Joined: 13 July 2005
Why don't TV serials take a break?
|A still from Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai|
TV serials world-wide like Desperate Housewives, Full House and Friends go on seasonal breaks, before returning spruced up, as if they have been to the cleaners. Although in the past serials like Khichdi Part 1 and 2, Sarabhai VS Sarabhai, Batlibwala House No 43 and CID took the much-needed time out for a production re-haul, this system is not common in India. In the spirit of inquiry, we asked producers why season breaks are not taken here.
Sandiip Sikcand, creative head, Balaji Telefilms: Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii are some of the longest-running serials. Would it be a good idea if the soaps went on a seasonal break? If so, why don't they? We don't need to take a seasonal break because people keep watching it. Soap operas run daily. The format is such that it does not permit a seasonal break. And why would a serial take a break if it still reigns? In fact, with soaps, the task is tougher because we have to generate content daily.
Yash Patnaik, supervising producer, Fireworks Ltd. (producers of CID and CID Special Bureau): A seasonal break is an 'unheard of' concept. The audience is unpredictable, so there is a fear that the next season may not attract the same audience. By the time Season 2 returns, who knows, the audience may have switched over to something else. If Friends (that ran successfully for 10 years in America), were to run in India, then it would have wound up in two years! CID has been running for nine years without a break, and CID Special Bureau has recently taken a seasonal break. CID is telecast once a week. It gives us enough time to develop another story. This is not the case with CID Special Bureau. This serial runs through the week; that gave us little time to develop the next episodes. After a point, it becomes monotonous. Hence it was necessary for Special Bureau to take a break.
Jamnadas Majethia, producer of Instant Khichdi, Baa Bahu Aur Baby, Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai: Soap operas cannot take seasonal breaks, comedies can. In case of comedies, one cannot produce the same quality of humour regularly. People would say the serial is stretching and getting monotonous. So it is a good idea to have a few episodes, take a break and return with better content. Otherwise, if one bores the audience with boring content, they may not return, not even to the second season. There is a risk of losing the audience forever. A seasonal break ensures longer life to the serial. A seasonal break helps achieve long-term goals. I can explain this in one line – one should not squeeze everything out of a golden egg-laying hen. A producer should be confident enough to let the serial take a break.
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