New soaps, more lather-ARTICLE

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Posted: 12 years ago
New soaps, more lather

Will a new slew of shows bring something fresh to TV?

The world of Indian TV soaps is raising a duststorm. Not of controversy this time but the honest dust of frenetic activity.

Soap operas, as studies and common observation will attest, are addictive affairs.

It is a large but rather particular audience ' usually female though not exclusively so; these are people with the time and mindspace to spare for the concerns of other people, be they ever so fictional. A good soap extends beyond the half hour that is spent in front of the television ' a good story fills the crevices between chores, engages the mind and heart when they are not needed elsewhere. Favourite soaps are habits; not to have the next fix when it is habitually due can be disturbing to the rhythm.

I say all this to place in context the consternation of soap-viewing audiences given the ongoing changes in viewing patterns. To begin with, the past few months have seen the closure of a number of old regulars. The biggest wrench of all surely must be Star Plus's Bidaai. It ran for three years and, while it achieved high TRPs for most of its tenure, it garnered a heart-warming popularity that can't be measured by numbers alone. On the youth-oriented Star One, two long-running programmes ' Dill Mill Gaye and Miley Jab Hum Tum ' have been pulled off. Naturally, there have been replacements. Star One has three new shows including Ekta Kapoor's vampire love story Ye Pyaar Ki Ek Kahaani. Bidaai has given way to the rather interesting and faintly magical Gulaal, which, to my mind, is quite the only one capable of adequately filling the gap its predecessor left behind.

What this means for the soap watcher is that, apart from missing her old staples, suddenly she finds herself in a completely new landscape ' milieux that she isn't too familiar with, several characters she has not invested in, and fresh relationships that don't yet have an emotional connect.

Then, the industry must needs make alterations as well. A few months ago, Star Plus elongated viewing hours with new shows at 11pm and 11.30pm ' late night slots that allow them to be more 'bold'. Then, to the astonishment of many, a series called Saathiya that airs at the early hour of 7pm stumbled into the top ten. You could hear the wheels turning. If sufficient numbers were tuning in at seven, could they be persuaded to reach for the remote earlier still? Zee TV is now trying that: two new serials from this week to kick off the evening's television viewing from 6pm. If the idea takes, it won't be very long before other channels follow. So, all taken, viewers have a potential six hours of fresh content and that's without counting afternoon soaps, promiscuous channel-hopping and repeats. What's more, Star One has decided to push the programming envelope in another dimension. Their five soaps will air not five but six days of the week, by co-opting Saturdays into the 'soap week'.

For our soap watcher, these are hours and slots she wasn't used to, these are new habits she needs develop if she wishes to scope out her options. These shows aim, not at bringing in fresh audiences, but at reining in the same existing ones. How long before fatigue kicks in? Besides, to what end, if the content isn't good enough and will only end after short flailing bursts?

Women rule prime time in India ' on the screen and in the drawing rooms where they are received. But might this extensive programming threaten that? A family that is resigned to let soaps dominate during prime time will be less inclined to relinquish the remote for marathon sessions, five/six days a week. Will these adjustments serve to increase soap viewing or audiences? More importantly, does this slew of soaps bring anything fresh by way of attitudes or narratives? It is too soon to tell ' but whether these strategies sink or swim, they're working up a fine lather.

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Edited by naina4MAYUR - 12 years ago
Posted: 12 years ago
thanks for sharing..............Tongue
Posted: 12 years ago
Thanks For Sharing Dear!
Posted: 12 years ago
Thanks MahiBig smileBig smile

Waise if i was to watch ArTi in a show, i would not mind the show going on for 7 days a week....all my lifeLOLLOL They are just too AWESOME for lifeBig smile
Posted: 12 years ago
thanks for sharing...
Posted: 12 years ago
thanks alot for sharing
Posted: 12 years ago
thanks for sharing.......

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