Many women are no longer trying to garner TRPs by being the bahus. But it is a cocktail of shows with women especially young girls as central characters who are vying for the viewers' attention.
In 2000, women ruled TV playing the scheming saas, or the ideal bahu. In 2009, too, women rule TV. But now just about every theme linked to women is being tried out.
"It is a vibrant young TV watching market. So for the GEC I think in the future in terms of long term plan you have to really got to keep evolving, keep changing your schedule," says Gurdip Bhangoo, Head, Programming, Sony TV.
Innovation is paying off as No. 1 this week is Star Plus' Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, a small town girl's love story through arranged marriage. Balika Vadhu on Colors, a story on child marriage is at No. 3. Other shows doing well include Uttaran, the story of a maid servant's daughter, Na Aana Is Des... that takes up female infanticide and Zee TV's Agle Janam Mohe… about a village girl being sold to save her family.
Colors has successfully challenged Star Plus' reign at the top with Balika Vadhu toppling Tulsi from the TRP charts last September.
The channel has aggressive plans with a Season 2 of shows like Khatron Ke Khiladi and Bigg Boss lined up. What the market is moving towards is a scenario where two or three players would be very much in the league. This is similar to what was in the US or what is in the US where three players going up and down bases the seasonal highs or episodic highs or movie highs," says Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat.
Sony Entertainment, too, is trying a comeback with a range of fresh programming but is still struggling for TRPs.
Even its flagship show Dus Ka Dum, hosted by Salman Khan has had lukewarm ratings. "Still be very family centric, still be rooted in traditional values and cultures to try and attract viewers from what perhaps they are watching across other networks. Try and get new viewers as well," says Bhangoo.
With all the familiar daily soaps off the air, the channel wars are back to the start line. It's the channel that finds the next big mantra that'll be the next TRP king.