In a couple of days, 2011 will be history. But it won’t have ended just like that, and would have made an impact, at least among TV audiences.
For instance, the number of award shows that Hindi entertainment channels screened in a calendar year, shot up by 100 per cent. Another highlight was the number of Bollywood celebrities on the small screen.
Everyone from debutants Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta to old wines Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, tried their luck as hosts or judges.
Some worked, and some induced yawns. While other headline grabbers included Poonam Pandey and porn star Sunny Leone…Both showed their best sides on reality shows. That’s not all.
According to the TRPs issued by TAM India, the official record keeper for show viewership in the country, Kaun Banega Crorepati’s November 2 episode that saw Motihari’s Sushil Kumar win Rs 5 crore was the highest rated capsule on a GEC in the year, with 8.07 points.
While surprisingly, Doordarshan’s (Yes! Our national broadcaster is still watched) live telecast of the India-Sri Lanka World Cup match rated the lowest, 5.77 points, on the top 10 charts.
High points on the box…
1. Premieres on tube
Bodyguard and Singham dominated the film premieres on the small screen. Salman Khan’s bodyguard act swept the screen with 11 points, even as Ajay Devgn’s cop outing rated roughly 9 points.
2. Passing the Buck
Most leading networks went all out to buy TV rights to some of the most looked-forward-to movies for the next year.
3. Concept is king
TV show producers, including Ekta Kapoor, decided to dish out some seriously relatable concepts. Bade Acche Lagte Hain... (deals with the married life of a middle-aged couple), Parvarish (talks about bringing up children), Afsar Bitiya (a Hindi-medium educated girl dares to become a government official against odds) and Live My Life (allows a commoner to live the life of his or her favourite hero or heroine)…It was what could be termed as entertainment that changed.
4. Crores and the common man
Sushil Kumar, a computer instructor from Motihari, Bihar, won the highest prize booty on Indian TV. And suddenly, commoners came to occupy an important place on TV shows fiction and non-fiction. Next, Sach Ka Saamna 2 provided the much-missed platform to highlight corruption in the lives of middle-class Indians. Kudos!
5. Big B rules
Unarguably, at 69, Amitabh Bachchan once again turned out to be the dishiest host, and the most-watched face on Indian TV. In four months of runtime, not once did his game show step out of the top five, and he also beat contemporaries and juniors alike in the TRP race.
In his words, “Just how many celebs have you seen enjoying visibility at 70? Let me have it for as long as it lasts!”
6. Disaster, re-spelt
Out of a hundred-odd flop shows in 365 days, two that come to mind first are Zor Ka Jhatka-Total Wipeout, a complete washout, and Bigg Boss 5 that made probably the tallest promises about their contender list. Really, opening a show with Shakti Kapoor needs some guts… Aaaoo!
And the six-pack to look forward to…
1. Aamir Khan’s small screen debut
This show is a tightly guarded secret. No one knows its name, concept, duration on air and number of episodes. All one knows is that Aamir’s company will produce this socially relevant show for Star Network.
2. Amitabh, yet again?
Possibly! Reports are that Sony Entertainment plans to continue with Amitabh Bachchan as its KBC host for a couple more seasons. Going by the current year’s performance, it’s not a bad deal… and definitely something to watch out for.
3. Show sequels
If you’ve not had your fill of reality shows or some fiction shows, this possibly is your year. Everything from Akshay Kumar’s Khatron Ke Khiladi and Preity Zinta’s Guinness World Records Ab India Todega to Madhuri Dixit’s Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa is likely to make a comeback. And no, it’s not a threat!
4. New year, new channels
Plenty of networks have their hands full with new channels to be launched. To name a few, Viacom 18 plans to launch a movie and a comedy channel. 9xM is likely to introduce more regional music channels. Star Network is reportedly coming up with two action movie channels and Zee Network is toying with the idea of a premium channel based on golf.
5. Indian Premier League Season 5
The fourth edition of the cricket tournament was watched, but the impact
wasn’t as strong as earlier editions. For starters, this time there will be nine teams instead of 10. A player auction is expected soon. But it’s difficult to say if it can still charm TV viewers.
6. India V/s Pakistan
Last, but not the least, TV network Sahara One has gone to Pakistan for the first time in recent history to audition for its music show, which will be shot in Dubai for political and safety concerns. Crooner Atif Aslam’s team takes on nasal Himesh Reshammiya’s. India V/s Pakistan, on a different field, are you game?
Big bucks for small screen rights:
Agneepath (Zee) Rs 41 crore
Taalaash (Sony) Rs 40 crore
Krrish 2 (Sony) Rs 38 crore
RA.One (Star Network) Rs 35 crore
Bodyguard (Star Network) Rs 33 crore