Joined: 06 August 2008
The serial, in fact, has been instrumental in Colors marching ahead of competitor Zee to claim the No.2 position. Though Star Plus maintains its numero uno position with 278 GRPs, Colors is quite close with 250 GRPs, which is higher than Zee's 220 GRPs. Also, Balika Vadhu averaged at 6.3 TVR while Bidaai averaged at 6 according to TAM.
What makes the serial so popular? Smriti Irani, who was at one point, the nation's favourite bahu is impressed with the treatment and casting "which is absolutely right. The subject is not new, it was touched upon in the Sachin-Rajni Sharma starrer by the same name years ago. But it works because they have based the conflict in Rajasthan. Its success proves that a simple story with a static camera (as against the usual jerky movements) can deliver."
Veteran actress and TV producer-director Asha Parekh finds it "very real and technically beautiful." She, in fact, cautions that with the show doing well, very soon there will be clones of it. Last but not the least, Abhishek Bachchan chose this serial to promote his film Drona.
Madhuri Poojary, a housewife is so fond of the serial that she doesn't miss a single episode. "I love the story, the cast and the pace," she says. For working woman Kshama Bhatt, the social messages posted at the end of every episode are a big draw. "The issue is big, but they have restricted themselves from making the serial loud or melodramatic. Though the story is based in a village, even a city girl can identify with it," she elaborates.
However, before it launched, there were fears
that the serial, which deals with a strong social issue, would be
As Smriti points out, "It was a controversial subject and
the credit goes to the channel and maker to ably balance between
legality and sensibility."
Agrees Ashwini Yardi, programming head, Colors. "These kind of subjects can easily go out of hand. I was very particular about keeping the emotions and sensibility of the show intact. At the same time, it had to entertain so we have made it as authentic as possible," she explains. Truly enough, the serial quickly dispelled doubts with its simple, straightforward narration and sensitive treatment.
Purnendu Shekhar, the brain behind the concept, had penned the story 15 years ago. "I had kept it with me for so long because I wanted it to be presented with sanctity and honesty a subject like this deserves. I did not want anyone to create drama just for the sake of it," he explains. Needless to say, he found the right platform on Colors.
Ashwini who has a yen for socially relevant shows, found this to be a perfect subject. In the past, Ashwini has been associated with Saat Phere that deals with a girls dark complexion, Banoo Mein Teri Dulhann, which tackles the issue of an illiterate girl and Maayka that works on the boy-girl issue. "Being a woman, I feel strongly about these issues and also as a media entertainment, I think we should be socially responsible because people watch us on a regular basis," she reasons.
And Colors has delivered on all accounts. It was
the action-adventure show Fear Factor that got the channel a dream
launch delivering 80 GRPs in its launch week. Fiction shows Balika
Vadhu and Jai Shri Krishna held their own amidst strong competition and
within three months of its launch, helped the channel claim the No. 2
Says Tarun Mehra, Business Head, Zee, "It's a fact that Colors has done very well and in a short time has come up to No. 2 but it is only one week's data. Numbers are part of our life, but yes there's more competition now. Balika Vadhu is a well-made serial. Its success is a pointer that audiences are always willing to sample new things. Actually, the subject is not new, it is the execution that is making all the difference." So, how are they planning to get back to their position? "We will always look for sustainable ratings and work on the sense of profit and loss," he maintains.
Rajan Shahi, producer-director of Bidaai is happy that Balika... has done so well. "It means that content is on the forefront. I have done two shows with the producer (Sanjay Wadhwa) and writer of Balika... and I have the highest regards for them. Their success encourages me to do better in my shows too." Incidentally, Bidaai has become a one-hour series from October 13. Says Keerthana Adyanthaya, GM & EVP, Star Plus, "Audiences love Bidaai and can't get enough of it, this is our festival gift to our audiences."
Anupama Mandloi, SR Creative Director, Star Plus,
opines that it is too early to say whether Balika Vadhu will remain a
consistent top grosser the way Bidaai has been for the past few months.
But, Uday Shanker, CEO, Star India, voices his concern, "There is no
doubt that Colors has launched well and has been growing on a
week-to-week basis. It is a cause of concern and we have taken note of
it. However, having said that, Colors will not be considered the number
two player, unless it sustains its position over a period of time. So
in that sense, the battle for number two is currently ongoing. We've
been in this position with Zee last year and managed to come out of
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