Crime Patrol – Dastak, that airs twice a week in a late night slot, has not only completed over 52 weeks in the top 10 chart, but has also become the No 1 show this week.
According to the ratings issued by TAM India, the official record keeper for TV viewing in the country, the two-part episode aired on last Friday and Saturday on Sony Entertainment, showcasing the recent ‘Baby Falak’ case in Delhi and the associated human trafficking issue, scored 6.8 points, leaving popular dailies behind.
Host Anoop Soni gives credit to the show’s director Subramaniam and to the creative and research team that consciously cut down the graphic representation of crimes. “The ratings are overwhelming. But they also point out that we have an ever-increasing audience base, and have to be more cautious about the way we discuss a case study,” he says, adding, “There’s no point in sensationalising. The idea is to narrate a story in a humane manner and understand what leads to a particular crime and how it could have been averted.”
Anoop, who only shoots anchor links for the show, prefers to read the entire screenplay to connect with a story. He also reads newspapers and magazines thoroughly and passes on cases to the show’s two-member research team for consideration. “We can’t end crimes, but circumstances that lead to punishable offences can be changed,” says the actor-anchor, who remembers receiving great feedback for a series on female foeticide cases in India.
“There are thousands of cases we’d like to highlight alongside the role that cops play in cracking them. And trust me, there’s a large chunk of the audience that’s not tuning in for voyeuristic pleasure.”
Crime Patrol’s first season aired from May 2003 to March 2006, followed by season two that ran from January 2010 to June 2010. The third season started in September 2010 and ended in December 2010. The current season flagged off on April 29, 2011. Director Subramaniam, the brain and creative force behind the show, doesn’t know if this season will ever end.
“We’re trying to keep the show newsy. At the same time, we’re trying to keep the grossness levels low because we don’t want to show gruesome crimes too graphically,” he reasons. “We had thought we’d get a little break between these cases. But the good feedback won’t let us do that anytime soon.”