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TV audience not ready for seasons?

Several shows that went off-air recently, like Pratigya, Saubhagyavati Bhav and Saas Bina Sasural, were in the news for a probable second season. However, Indian audiences and channels don’t seem to be ready for seasons of hit shows, unlike in the west.

tv Updated: Mar 18, 2013 18:05 IST
Kavita Awaasthi
Na-Bole-Tum-Na-Maine-Kuch-Kaha
Na-Bole-Tum-Na-Maine-Kuch-Kaha

Parichay went off air this week, but fans of the show have been making quite a ruckus on social media demanding season 2 of their “favourite show”. Several other shows that went off-air recently, like Pratigya, Saubhagyavati Bhav and Saas Bina Sasural, too were in the news for a probable second season. However, Indian audiences and channels don’t seem to be ready for seasons of hit shows, unlike in the west.

Here, serials go on for 1,000+ episodes because channels are scared of losing their loyal audience if they give it a break. A decade ago, we had weekly shows. Then, daily soaps took over because channels realised it was better to keep audiences hooked than letting them go in search of something better. It is this insecurity that leads to plots going haywire and TRPs dipping. Yet, makers refuse to shut shop. Somehow, they feel that introducing new tracks and characters is okay, but ending a show is not.

It was a first when Ekta Kapoor launched Kutumb 2 (2002), and projected it as season 2 of the popular show that had Hiten Tejwani and Gauri Pradhan in the lead. But its storyline had no connection to the earlier season. The only common factor between the two was that the plot revolved around lead characters named Pratham (Hiten) and Gauri (Gauri). Other serials, like Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Kitani Mohabbat Hai and Chhoti Bahu, too have used a similar ploy to retain audiences.

Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha is probably the first fiction show that went in for a season 2 in which story is being taken forward with the same characters and cast. But there’s a catch.

Instead of picking up from where they left off, the story has taken a leap of 12 years, another cliché used by makers to keep the audiences interested when TRPs dwindle. They take a leap of six months or six years, get fresh characters, introduce a twist and voila, you have an almost new series. So, will we ever have seasons-like western shows? Probably not.