Perspective | Decade-Old shows come back on TV; Can they win in 2013
It goes without saying that the television medium has always ruled the minds and hearts of Indian audiences. From the early days of Doordarshan till the present, viewer’s tastes and preferences have also made a transition with the times. Today they have a wide choice of viewing content given, the numerous channels available to choose from and it is evident and proof enough of the fact that our television industry has undoubtedly come a long way. Given the growing evolution of the industry all the channels and content leaders are in a rat race to grab maximum eyeballs. They have even resorted to bringing back shows which were a hit with audiences and ruled the television space a couple of decades ago. All this despite the fact that new reality shows, infotainment series, fiction and non-fiction categories have captured the new generation and their viewing habits.
Some well known trendsetters in the television industry have been names like 'Boogie Woogie' a dance reality show and 'Bournvita Quiz Contest' an educational quiz show on general knowledge which defined their specific genres and were an all time favourite with audiences. We could also attribute their popularity to the fact that both shows appealed to children who were the main participants of these shows and hence their main TG.
As we all know 'Boogie Woogie' and BQC that started way back in 1995 and 1972 respectively created a lot of buzz in the market. Then came a hiatus but now they are all set to re-create the buzz and a connect with audiences again. The questions that now arise in this context are: Will they be successful in doing so and is it because there is a dearth of fresh content or could we attribute it to a new trend shaping up in the television industry?
To get a better perspective on the subject we at Adgully caught up with Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors; J.D. Majethia, Founder, Hats off production house; Gaurav Seth, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Sony, Mumbai , India, and P.M.Balakrishna, Chief Operating Officer, Allied Media .
At times we see the small screen airing repeats of popular shows and in some cases serials are dragged and stretched thus reaching a point of ennui for the viewer. With the young,talented and creative minds in every organization bursting with fresh ideas what is the reason behind this step? Where is the creativity and freshness audiences crave for?
Nayak opined by saying, "We have BQC with us, and we did BQC because Bournvita wanted us to do it so we provided the platform. Firmly agreeing with the question, I feel if the content is really strong I myself will repackage and reinvent it. It's like old wine in a new bottle."
Also the fact is that if shows like Boogie Woogie had to make acome back then why now at a time when there is so much competition in the market which are flooded with shows in the 'Dance Genre'.
Gaurav Seth said, "We thought why not build and recreate our own brand. Boogie Woogie introduced and defined the Dance reality show concept in India. It is in itself a trendsetter. The reason behind getting it back is the fact that it is a popular dance show. It already has that reach and fan following. I am sure with the show making a comeback, audiences would love to watch something that introduced the genre years back in the history of our television industry."
Majethia giving his viewpoint said, "The concept becomes powerful when it runs successfully for a longer period of time and it connects well with the audience. Having said that it does not mean that it will work well for all the formats, but where dance or music shows are concerned it may work well."
When asked if it is makes sense to re-launch old and popular shows at this point of time , Seth says, "Given the fact that we pioneered the most popular genre way back in 1995, we think that getting it back would create an excitement and increase the interest level among the audiences in a much stronger way. Dance genre has always been one of the favourites among the viewers today hence the brand that we introduced and the genre that we defined would definitely be accepted in today's time too with the similar liking and excitement that existed earlier."
Balakrishna opined that such shows making a comeback is not a trend that will shape up in our television industry. As far as Sony is concerned, the channel has always stood out different insome way or the other with their innovative content and concept. They have had the capacity of creating and building content."
According to him, recycling old shows is not a new concept and a comeback of these show would not make much difference. Hewent on to say, "It’s like Ramayan that comes back frequentlyon the small screen after a gap in some format or the other. Some factors like strong brand equity and upward traction would be the benefits of supporting this step by channels hence Iconsider it to be a good decision."
Some senior officials from the television industry also supported the point by saying that this is not a new concept and channels have different view points about it. In their opinion internationally channels are following this trend so why not here in India . Furthermore they added that if the offering ispopular and builds engagement then this move is definitely acceptable.
Concluding the discussion Balakrishna avers, "There is no doubtthat the entire game depends on how the shows will appeal to audiences now and build a connect with the content among the viewers. These shows have been trend setters and specific genres in their own way hence they will certainly create a good interest level."