Joined: 04 August 2005
|By Sneha Hazarika|
"In India there is a great lack of original ideas, be it television, film or any other field. If we want to attain the Hollywood standards, we have to make sure that we have original creative ideas," comments Sandip Sickand, Creative Head of Balaji Telefilms. But then the question is, who wants to rise up to international standards! It's so much easier to copy them and get the required numbers (TRPs).
"Yes, it's the numbers which pushes the serial makers to find out more and more 'already proven success formulas'. No one wants to take risks. You know that something which has already worked well somewhere else is sure going to get a good response," says a channel executive who doesn't want to be named. This latest trend was started by Kaun Banega Crorepati, which ensured that two 'not so happening' entities' (Star TV and Amitabh Bachchan) saw a change in their respective fortunes.
And it was immediately noticed by the bigwigs of our television. What followed is a long list of formatted shows. Indian Idol, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, Kam Ya Zyada, Batliwala House No. 43, Fame Gurukul, Deal Ya No Deal, Ek Ladki Anjani Si, Time Bomb, Fear Factor and so on. The question is, "How long is this trend going to dominate our creative mindsets? Is it just a passing phase or is it going to stay here?"
"The trend of formatted shows is here to stay for quite sometime for the reason that they bring a fair amount of novelty along with them. Importing the formatted shows will continue till the time we format our very own shows and export it abroad," is what Anupama Mandloi, Sr. vice president, programming, Sony has to comment. An interesting fact here is that Sony is one channel that has been feeding itself on the staple diet of 'format shows.'
Be it Jassi Jaissi, or Ek Ladki Anjani Si, Fear Factor or Deal ya No Deal, Kudkudiya House No.43 or Indian Idol, the channel has always played safe by choosing programmes who have already been accepted quite well abroad. More than 60-70 per cent of Sony's shows are formatted. "No, the ratio is not correct. We have had original shows also," defends Ms. Mandloi. But will someone ask her which of the Sony's latest releases can be termed as 'the original show'.
Ek Ladki Anjani Si, Deal ya No deal, Batliwala House No.43 or Fear Factor She further tries to defend her channel's stand saying that even if they are doing formatted shows it requires equal amount of work as in creating a new show right from the scratch. "It requires a good amount of creativity to adapt a foreign format and if you don't adapt it well, they fail. The amount of work in both the cases is the same."
While Sony head of programming tries to justify their policy, Sandip Sickand of Balaji Telefilms has a different take on a channel running completely (well, almost) on 'imported shows'. "I don't want to comment on whether any channel is doing the right thing or not. But the fact remains that only those shows have worked which are originally Indian, be it Kyunki, Kahani, Kasamh Se or Saat Phere."
Similar are the views of Ashwini Yardi, head of programming, Zee TV, "A channel needs to have a very good programming mix with lots of original ideas." She however, denied to comment on whether Sony's step is right or wrong. Whatever may the case be whether what channels are doing is right or wrong, experts feel that there is a huge market for it in India. The claim gets strengthened further by the fact that Fremantle Media (original conceptualisers of Indian Idol) have opened up their shop in India and are in the process of developing a lot more shows for our country.
Explains Ankush Patel, CEO & co-founders of Kalkush & Company who is producing Lo Kallo Baat (an adaptation of Whose line is it anyways), "Fremantle is a specialist firm that buys formatted shows from companies like Celedor in the UK, while the Indian players are merely producing licensed shows and not creating any original formats."
People may argue that the era of formatted shows started off with Star's KBC, but if we dig into the past, we get so many other examples where shows were inspired by those successful ones from the West. Zabaan Sambhaal Ke was inspired from UK's Mind your language. Similarly, BBC's Ji Mantriji was a ditto copy of the British show Yes Minister.
Even Sony's earlier chat show Movers & Shakers was based on the Jay Leno Show. That shows that the trend of getting inspired from shows abroad was always there, but it has gained a major foothold only now. And as producer Sunjoy Wadhwa of Saat Phere and Hey, Yahi to Hai Woh (another formatted show) sums it, "This is just a passing phase and very soon we will revert back to our very own original shows," we also hope that our writers and creative brains do some overtime and produce shows which others follow and take inspiration from.
Best carbon copies
KBC: A show which revolutionalised the way people looked at TV. A come back launch pad for the then out- of-work Amitabh Bachchan, it went on to gain the same popularity, which was once enjoyed, by the Ramayan and Mahabharat. The show was based on the original Who wants to be a billionaire?
Indian Idol: The show, which gave a fresh leash of life to Sony TV. Abhijeet Sawant, the first Indian Idol was worshipped by millions of people who voted for him. The show was based on the original Amrican Idol. Judged by Sonu Nigam, Farah Khan and Anu Malik, this went on to become a benchmark in the history of reality shows.
Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin: Story of an ugly-duckling going on to win everyone's heart and making herself a real success story, this was the soap which came as a fresh breath of air for all those who were tired of heavy saas-bahu drama and layers of make-up. The series started a trend of serials with the protagonist being independent middle-class girls. Originally Yo Soy Betty, la Fea meaning I am Betty the Ugly, a superhit Spanish series, this is one show, which will be remembered for long.
Fame Gurukul: Inspired by a Spanish reality show Operacion Triunfo, this show had a format where in participants had to go through rigorous training in a gurukul run by maestros of music. The original has been adapted across 11 countries and has been a huge hit in all of them.
Deal Ya No Deal: Hosted by Southern superstar Madhavan, this game show is an exact replica of Deal or No Deal. It has earlier been proved to be a hit all over the world, but in India, it failed to create any impression.
Khulja Sim Sim: Originally inspired from the American hit Let's make a deal, Khulja Sim Sim gave Aman Verma a new identity as a star game show host.
Movers and Shakers: This show was instrumental in turning Shekahr Suman's fate overnight from a no one to the best talk show host of India. Based on Tonight Show with Jay Len, this was one of the best chart busters before KBC happened.
Fear Factor: Latest to join the wagon is Fear Factor, which has just premiered on Sony. This is the world's biggest reality show ever and has celebrity faces from television as its participants.
Joined: 12 October 2005
It truly was iconic..
And it is NOT Nikita Dutta's 'Haassil' or Namik Paul-Vikram Singh ...
Popular Channels :
Quick Links :