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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Audiences only love saas-bahu dramas: JD Majethia

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 04, 2012
First Published: 15:36 IST(4/11/2012) | Last Updated: 20:13 IST(10/11/2012)
Producer JD Majethia is not a happy man. All three of his shows, Byah Hamari Bahu Ka, Alaxmi and Ek Doosre Se Karte Hain Pyaar Hum, have not fared as well as expected. He speaks to us about the harrowing experience.

Though it was reported that Ek Doosre... is shutting down, will it now air in the 6 pm slot?
Yes, but I think it will be on air for few weeks only. I am disappointed with the slot, but with no TRPs until December, we won’t know how it is faring in that slot. It will be a miracle if the show lasts for long. Star Plus has a policy where they want all their shows to deliver a TRP of 3.5 and above.

Ek Doosre... started off as a comedy but then switched to family drama. Why?
We started off at a TRP rating of 2, but had competition from the family drama Sasuraal Simar Ka, which scored a 3-plus rating. Even though the story track was a cliché, we were told to switch to family drama, which is always popular with women. And yes, we did get better results, but now the shift in the time slot has surprised me.

But your other shows, Life OK’s Alaxmi and Sony’s Byah Hamari Bahu Ka, too haven’t fared well.
Yes, this is a phase where things aren’t working as we want them. Alaxmi has been switched from a daily show to weekends with
Gattu from Baa Bahoo Aur Baby re-introduced in the show on the channel’s insistence. But Byah was always meant for a six month-run as per our contract.

Currently the trend on TV is to start off with a new concept, but end up with kitchen politics.
The audiences eventually love saas- bahu dramas only. They aren’t open to new subjects. Mahadev works as it is shot differently, but it is a mythological show. Bade Achhe Lagte Hain was different, but in a month, it became a saas-bahu drama. Diya Aur Baati Hum is a love story, but the saas-bahu angle reigns supreme. There is nothing earth-shatteringly different on TV.

Your shows are always about Gujarati families, which gives viewers a déjà vu feeling.
You are always known for your best work. Shah Rukh Khan has done many different films, but you remember him most for the romantic ones. We depict Gujarati culture as it’s our strength, but the characters are always different. Yash Chopraji too made romantic movies on NRIs, revolving around Punjabi families, so why can’t I make serials on Gujarati families? Though we have done shows on Punjabi and Marathi families, like in Remote Control, they didn’t work as much as the others.
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