Top 5 Gamechangers on Hindi GECs in 2014

02 Jan,2015

 

By Shailesh Kapoor

 

2014 will not go down in Indian television’s history as a particularly memorable year. It was the year when the industry waited for its new ratings system, amidst possibilities of a ratings blackout. Some new channels launched, but none of them proved to be gamechangers, though Zindagi’s launch campaign was amongst the best in recent years.

 

The sports genre saw more action than most others, with Kabaddi and Soccer leagues in the second half of the year. While they passed muster in their first essay, only time till prove if they have longevity.

 

Established shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum, Saathiya, Jodha Akbar and Sasural Simar Ka remained strong in the Hindi GEC space. While high-profile launches like Yudh and Everest (particularly the former) struggled to make an impact, there were some other launches that influenced the category in 2014.

 

Here’s a look at the Top 5:

5. Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar

In what was an otherwise forgettable year for Sony, the last quarter saw a mini-revival with the launch of Balaji Telefilms’ Itna Ka Karo Mujhe Pyaar. Mounted of familiar principles as Bade Achhe Lagte Hain (mature love story with a strong starcast), the show has emerged as one of the more ‘sticky’ show on primetime television today, albeit on a small audience base. Itna… looks very “written”, but its squeeze-the-emotion-out treatment and excellent use of obscure Bollywood songs as the background score makes it stand out. Let’s see if it emerges as the pivot around which Sony makes a comeback in 2015.

 

4. Ek Hasina Thi

Star Plus moved out of its comfort zone to dwell into the grey zone of a revenge thriller dished out in a soap format. Ek Hasina Thi was loosely based on the hit series ‘Revenge’. Though the show had a short lifespan of about eight months, it managed to catch the young audience’s fancy very early in this period.

 

3. Udaan

Colors revisited its roots, with child protagonist programming centred around a social issue (bonded labour this time), with Udaan. The show built a strong viewer base on the back of the growing popularity of its lead protagonist Chakor, who entered the list of Top 5 popular fiction characters on television within three months of launch. Udaan was also the prime reason why Colors managed to stay ahead of Zee TV in the second half of 2014.

 

2. Kumkum Bhagya

Balaji’s Kumkum Bhagya had a slow start, but gathered momentum once the story of its lead pair (SritiJha and Shabbir Ahluwalia) came into the forefront. This love story has been aided by great chemistry between its leads, aided by some good writing and treatment. Zee TV’s fate in early 2015 will hinge a lot on Kumkum Bhagya’s ability to keep the magic going.

 

1. Yeh Hai Mohabbatein

Launched in December 2013, this 11pm show is a mature inter-caste love story between a single father and a woman who can never become a mother. As it turns out, the potential of Yeh Hai Mohabbatein was considerably underestimated. Within weeks, it had opened up the 11pm slot, rating more than several shows airing in the thick of the primetime. Once Star Plus gave it the additional 7.30pm slot, Yeh Hai Mohabbatein found new wings, sailing over everything else, with combined ratings of the two airings making it the top show on television today. But for Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, Star Plus’ leadership position in 2014 would have been under considerably more threat.

 

Another Balaji show (third on this list), Yeh Hai Mohabbatein has emerged as the quintessential all-in-one programme, that has good casting, performances, social messaging, family values, comedy etc., all rolled into it. But at the heart of it is a story of two cultures (Punjabi & Tamil in this case), a subject that would find increasing resonance with viewers in 2015-16, in both cinema and television.

 

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