TV shows nowadays seem to be changing. Rather than sticking to the same old studio sets, they are beginning to take their stories and characters abroad and shooting there for short spells. While Star Plus’ Saathiya went to Switzerland for a business deal, Diya Aur Baati Hum recently shot a soon-to-be-aired cooking contest track in Singapore. Sony’s Bade Achhe Lagte Hain took lead characters Ram Kapoor and Priya to Australia for a honeymoon in November, and has now shifted locale to Dubai to showcase a five-year leap, and Sony’s CID went to Paris to unravel a kidnapping case.
Audiences love watching foreign exotic locations which also adds to the glam quotient of a show. Producer of Saathiya, Rashmi Sharma says, “Foreign locations break the monotony and also give viewers a glimpse of international venues. Visually beautiful, the international locales enhance the story and attract audiences.” The TRPs of Saathiya rose significantly after its Switzerland episodes, she adds.
While most of these shows shoot abroad for just five to 12 days, Zee TV’s mega-budget new show, Rab Se Sona Isshq (launching July 16), has set a huge part of its story in London and will shoot there for three months. Jay Mehta Productions’ Kinnari Mehta says, “We are proud to make India’s first cross-continental love story aimed at today’s global Indian.” She adds that beautiful locales bring out the novelty in a quintessential love story. “In London, we will shoot at famous monuments like the Big Ben and the London Bridge, and also capture the bistros, galleries and opera houses there,” she says.
It is usually the channel’s decision to take a show abroad, and the budget of such episodes vary from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 12 lakh, depending on the show and the number of people involved. Also, more than half of the cost is taken care of if the show has tie-ups with the country’s tourism board. The visual extravagance not only gets the audience interested, but also brings in higher TRPs.