Nearly 28 years after its inception, cartoon show "Tom and Jerry" is still a top-rated kids' entertainment show on Indian television, reveal latest statistics.
In the Hindi-speaking markets and among cable and satellite viewers in the age group of 4-14, "Tom and Jerry", which airs on the channel Cartoon Network India, bagged three positions among the top 10 unique programmes in the kids' genre in October, according to data received from TAM Media Research.
While "Tom and Jerry: Cat and Mouse Full House" bagged the first position, "Tom and Jerry Tales" bagged the eighth rank and "Tom and Jerry Show" accounted for the last spot.
"Tom and Jerry", the comic tales of blue house cat Tom and light brown mouse Jerry, has enthralled audiences across countries, languages and age groups and kept them in splits for years.
It has a massive Indian fan following and is broadcast in four languages - Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu - to reach the maximum number of viewers.
Seema, a domestic help in New Delhi, is so fond of the cartoon that she bought a collection of the show's CDs and took it to her village to show it to her folks and entertain the children there. Even now, she stops working whenever the show is aired on TV.
With the onset of new Indian animated cartoons like "Hanuman" and "Bal Ganesha", there was a perception that "Tom and Jerry" would slip in kids' entertainment, but it is still on top of the pack.
Says child actress Swini Khara of "Cheeni Kum" fame: "Though I prefer 'Shin Chan', 'Tom and Jerry' is my all-time favourite cartoon. I love it for the fights and the way the cat and mouse take revenge. It's all very cute."
The plots of each "Tom and Jerry" short mostly centres on Tom's numerous but futile attempts to catch Jerry and the chaos and destruction that ensues.
The "Tom and Jerry" series making it to three spots on the top 10 list of TAM also helped the Cartoon Network channel bag a total channel percentage of 25, ahead of Nickelodeon's 23 per cent in October.
"The 'Tom and Jerry' series is short, simple and yet a proper laugh riot. No one can ignore them even while surfing the television. It is the top rated show on the channel," Krishna Desai, director of programming, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd., the parent company for Cartoon Network, told IANS.
"Not only us but our parents too have enjoyed the chase between these two characters in their childhood. And till date we relish a show of these two cute characters with our kids."
"Tom and Jerry" started in 1940 as an initiative by William Hanna, a director, and Joseph Barbera, a storyman and character designer. After that, the cartoon went through several producers who made shorts, TV series, feature films - all around the cat and mouse chase.
"Our Indian children also love the concept of chasing each other and a tiny little mouse winning over a house cat is an amazing and invincible plot," Desai averred.
The most recent "Tom and Jerry" series for television, "Tom and Jerry Tales" was produced at Warner Bros. Animation and ended March 22.