Top 5 Gamechangers on Hindi GECs in 2013

27 Dec,2013


By Shailesh Kapoor


For the television industry, 2013 will be best remembered as the year of digitization. Similarly, we hope to remember 2014 as the year of a ratings system overhaul, with the industry shifting to the new system being developed by BARC. We are evidently in a period when technology and not content is emerging as the gamechanger.


Yet, there were gamechangers that stood out on the content side in Hindi GECs too. Here’s a look at my list of Top 5 such shows. Established successful shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum, Saathiya and Balika Vadhu are not a part of this list, as their ongoing success is simply a continuation of what they promised in the last few years.


5. 24

The much-hyped 24 did not deliver high ratings. But it makes it to this gamechangers list for simply trying. As the Indian television market matures, we are bound to see fiction experiments beyond the regular family-based shows that currently rule the roost for the right reasons. When one such idea clicks, the floodgates will open. But 24 on Colors will always be remembered as the pioneer that brought this change. Here’s hoping for a more-Indianized second season.


4. Qubool Hai

Launched in late 2012, Qubool Hai scaled great heights of popularity in early and mid 2013, before losing some of the steam towards the end of the year. Driven by good casting that combined eye candy with solid performances, this Muslim social offered cultural variety, but with a contemporary and youthful treatment that had the college girls asking for more. Along with Sapne Suhaane Ladakpan Ke, it gave Zee TV a younger audience base that in turn helped the channel grow during the year, and sizably so.


3. Mahabharat

Star Plus challenged the status quo on production of daily fiction shows this year. After a rather half-baked attempt with Saraswatichandra, Mahabharat saw a real shift of scale. The show is easily the best-mounted fiction show ever in the history of Indian television. Its perspective on the epic tale is applause-worthy too, with considerable focus on the grey, than just the black and the white. Uneven pace and language comprehension issues may have limited its viewership in the early period, but the serial is now set for a creditable finish in 2014.


2. Jodha Akbar

Zee TV’s Jodha Akbar is a live case study on how to make a historical theme engaging by giving it a contemporary treatment. Story-wise, the programme uses the tried and tested elements of family and romantic dramas, exploited earlier to hilt in shows like Pratigya and Saathiya on Star Plus. It keeps the language simple, allowing for easy, fun viewing of what could have been an otherwise-overbearing show. Yet, the period look makes the show stand out in the crowd, offering the best of both worlds.


1. Comedy Nights With Kapil

This has to be a one-horse race if there ever was one. The success of Comedy Nights With Kapil on Colors cannot be measured by its ratings alone. Its consistently top-notch and flawless execution, combining fiction with live entertainment, has left me amazed episode after episode. How can you get something so right, I have often wondered. The show delivers two popular genres, which were beginning to look a bit jaded on television, in a refreshing avatar – Comedy and Bollywood.


The comedy stays away from being crass or lowbrow at all times, yet manages to focus on popular culture and mass themes. The celebrity interaction is nothing we have seen before. It is audience-indulgent, not celebrity-indulgent. By now, it is common knowledge in the industry how celebrities aspire to be on the show and nervously prepare for it, so that they can match up to Kapil’s wit and timing.


Comedy Nights With Kapil is the unifier show we have missed since KBC in 2000 – a show that various sections of the family and the society have an equal appeal towards. Thankfully, its success is not replicable, so we may not see too many clones coming out. Meanwhile, another 100+ delicious episodes await us in 2014.


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2 responses to “Top 5 Gamechangers on Hindi GECs in 2013”

  1. Daisy says:

    Regarding Mahabharat, the article says,”The show is easily the best-mounted fiction show ever in the history of Indian television”

    Absolutely correct observation about MB. That is why itna saara fiction daily basis mein dekhne ko milta hai…this is the magic of “Starbharat”.

    Kaunse scripture mein likha hai ki Arjun ne Rukmini haran mein Krishna ko assist kiya???
    MB ke kaunse version mein diya hai ki Arjun ne Karna ke charan dhoye the??
    Aur agar Dhrupad aur Shikhandi(ni) chakravyuh ke baare mein pehle se jaante the, toh Kurukshetra war mein Abhimanyu chakravyuh ke andar akela kaise pad gaya??? Bechare ko apne praan gavane pade chakravyuh mein akele yudh karte hue… Shaayad Dhrupad aur Shikhandi ko amnesia ho gaya thaa Kurukshetra war ke time isliye unhone Abhimanyu ko help nahin kiya…

  2. M Murli says:

    Get a life, please! On what basis have a couple of these shows been shortlisted? Beats the crap out of me!!