TOI: Kids make prime time TRPs soar (Raj)

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Kids make prime time TRPs soar
Amrita Mulchandani, TNN | Apr 19, 2013, 12.00 AM IST

Kids make prime time TRPs soar
Bhavesh Balchandani in Veera

While many established names on TV are struggling to pull a show on their own, kids are raking in the TRPs. Be it reality, mythology or fiction, irrespective of the format of the show, kids are ruling the charts. And the audience sure doesn't mind seeing the little ones weaving an adorable world on screen through their innocent charm. 

Sample this: be it mythologicals like Jai Jai Jai Bajrangbali (Raj Bhanushali as Bal Hanuman)Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, (Sadhil Kapoor as Ganpati), or fictional shows like Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (Bhavya Gandhi as Tappu), Ek Veer Ki Ardaas - Veera (Hrishita Oja as Veera and Bhavesh Balchandani as Ranvijay), Bade Acche Laggte Hai (Amrita Mukherjee as Pihu), fantasy show Baal Veer (Dev Doshi as Baal Veer) and reality shows like India's Best Dramebaaz and Indian Idol Junior are focusing on the child power. 

The focus is surely on the kids, but do they really make a difference in the TRP game? "Kids are a big factor for attracting audiences," says producer Shiv Sagar of Jai Jai Jai Bajrangbali. He adds, "They are natural in expressing themselves and I think that works with the audience. Children have been at the center of efforts to create an audience connect in films as well as in commercials for a long time. TV is all about having a habit to watch a show regularly and in most cases, the kid becomes a habit for the audience, so TRPs shoot up." 

"Kids attract attention because they add freshness to the show. Since TV viewership mainly comprise women, kids never fail to create an instant connect. But I feel kids should be introduced as a part of the story and should not stand out like a sore thumb. In India, any family story on small screen is incomplete without kids," says producer-writer Asit Modi ofTaarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah

And it's not just daily soaps, TV commercials have been riding on child power for years. While depending completely on a child artist is a risk, showmakers seem to be fine with it. "We wanted to show the life of Bal Hanuman which no one has explored so far and had planned to keep the track for three months. But since the response was tremendous we continued with it. Shooting with a child is not easy, but we decided to take the risk and it has proved to fruitful," says Shiv Sagar.

Some showmakers feel the content that is the king. "Kids have an emotional connect with audiences. Though there is no clear cut formula to garner ratings, what works is honest storytelling and believable characters. Younger actors sure bring some novelty with them," says producer Yash Patnaik of Ek Veer Ki Ardaas - Veera. 

And in between all this hoopla about the TRPs and the competition, kids on TV are having a good time. Amrita Mukherjee, who plays the role of Pihu in Bade Ache Lagte Hai loves all the affection and attention she gets. "I love being with Sakshi aunty, Ram uncle and Sameer uncle. I enjoy acting a lot. My entire unit pampers me a lot. Initially, there was a problem when my school mates and other people would come to click pictures with me, but now everything is settled," says Amrita.

It seems, these kids will never cease to garner attention and if they can fetch the TRPs, then the channels/producers can enjoy their adorable antics and innocent endeavours with renewed enthusiasm too!

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