECs and their shows have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Whether it is the oft-quoted fly in Sasural Simar Ka or the controversial plotline of Pehredaar Piya Ki, much has been written about all the bizarre content channels are feeding people in the name of entertainment.
But Hindi programming did not always feature evil mother-in-laws, helpless leading ladies and bears that fall in love with humans. There was a time when shows made sense. But then came the era of the K-series and everywhere there were scheming ladies trying to make protagonists’ life hell. But that is the norm with television, one starts and others follow. So, here we try to spot the current trends in programming.
Extended programming on weekends:
There was a time when the prime time started at 9 pm and channels used to have one big ticket show for their weekend programming. But that is not the case today. Today, channels are not dependent on one big show for their weekend programming. Take Zee TV for example. India’s Best Judwaah, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs and the second instalment of Fear Files are all a part of Zee’s weekend programming.
Extended prime time:
Today, prime time is not restricted to the golden time band of 9-10. Prime time today starts as early as 7 pm. In fact, Star even came up with an afternoon line-up of shows. While, afternoons are usually relegated to repeat telecast of shows, Star set up a line-up of original content. The concept did not really take off if the numbers are to be believed but channels are definitely looking to rope in viewers beyond the traditional prime time.
Opulence has always been a part of Hindi shows. Larger-than-life sets, big weddings and celebrations that dragged on for weeks have been a staple for Hindi GECs but today channels are going a step further with shows such as Naagin and Chandrakanta. Not only do these shows require elaborate sets and costumes but also a fair amount of VFX and special effects as well.
Spin-offs are a fairly recent phenomenon in Hindi programming. When Star Plus’s Ishqbaaaz came up with a spin-off Dil Boley Oberoi, there was much noise about the fate of the show. While the initial reception of the show was good, the numbers seem to be stagnating. The most recent show to join the spin-off bandwagon is Kundali Bhagya. A spin-off of Zee TV’s popular Kumkum Bhagya, the show has opened to good numbers owing to the popularity of Kumkum Bhagya.
Shows that go on for ages are the norm when it comes to Hindi GECs but Colors’s juggernaut Naagin changed the game with its hugely successful first season and an equally popular second one. While Colors has dabbled with the season format in fiction with 24 before, it did not prove to be very successful but Naagin seems to have been a game changer and might pave the way for future shows to give the seasons format some serious consideration.