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Old 09-23-2017, 06:24 PM
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Default TOP 10 TV shows HIT/FAIL due to Time Slots

In one of my recent encounters with producer Saurabh Tewari, we chit-chatted about the current scenario of television. And during the conversation, there was one thing that hit me although I was subconsciously aware about it. Saurabh mentioned how TV has truckload of shows being launched every other day and how that results in a decreasing viewership and an increasing battle for time slots.

Back in the day, a prime time show fetching a rating of 5 or 6 points was considered to be at par and today the same (show) fetching even 3 points is considered to be fantastic. Saurabh mentioned how the viewers today are spoilt for choices and the fall in ratings is inevitable.

While the game of ratings is something that is not in control of the makers, the acceptance or denial of a time slot is. Today, we talk about how time slots do or do not make a difference on the success or failure of a show.

From Prime-time to Early Prime-time




The concept of telecasting a television show was crystal back in time. With not having a bundle of shows invading the TV space, the few shows present only had to deal with minimal competition from other shows on other channels. Can you imagine shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kaun Banega Crorepati being the ginormous shows they were, if there were a barrel of other serials on-air? I doubt that.

Many would still remember how the return of Mihir Virani (Amar Upadhyay) to Tulsi (Smriti Irani) clocked a humongous 22.4 rating back then, which continues to be an unbeatable record. That number still gets my eye-balls rolling; I mean, we don't have a total viewership of 22 million people watching television today!

However, There Were Exceptions




The target audience was rather clear in the earlier days. It were the housewives and elderly women who constituted 90 plus percentage of television viewing overall. And the exception of prime time was the afternoon slot, which was as important as primetime. Shows like Kumkum - Ek Pyaara Sa Bandhan, Bhabhi, Kesar among many more, ran during afternoon and were as successful as the prime time shows. Things were rather clear back then, weren't they?

The Heap Began




With money, exposure and the need to thrive in the incessantly booming entertainment industry, making a television show seemed like anyone's job (of course, it wasn't). The market started attracting more and more takers and this put the viewers in serious confusion. While Ekta Kapoor holds the maximum credit for shaping the landscape of television, producer Rashmi Sharma is one of those who can be held responsible for the mammoth success of Saath Nibhana Saathiya airing on early prime time. Yes! Over 7 years ago, the idea of having a show airing at 7 pm would have been considered a risk, but Rashmi Sharma aired it anyway and the result was on exhibition. And doing what Indian TV makers do best, they followed the herd and soon there was an array of TV shows airing on early prime-times on several channels.

The Heap Getting Bigger and Bigger




Just when we thought that early prime time is certainly a good option for a show to sustain with minimal competition, the plethora of shows made it impossible for the channel to limit themselves to just a 7 pm timing. Soon, the concept of an even earlier prime time came into play and in recent times, shows like Ruk Janna Nahin and Jaana Na Dil Se Door among many more, took over slots like 5: 30 pm and 6: 30 pm too.




Suddenly, TV shows were moderately successful and makers were happy with a mere rating of 1 or 1.5 points at these time-slots. In fact, talking about Colors' current programming, it had to shuffle several major shows here and there to accommodate new shows and now the slots read as Sasural Simar Ka airing at 5: 30 pm,
Kasam Tere Pyaar Ki (which was initially airing at 10 pm) airing at 6 pm,
Savitri Devi College & Hospital airing at 6:30 pm,
Tu Aashiqui at 7 pm and
Arjun Bijlani-Aalisha Panwar starrer Ishq Mein Marjawan at 7:30 pm while, Dil Se Dil Tak will air at 10 pm and soon to launch Bigg Boss Season 11 will air at 10: 30 pm. Phew! Try mouthing the above schedule in one breath.

Good Or Bad?

While some consider this abundance of shows to be a positive sign of how makers are willing to experiment and take calculated risks, some consider it to be the reason for decreased viewership for major shows as it divides the audience and gives them an array of options to choose from. The debate can have some really valid points on both sides, but there is one thing that can certainly not be denied and that is - time slots do affect the success or failure of a show. Atleast that is what recent results suggest!

It's All About Having A 'Good Time'




Star Plus took the decision of re-launching its Dopahar slot a few months ago and had 4 shows viz, Dhhai Kilo Prem, Kya Qusoor Hai Amala Ka?, Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee and Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji being launched between the timings of 12:30 pm to 2 pm. The idea cannot be completely termed as a risk, as it is something that has been successful in the past and the shows did not have big budgets riding on themselves. The Dopahar slot had another entrant in the form of Love Ka Hai Intezaar which was launched a month later.

Risk Gone Wrong And Time slot Mattered




Soon it was realized that with the evolution of modern television, the audience for Dopahar shows has become as micro as it can get. With the shows not fetching more than 0.7-0.8 rating points, it made things rather clear and the recent idea to shut down the Star Dopahar shows, proved that having a prime time or little earlier than prime time slot for shows did matter.

In fact, this became a lot more believable after what happened to Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji. The show was fetching 0.5-0.8 ratings when in the Dopahar slot, but as soon as Saath Nibhana Saathiya went off-air, the former took over Saathiya's 7 pm slot. This move turned out to be a game changer for the show, where it's initial counterparts are now going off-air, Tu Sooraj.. continues to enjoy a much-improved 1.2-1.4 rating points managing to sustain well.

Will It Continue To Work?




The only exception in this time slot saga would be Barun Sobti's comeback to television with Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? which turned out to be a complete miss and it was not because of the timing, but because of fandom revolt.

However, the show going off-air has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the recently launched Rishton Ka Chakravyuh, as the show will be taking over Iss Pyaar's slot thus getting the prime time of 8 pm. Will this improve the dwindling ratings of Rishton..? We can only wait to see.

While this is my take on the whole time slot saga, do you agree or disagree? Leave in your comments below..

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