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BV competitors analyze why it has slipped

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RockChicGirl

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RockChicGirl

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Posted: 25 June 2009 at 9:47pm | IP Logged

Balika Vadhu slides to No 3

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ALChougule Posted: Jun 26, 2009 at 1433 hrs IST
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But Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Bidaai hold fort as top-rated shows despite losing some ground
Like its saas-bahu counterpart Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi nine years ago, Balika Vadhu also came like a clutter- breaking show less than a year ago that shook the programming pattern and introduced a new trend in general entertainment programming. Within five weeks of its launch in July end, it made it to the top five shows on GECs and replaced the then top-rated show Bidaai on stand alone episode basis in September last year. It not only became a subject of discussion across GE space but never in the 17-year history of satellite television did a show deliver such robust ratings in such a short period on a new channel. However, after rocking on rating charts for almost six months Balika Vadhu has lost momentum in the past three months and dropped to third spot among GE shows.

On the other hand, Bidaai, which had lost its numero uno position to Balika Vadhu for a few weeks, is a consistent performer as one of the two top-rated shows. Similarly, its sibling Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, which had an impressive debut as the third-most popular show, has marched ahead of Balika Vadhu and is currently the highest-rated show. Even after taking into account 15 to 20 per cent impact on ratings across shows for 37 days from April 18 to May 24 because of IPL, the fall in Balika Vadhu's TRPs has been quite steep. From a high of 10.16 TVR (stand- alone episode, average around 7 to 8 TVRs) three months ago, it is averaging around 4.3 TVR while both Bidaai and Yeh Rishta are better-placed with an average of 5.1 and 5.3 TVRs (last five-week average) respectively.

Why has Balika Vadhu, a strong issue-based show, lost almost 50 per cent viewership while the comedown for both Bidaai and Yeh Rishta is not more than 20 to 25 per cent in the same period? "When 50 per cent viewers exit from a show, it means that something is wrong with its story telling," feels Star's senior creative head, Vivek Bahl. He elaborates, "I think the problem with Balika Vadhu is that instead of tackling the issue of child bride head-on it has made Anandi into a cute little bahu." However, Balika Vadhu writer Purnendu Shekhar disagrees, "Every show goes through up and down phases. The fall in ratings, partly because of IPL, is not because of Anandi being on the sidelines for some time. Of course, the show is about child-marriage, but it also deals with other issues like child pregnancy, marital rape and widow remarriage, besides a host of other psychological factors that impact child marriage."

According to the show's co-director Siddhartha Sengupta, apart from IPL, the stretched mourning phase after Pratap's death had an adverse impact. He admits that Anandi has been on the sidelines for some time. "But it is not just Anandi's show and hence other supporting characters need ample space to take the story forward." he explains. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior actor who has been part of the show for some time says the major problem with Balika Vadhu is that it is still playing on the protagonist's childhood and innocence. He elaborates, "I think the audience has had enough of the child bride. She needs to grow up and speak for herself and her rights instead of crying helplessly at the drop of a hat. It worked very well in the beginning but not lately. Another problem is most of the action takes place within the set. Agreed it is a fabulous set but the serial needs to move out of the four walls and explore the exterior."

Producer-director Rajan Shahi of Bidaai and Yeh Rishta... is of the view that child-protagonist shows have lot of limitations. "Balika Vadhu is a beautiful show, but it cannot go beyond a certain limit of conventional storytelling," he points out. Adds Purnendu, "The kind of drama people are used to watching doesn't suit a child protagonist show." On the other hand, the advantage with Bidaai and Yeh Rishta... is that both stories are of families and relationships. "They don't deal with any serious issues. Instead they deal with moment-by-moment growth and journey of characters and relationships. There is no high-end drama and hence there are no major spikes followed by a long lull," reasons Rajan.

In fact, Yeh Rishta... hardly has any story and is more like a full-blown Rajshri film minus songs. Says Vivek, "When we designed the show, it was really an experiment because it has no storyline really! It simply mirrors the common Indian girl and boy as they near marriage and their journey post-marriage. For that reason, we really don't know what we will write on the show next week because there is no 'track' or 'drama' to follow." But its success, according to Vivek, is a combination of identifiable characters coupled with good writing and great execution that makes Yeh Rishta... click as a 'similar-yet-different' show.

Rajan says that he has seen shows going into a long stagnation phase after hitting peaks of popularity. "But the challenge is to retain the magic. Balika Vadhu has lost some of its magic but it has potential to make a comeback." In Vivek's view, the GEC space has definitely become much more competitive with most slots fairly evenly-distributed between channels, which indicate viewers' restlessness as well as willingness to try out new content. "This means it will be increasingly difficult for even top-line shows to retain their ratings. But we are proud that we have maintained Bidaai at such high levels despite it being a nearly two years old show. We constantly have to ensure that a show doesn't drag by even a bit at any stage or we risk losing even committed viewers - something that has happened with a huge show like Balika Vadhu pretty suddenly over the past few weeks," he adds.

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RockChicGirl

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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 12:01am | IP Logged
i posted this article as it comes right on time abt BV's slippage. the senior actor who is quoted here is bang on abt too much playing on anandi's childhood and innocence. too much focus on suguna isnt helping either. and suguna isnt being all that likable either to gain audience sympathy.
also unlike what the writer claims i dont see any ill-effects of child marriage in the show. anandi who had an early marriage and gauna is the happiest with a nice set of saas-sasur, sister-in-law and husband. dadisa scolds ofcourse but then she is after everyone. we see suguna instead suffering cuz her parents were in no hurry to do her gauna. we also see dadisa being vindicated abt gehna too in the sense that she has adjusted to her sasural and husband. so all in all dadisa's thinking is reinforced thru the show.


Edited by kshreya2002 - 26 June 2009 at 12:05am

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niyati13

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niyati13

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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 12:53pm | IP Logged
i agree with  kshreya2002 .
 
i dont watch this show anymore. just read the updates here. they call it an issue based show. but it seems they r endorsing the very issues that they started out against.
 
anandi had a child marriage and she is happy.
 
dadisa didnt want phooli to attend sugna's marriage, but she did. and then they showed sugna widowed. endorsing shakun-apshakun??
 
 according to the storyline, if sugna's parents had agreed to her gauna earlier, she would have been happily married to pratap by now, with a kid. or atleast her inlaws would have accepted the baby.
 
Gehna accepted her marriage and all the compromises that come with it. so she is ok now.
 
They r showing sugna to be remarried. but into a family that would make her life hell when they come to know the truth. y cant they show her getting a good education and an independent life?
 
are they really showing the ill effects of these customs or justifying them?
 
i guess the viewers cannot digest these things and avoiding the show.
 
 

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BoredNCynical

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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 3:12pm | IP Logged
yep guys, I agree with you too. I am pretty disappointed with this show and have been since they started stretching pratap's maurning.

  I feel sad to think of how well they started out, with such innovation and realistically presenting the problems and the characters and also showed how to deal with them sensitively and realistically.

  But, now it's become a very unrealistic show and seems more intent on becoming a regular tv show which caters to people's whims rather than to keeping to the integrity and honesty of the situations and story line it is based on.
 
  They need to do something asap to bring the line to the orginal track or they will loose more viewers. The concept is Not limited but the handling needs to stick to the oringinality it showed before.

  I would recommend bigining with the following changes:

1. Anandi was shown to be intelligent And innocent but now she comes accross as a petulent child rather than intelligent.

   Either show her gradual growth mentally as well as physically and if not take aleap so that they can concentrate on her handling the social issues.

2. Suguna's story is unrealistic. And as many said even her character is not being protrayed in a manner which gains the audience sympathy. Actually, her character turns me off and so does her story.

3. Would have been better if they showd her education then remarriage. And if remmarraige needs to be shown atleast should have been given sometime.  Tell me, how long and how closely did the new guy know Suguna that he fell in Love with Her Sooo deeply that he is even prepared to accept her unborn child? Can u imagine that happening in real life in such a short time and without even enough basis?

4. If not plz change Sugna's character to be able to understand the pain that she has given and is giving to her family, the realization of the wrong done by her ( by this I mean that of betraying the trust of her parents, and then defying them, without realizing the amt of pain she is putting them to.) and also her behaviour with the new guy.

deepthi82

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deepthi82

Joined: 18 August 2008

Posts: 81

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 4:41pm | IP Logged
true, the only real lesson to be learnt from this show is to obey your elders blindly, even if they are authoritative and old fashioned. never question their orders, since they are always right.

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