2008 has been a particularly exciting year for the small screen, save the last couple of months, with terror strikes and television workers' strike hitting viewers badly.
Here is Telly Buzz presenting awards to the News makers of 2008:
The 'axe which fell too soon on us award' goes to Indrani and Peter Mukerjea's 9X. The first of the general entertainment channels to take off in 2008, while the news and music arms of 9X did pretty well on the TRP charts, the entertainment quotient left a lot to be desired. They promised the magic of the navrasas, but none of the juices agreed with the viewers' palate.
The 'finally we belled the cat award' goes to Star Plus for having the guts and the gumption to say, 'Aur nahin bas aur nahin' to three of Ekta Kapoor's K-soaps. That they got in Kiran Bedi's Aap Ki Kachehri to fill Tulsi Virani's shoes, has still left the industry pundits and the carping couch potatoes wondering about their programming strategies.
The 'I will rise from the dead award' goes to Maa Ekta Kapoor. 2008 wasn't particularly lucky for Jeetu's daughter. If her mega ambitious take on Mahabharat had critics and the masses frothing at the mouth, Bheeshma with a six pack, Draupadi in a sexy Manish Malhotra creation and the five insipid (non) actors strutting around as Pandavas failed to woo the viewers. That it also proved to be one of the nails in the coffin of 9X didn't make it easy either for the Mukerjeas. But this could just be the calm before the storm. Kapoor's detractors still have faith in her and her loyalists are waiting for that one 'Eureka' moment from her.
The 'hardly stirred viewers' imagination award' goes to Sameer Nair and Co. When the KBC man beckoned everyone for the launch of NDTV Imagine, everyone turned up. Big production houses, interesting story concepts, a competent creative team and the halo of past successes which Nair carried with him didn't stop the channel from being a nice-but-not-enough viewing option.
The 'divine intervention which TV programming could do with award' goes to the combined successes of Imagine's Ramayan and COLORS’ Jai Shree Krishna. The mythos were back and how!!
The 'colors that painted the TV canvas the brightest award' goes to COLORS. Everything we hadn't expected from this channel made it not only a winner on the TRP firmament, but with success of shows like Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi and Balika Vadhu, they rewrote TV viewing rules.
The 'balika who pulled the rug off Tulsi and Co's feet award' goes to Anandi urf Avika Gor. The child bride of Balika Vadhu not only taught a thing or two of acting to our prime time primadonnas, but the fact that she also ruled the TRP charts with her show and forced Tulsi to shut shop, truly makes her victory special.
The 'seasons which failed to change the TV weather award' goes to shows like Bigg Boss, Nach Baliye, Indian Idol, Sa Re Ga Ma and Voice of India. None of these shows could bring back the magic, new judges didn't help, neither did gimmicks and controversies and last but not the least, all these shows seem to have outlived their TV stay…for viewers as of now were just not interested in who won and who lost…
The 'reality which bit too hard award' goes to Raja Chowdhury. His separation from wife Shweta Tiwari to his near-victory in Bigg Boss to his run-ins with law after coming out of the Bigg Boss house took a toll on Rajaji as he's learning to keep his anger in check with psychiatric help.
The 'Bollywood overdose award' goes to all the denizens of Bollywood who crowded our TV sets either as judges of reality shows, celebrity guests and what not!!!
The 'big TV debut which wasn't big enough award' goes to Salman Khan. He did everything possible with his avatar of a janta ka dost in Dus Ka Dum but alas, he couldn't do to Sony what Bachchan did a few years ago to Star Plus.
Finally an 'our sympathies are with you award' for the couch potatoes who put up with the onslaught of reality shows, mediocre soaps, substandard acting and everything that TV makers and channels dished out in the name of entertainment in the year gone by.
Author: Kshama Rao
Banner and Picture credit: Shagun