Shailesh Kapoor: October Diaries

30 Oct,2020

By Shailesh Kapoor


It’s been a month of many things. As October comes to an end, here’s a round-up of some highlights from the media & entertainment sector this month:


The Big Cricket Bash

After all the speculation and tentativeness, IPL 2020 is up and running in the UAE, and doing well for itself. With an approximate growth of 10% in viewership over the previous edition, IPL this year has benefited from cricket starvation enforced upon the home viewers for the last eight months. The season has lived upto its billing too, with several evenly-contested games.


The Road To Recovery

With the arrival of the festive season, however muted the festivities may be this year, advertising revenues have got an impetus too. The presence of IPL and big ticket reality shows like Bigg Boss and KBC helps too, and in no small measure. It’s not a year to compare to any previous one, but compared to how things stood in July, there is a definitive sense of recovery now.


Theatres: Now Open

The theatres are finally open, though most of them (with the exclusion of those in West Bengal) still await the arrival of fresh content to generate any meaningful footfalls. The response to new Puja releases in the West Bengal market has been heartening and is the first quantitative sign that we can expect a sizeable audience back once the big Hindi, Hollywood and South films make their way to the cinemas, hopefully in 2020 itself.


A Rare Weak KBC Season

KBC has not performed this year, and that’s a rarity for a show that has been a family favourite for a decade now. It’s only the second weak season of the show since it moved to Sony from Season 4. Earlier, Season 7, if my memory serves me right, had struggled to engage audience, especially because of the extreme visual disruption it attempted, including a change in set design. This time, the absence of studio audience can be seen as a key factor that may have reduced the magic of the show.


The Big Bull of the Web-Series World

Mirzapur 2 was the much-awaited web-series this October. But it’s Sony LIV’s Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story that has stood out as a real winner this month. The deftly executed book adaptation is meticulous in its detailing and authenticity, and elegantly simplifies a scam that was too “technical” for most of us to comprehend thus far. It also ushers in a new genre in the streaming space: Corporate drama. And that’s a welcome change from the overdose of thrillers and crime sagas!


Another Star Plus Era Ushering In?

For the first time in many years, the top Hindi GEC enjoys a 40%+ lead over its nearest competitor. Star Plus has managed its content portfolio very well on either side of the lockdown, and has even managed something that was unthinkable a year ago: A new show (Anupamaa) averaging 3+ TVR. The competition must catch up soon, because Star Plus has got its house in order alright.


From Sushant To Drugs To Elections… News Moves On

The Bihar elections have finally shifted focused away from four months of a stretched news narrative around Sushant Singh Rajput, Rhea Chakraborty, consumption of drugs in Bollywood, and all the associated gossip primetime news was busy delivering, even as India struggled with Covid. An election in the times of Covid is a first. But even if that’s not the story being chased, the focus is finally back to politics, and we can expect some real news on TV in the next few weeks.



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