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Viewers get to see more of Oberoi family with Star Plus’ spin-off stunt

The channel is the first one to launch a spin-off series out of an existing fiction show. Ishqbaaz and Dil Bole Oberoi both revolve around a romantic story with drama and comedy, featuring the Oberoi family

Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai | February 28, 2017

Star-Plus-150Star Plus has become the first Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) to launch a spin-off show, Dil Bole Oberoi, of its existing fiction show Ishqbaaz. The two fiction series, with same characters, run back to back from 10pm onwards from Monday to Friday.

Star Plus launched Ishqbaaz on June 27, 2016, at 10pm, and Dil Bole Oberoi on February 13, 2017, about seven months after the original show. The two shows feature the Oberoi family, which has three sons. While Ishqbaaz started off with a story that revolved around Shivaay and Anika, Dil Bole Oberoi focuses on the stories of Omkara and Rudra -- the other two brothers of the family.

This is the second time a spin-off of a fiction show has been created on Indian television. Earlier, Pogo, a kids’ channel, had created Mighty Raju series, a spin-off of its existing popular show Chhota Bheem. But on the Hindi GEC flock, Ishqbaaz and DBO is the first one. Best Media Info spoke to the producer of the show, Gul Khan, and Gaurav Banerjee, President and Head of Content Studio, Star India, to understand how the idea clicked and to know few other nuances of this step.

Gaurav Banerjee Gaurav Banerjee

To start with, how did the idea come about? Banerjee said, “We are constantly thinking about new things that we can do. Of course we were aware of the concept of spin-offs because while Mighty Raju is one, there’s another example from Hollywood about the show Friends where Joey had another show to himself. We wanted to be the first to do it in India but here the difficulty is that we have long-running shows, which are six days a week. These challenges are peculiar only to us but the opportunity presented itself.”

He further explained, “We started telling these three great stories through Ishqbaaz, but as time progressed we realised that the Ishqbaaz story was more about Shivaay and Anika while Omkara was not able to get that much of screen time. We loved Omkara as a character and the viewers loved him too. It was becoming difficult to find as much footage for that story and we had an exciting story which we wanted to tell with them. That’s when we thought why don’t we create the spin off?”

Khan seconded the thought, saying, “Dil Bole Oberoi was born because Ishqbaaz had more than one characters that became popular. 20 minutes were not enough to explore the other brothers (Rudra and Omkara). We wanted an extension to express the stories of Rudra and Omkara. Hence, it was a joint decision by the channel and us.”

There are a couple of issues that the Indian TV production industry is trying to cope with. One of them is to get enough working hours with the actors. There has been a constant complaint from the producers as to how to accommodate the actors’ time when the pressure for delivering one episode each day is continuously lingering on. Here, the production house is working with the actors for two shows. How tough would it be to churn out 40 minutes of programming from the same set of actors?

Khan told us that it is challenging, but manageable. “So, in one show some of the actors have more work, while the other show has some other actors giving more time. My problem was something else. My actors said that I am not using them enough,” she laughs off.

But if the characters needed more screen space, why not extend one show to run for an hour? After all, it would have given 40 minutes, instead of 20 minutes to the channel and the producers.

To this Khan said, “Indian audiences like to attach to one face or one couple in one show. Even if it was one hour, the spotlight would always have to focus more on the lead couple.”

Banerjee too said that making Ishqbaaz a one-hour show would not have really helped because “we wanted to tell a different story from a different focus point. It is a spin-off show since there are two different stories, the spotlight needed to shift.”

As both the shows have drama and comedy, coupled with romance, which is mandatory in the fiction shows these days, wouldn’t there be fatigue for the audience? Will it be an overdose of the Oberoi family?

Banerjee has huge confidence when he explained that the fatigue factor can always be eliminated with good writers and actors. “When there is a good story, people are happy to consume as much as possible. It is an exciting challenge for us, as writers/ makers and as actors to keep it fresh yet exciting.”

As time progresses, one must wait and watch to see whether spinning off a storyline actually results in a similar spin-off in ratings.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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