Indian television has come a long way since the invasion of satellite channels. Stereotypical plots and melodrama that once ruled the airwaves are now being replaced by shows with newer contexts and concepts. With over a hundred channels jostling for benefits from TRPs, show producers are looking to explore newer ways to attract an increased viewership. Thanks to this new wave of western influence, television channels in India today are no longer ruled by sari clad submissive daughter-in-laws with larger-than-life characters. Directors have become keener to experiment with different trends and offer a greater mix of shows to woo the attention of Indian viewers. This prompted the trend of reality shows in India.
It is important to note here that India was not completely unfamiliar with the format of television reality shows. The iconic show, “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Antakshari”, was broadcast long before we were familiar with the concept of reality television. We were formally introduced to the concept with shows like “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and “Zee Cinestars ki Khoj”. Real emotions of real people attracted viewers like never before. Keeping up with the trend, channels now went on to bring the most popular formats of reality shows from the West to Indian television. Thus, “Bigg Boss”, “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa” and “Dance India Dance” took over television screens. It was around this time that music channels started showing adventure and dating reality shows. Apart from these, there were a number of other talent-hunt shows which started getting shown on Indian television.
Therefore, it’s best to say that the topography of television channels changed rapidly. In order to combat the growing popularity of reality shows, the soaps got some major makeovers. Although family dramas continue to be one of the popular formats on Indian television, their stories were significantly altered. Don’t get surprised if you see these shows going to foreign locations like England or Switzerland to shoot special sequences.
Interestingly, apart from daily soaps and reality shows, this year Indian television also witnessed different genres of entertainment making successful foray on television screens. “24”, the very ambitious television series by Anil Kapoor, introduced us to an all-new format and shows like “Comedy Nights with Kapil” triggered our laughter like never before.
All in all, we can say that Indian Television is changing and it is changing for the better.