Top 10 Hindi GEC Characters For 2015

15 Jan,2016


By Shailesh Kapoor


Character popularity is now well known to be singularly important driving force towards programme loyalty. In the last of the yearenders in this column, here’s the list of the top 10 Hindi GEC characters (including non-fiction) for 2015. This list is based entirely on the results of Ormax Characters India Loves, an ongoing survey that polls more than 35,000 Hindi GEC viewers over the year across more than 20 markets.


10. Maharana Pratap (Sony): Warrior portrayals hold intrinsic appeal, yet they remain largely an under-served genre on Indian television and even cinema. With Bajirao Mastani succeeding at the box-office, we can expect more warrior ‘biopics’ on the celluloid. On television, Maharana Pratap kept the genre’s flag flying through the year, though with a lot less intensity by the time the year ended.


9.Salman Khan (Bigg Boss – Colors): He had a great year at the movies, with probably his best film in the last decade (BajrangiBhaijaan). But for many television audiences, Salman Khan’s primary identity is that of the Bigg Boss host. Khan has been often accused of taking sides on the show, but even his hardest critics cannot fault his commitment that comes shining through every weekend.


8. Chakor (Udaan – Colors): Chakor’s character lost considerable steam during the year, starting the year in the Top 5 but ending it outside the top 20.With innocence being a scarce commodity in adult characters on television these days, child protagonists tend to stand out even more. But only till they don’t start behaving like adults!


7. Pragya (Kumkum Bhagya – Zee TV): KumkumBhagya is emerging as a long warhorse for Zee TV, and much credit should go to its lead pair played by SritiJha (Pragya) and Shabbir Ahluwalia (Abhi). As the year closed, Pragya grew to an even stronger position,  signaling a good 2016 for this popular character.


6. Akshara (Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai– Star Plus):It’s been seven years since she first went on-air. Her character journey over years has mirrored various life-stages and challenges Indian women would tend to face in their life. In the largely-unrealworld of television soaps, Akshara has managed to infuse her share of relatability and warmth for many viewers.


5. Sandhya (Diya Aur Baati Hum–Star Plus):Between them, Sandhya and Akshara represent two facets of the Hindi GEC heroine. Sandhya is a woman of aspirations, but one who strives to balance her work and her family in her journey, while Akshara is a nurturer at heart, willing to let go for others. Between them, Star Plus has a strong 9-10pm slot that’s currently their prime-time pivot.


4. Ashok (Chakravartin Ashok Samrat – Colors): Another warrior prince story that was waiting to be told on the small screen. Aided by good casting and production, Ashok emerged as a strong character challenging the dominance of female protagonists in the GEC space. Can we now have a PeshwaBajirao show on TV, please?


3. Kapil Sharma (Comedy Nights With Kapil–Colors):The comedian dominated the non-fiction list in 2015, no different from what he managed in 2014 and much of 2013. He’s Colors’ fourth entry in this list, and the combination of Salman Khan, Chakor, Ashok and Kapil Sharma accurately captures the formula behind the channel’s success. In 2016, Sharma will move to Sony, his original home from Comedy Circus. He’s come in for criticism on various things, ranging from misogyny (on the show) to unprofessionalism (off the show). 2016 could be a defining year for Sharma, at the end of which he would either emerge stronger or begin to fade out.


2. Jethalal (Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah – SAB): SAB TV remains a one-show channel and yet a strong force to reckon. Jethalal (played by Dilip Joshi) is the centerpiece around which this show continues to thrive, now for seven and a half years. The ratio of Jethalal’s popularity among male audiences to female audiences is a staggering 8.2, highlighting the dichotomy of our mass television content, which is family viewing in practice, but often not in spirit.


1. Ishita (Yeh Hai Mohabbatein–Star Plus):Yeh Hai Mohabbatein combines various genres and sub-genres into a unique show. It has romance, inter-cultural conflicts, social issues, family and a lot more. It has even ventured into the supernatural space recently, as if to tick that pending box. But at the core of this huge success remain its leads Ishita (Divyanka Tripathi) and Raman (Karan Patel). Her motherly love is the central quality that makes her no. 1, especially because it’s love for a ‘daughter’ she’s not given birth to.



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