Salman to Amitabh: Bollywood magic fading on small screen?

  • Anjuri Nayar Singh, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 16, 2015 10:34 IST
Amitabh Bachchan in his latest TV show Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi. (FACEBOOK)

When Amitabh Bachchan first came on the small screen as the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, millions were glued to their television sets. It was a milestone for Indian television. However, the charm doesn’t seem to hold anymore.

Today, we have stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Farhan Akhtar trying their best to woo small screen viewers. But the interest of the viewers seems to have waned with time. BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council India), which measures the ratings of television shows, clearly indicates that the ratings of shows where there is Bollywood presence has been significantly lower than the fiction shows in the last few weeks.

The BARC rating for Farhan’s show I Can Do That was 1.1 in week 48 (Nov 28-Dec 4). (YOUTUBE GRAB)

In fact, the ratings of shows with Bollywood actors have been steadily decreasing. According to the BARC official website, Week 48 (November 28, 2015 to Friday, December 4), the top 5 shows were all fiction. Last week, the ratings for Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi (hosted by Amitabh Bachchan) are 0.9, I Can Do That (hosted by Farhan Akhtar) are 1.1, Bigg Boss Weekend (hosted by Salman Khan) are 2.1 and Comedy Nights With Kapil got a rating of 2.2, while the top ratings for fiction shows, included Naagin with a rating of 5.7 and Saath Nibhaana Saathiya with 4.8.

Read: ‘Ekta Kapoor has made the Naagin look modern’

Trade analyst Atul Mohan says there has been an over exposure of Bollywood actors on television. “There are too many GECs with the same kind of shows. Most of these shows are based on a similar pattern, which is why they don’t interest the viewers. How many such shows will people watch?” he asks, adding, “Also, it depends from star to star. With Amitabh Bachchan, the audience only wants to see him as part of Kaun Banega Crorepati, nothing else.”

The makers of Bigg Boss are relying heavily on the SRK-Salman reunion to boost their TRP this weekend. Shah Rukh Khan is slated to visit the sets of Salman’s TV show Bigg Boss 9 to promote his upcoming film Dilwale. (COLORS)

Television producer Vikas Seth, who has produced shows like Yeh Vaada Raha, says positioning a big actor as the face of your show is not enough. “Content has to be created with proper strategy and research. Concepts with big stars also need to create content that stands out with a higher brand recall value. Just using a big star doesn’t work all the time,” he says.

However, Bachchan says that he has never really looked into the ratings of his show. “I do not know what ‘ratings’ are and what they mean to a show. I just do my job to the best of my ability,” he told us earlier.

VOTE | Who should be thrown out of the Bigg Boss 9 house this week?

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