Forget monopoly of shows based in one specific region. For the small screen, pan India has become the buzz word. With shows set in various regional backdrops coming to prominence and with the viewer finding a connect, the creative minds of the small screen are definitely gunning for more pan Indian content.
So now, the prime time has an array of shows set in the backdrop of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat to attract more eyeballs. While Sanskaar — Dharohar Apnon Ki
is set in a Gujarati backdrop, Ek Veer Ki Ardaas ... Veera
treats the viewer to the locales of Punjab, Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha
explores the storyline woven around Indore, Savitri is set to explore the subtleties of Kolkata and the list would go on.
So what makes the small screen go pan India? Prashant Bhatt, weekday programming head of a renowned General Entertainment Channel (GEC) says, "Universal story always finds a connect with the viewer because emotions are universal. The dresses may reflect a regional tone. For that matter, the dialect may possess a certain diction and tone, but the family per se is Indian if you keep aside how the characters are dressed in most of the shows. "
Pan Indian shows, according to producer-director Swapna Waghmare Joshi, are not a recent phenomenon. Emphasizing on the need for a cultural connect in a show, the producer says, "In order to build a story, you got to base your family in a particular place. So that's how the story gets carried forward. Also there needs to be a culture connect in a story which is essential for any show."
At the same time, it is important to eliminate certain creative bottlenecks while basing the storyline in a certain backdrop, feels actor-producer Shabir Ahluwalia. "Including too many jargons and stereotypes does not work today. The backdrop, the characters and the treatment of a story needs to be relatable. Then only will a show manage to find a pan Indian connect," says Shabir.
According to producer Yash Patnaik, the advent of pan Indian shows in the small screen is due to the gradual progression of the content. "There are wide variety of shows being made today with producers and channels having explored a variety of stories. TV's reach has been massive in recent years which also includes small towns and villages. It's the reach that is calling the creative shots."
The prime time is certainly getting more colorful as a result, for sure.