Top 5 Category-Defining Hindi GEC Shows of 2018

28 Dec,2018


By Shailesh Kapoor


Even if only in relative terms, 2018 has been a better year for Hindi GECs than the last 2-3 years. The category, on a share decline since 2015-16, did not see a further downward trend, and there was some recovery too by the end of the year.

In a year when original content in the OTT space, led by Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, grabbed most headlines, the Hindi GEC category tried to find its footing back. And though the ‘success’ achieved can only be considered partial in nature, it sets a good base for 2019 to emerge as a revival year for the category.

Here is my list of five Hindi GEC shows that drove the category and its perceptions this year, eventually leading to a respectable year.


5. Kaun Banega Crorepati

KBC had another successful season, both in terms of viewership and its revenue impact on the channel (Sony), with the latter benefitting considerably from the digital revenues that have become a strong force for the show since the last season in 2017. All the classical elements remained, and the show was virtually a replica of the successful one last year. KBC is emerging as India’s comfort family viewing in the prime-time year-on-year. And you don’t mend what’s not broken.


4. Kumkum Bhagya-Kundali Bhagya

The 9-10 PM block on Zee TV has emerged as a fortress of sorts, owing to the two Balaji Telefilms shows that continued to thrive in 2018. In times of content fatigue being a real concern among viewers, Kumkum Bhagya managed to stay fresh and relevant. Kundali Bhagya, the more recent of the duo, found its peak towards the end of 2017, and held on to it through this year. The combo delivered a solid package of traditional and the modern, covering wide-ranging and engaging characters and emotions between them. How long can Zee-Balaji milk this double bill remains to be seen. But in 2018, the combination was rock-solid.


3. Radha Krishn

Star Bharat’s RadhaKrishn launched at the start of the last quarter of the year, and immediately propelled the channel’s viewership. It is bizarre to think that Indian television has not had a TV series of Radha and Krishna’s love story till this show came in. The idea was a winner at the get go, and the visual execution, supported by top-level music, made the show a quick audience favorite. Mythological shows tend to have a shorter shelf-life than family dramas. But RadhaKrishn has just about taken off and should have a good early 2019 at least.


2. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (TMKOC) is the KBC of television comedy. Nothing else that happens in the category can seem to shake up the staunchly-loyal viewer base the show has built. The difference, of course, is that unlike KBC, TMKOC is on-air all year. Now, that should make it doubly hard for a show to stay fresh and relevant. But no such concerns with TMKOC. Aided in no small measure by its immensely-popular lead character Jethalal, TMKOC may be a fixture of the Indian viewers’ watchlist for another 2-3 years at least, if not more.


1. Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala

Star Plus adapted its very successful Bangla show Potol Kumar Gaanwala into Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala in an early-2018 launch. The show found its real footing after the IPL, finding levels of viewership that were out of reach of new shows for the last 2-3 years. The endearing Kullfi even usurped Jethalal briefly to become the No. 1 fiction character in the category (Ormax Characters India Loves). Differentiated stories, when rooted in viewer relevance, can be runaway successes. And with Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala, this combination was achieved by a mainstream (read non-mytho-historical) Hindi GEC fiction show after a long time.


Shailesh Kapoor is Founder and CEO, Ormax Media. He reviews trends and insights on MxMIndia every week. The views here are personal



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