Not the season of sequels!

Debarati Palit Singh
Friday, 13 July 2018

Sequels of popular shows, both fiction and non fiction , had a tough luck with TRPs this year. So what went wrong? 

2018 saw popular TV shows, both fiction and non-fiction, making a comeback. Dev 2, Naagin 3, Khichdi, Hum Paanch Phir Se, Shrimaan Shrimati Phir Se, Dus Ka Dum, Family Time with Kapil Sharma were back on TV on public demand. Sadly, none of the shows managed to garner great TRPs, barring Naagin season 3. 

Ekta Kapoor’s debut production, Hum Paanch — a popular ’90s show aired on Zee TV. The rebooted version, Hum Paanch Phir Se, was launched in June 2017 on Big Magic and went off air early this year. Dev 2, the only detective show on Colors, is doing ok. 

Khichdi, one of the most loved TV shows which debuted on Star Plus in 2002, was followed by Instant Khichdi in 2005 and came back on the same channel early this year but couldn’t sustain viewership. 
Another ’90s show Shrimaan Shrimati launched its sequel Shrimaan Shrimati Phir Se in March but is’nt making any news either.

Salman Khan’s popular game show Dus Ka Dum was launched with much fanfare on June 4 but there are reports about Kaun Banega Crorepati replacing it owing to its low TRP. 

Family Time with Kapil Sharma, which was the comedian’s comeback show went off air after a few episodes. It had a lot to do with Kapil’s personal issues. Having said that, the show didn’t register the desired numbers for the channel. 

Ekta Kapoor’s Naagin season 3 is the only exception. It’s the top show on the Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) chart since its launch three weeks back. 

When Dus Ka Dum was launched, the hype was pretty high. NP Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, had said, “Dus Ka Dum is a format re-envisioned by our in-house creative team and Sony Pictures Television, UK. The advent of second screen, pioneered by Sony Entertainment Television during Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) last year, has revolutionised the way content is consumed. This time around, the number of respondents (about 1.5 million) to the Dus Ka Dum survey on our SonyLIV app, has been an eye opener. This data not just highlights the popularity of the show but also highlights an evolved consumption pattern amongst the audience. Along with an interesting format, ‘Play Along’ will provide an opportunity to people at home to be part of Dus Ka Dum game play. “ 

Living up to audience expectations 

The shows were loved by the audience during their first season so naturally there were a lot of expectations from the sequels. However, living up to the audience’s expectations isn’t an easy job. 
Several people were disappointed with the format of Family Time with Kapil Sharma. The comedian has created a niche for himself with his funny antics but Family Time… wasn’t offering any of that. It was a game show mixed with humour. The initial episodes opened to decent numbers but later, the numbers started dipping. This happened even before Kapil got embroiled in a personal war with his former manager Preeti Simoes over some personal comments made by her where she commented on his “deteriorated mental health”. Following this, he got involved in a further spat with an online entertainment portal. After which, he disappeared from the show leaving the channel in a fix. 

While speaking to a news agency recently, he said, “I think I need some me time and need to recuperate. I’ve been working too hard for too long. There is a lot in the pipeline and a lot of new exciting projects which I will talk about soon. The reality right now is that I have worked very hard and I love what I do. I just need some time off and I promise you that I will be entertaining you again, as that is what I thrive on.” 

TRPs do matter 

Television Rating Point (TRP) is a ruthless truth, which most TV producers and makers have to live with. 
Owing to the TRP games, most channels do not give a chance to shows which do not connect with the audience. The game has become so fierce that shows go off air within a couple of months if they can’t fetch the desired TRPs. But who is to be blamed? After all, it’s about the moolah. 

During the launch of Dev 2, Ashish Chowdhry, who plays the title role in the show, said that he had been told by the channel not to worry about TRPs, which is comforting. “They want to make differential content for TV and probably give a whole new crime show, which no one has seen before. In fact, we will take a breather after this show and then come back for the third season.”

But at the end of the day, shows need viewers to stay on air.    

Options galore

Television is already offering a variety of shows, from family dramas to saas-bahu sagas to supernatural stories. So it’s hard for yesteryear shows to find space among the current shows which are already doing well in terms of numbers. 

It’s also hard to say if the content from the ’90s will connect with today’s audience. The changing choice is a big challenge for show makers. Not just the content, but the makers have to think of the medium too nowadays.   

Jamnadas Majethia, aka J D Majethia, producer and director of Khichdi, says that there were two reasons for the show not getting the desired TRPs: “One, we went on air during IPL and the show was aired during the weekends when IPL ratings were high. Two, the ratings got divided because the show was available on Hotstar and we got fabulous response there. A lot of people today prefer watching shows at their own convenience and online is the perfect medium.”  

But this has not stopped producers from bringing back popular shows. Ekta Kapoor has announced the sequel of her popular show Kasauti Zindagi Ki, which will go on air later this year.  

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