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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two for the price of one - New Trend developed in Television Industry !

Of late serials have developed the trend of either doing overlapping episodes where the story of two different serials are brought to a common point or where popular characters from one serial do special appearances. A few days back, Star Plus’s prime time serials, Bidaai and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai had one such common journey where Naitik and Akshara (lead pair of Yeh Rishta…) and Alekh and Sadhna (Bidai) had an interesting run in. But why do channels and producers indulge in such gimmicks? Where is the need to bring two divergent story lines on to a similar track?

The obvious advantage is that of time. The extended time limit (normally daily serials run for half an hour) helps to heighten the drama and gives more freedom to the writers to play around with different ideas. It helps to build a buzz around both the serials and thus increase audience interest quotient. Then again it brings in combined viewership, meaning, that those who watch only Yeh Rishta…and those who watch only Bidaai will have to watch both for that special episode in order to stay abreast with developments. And one might never know a non-viewer might be tempted to follow the serial that he/she had not been following because of the parallel track. So it helps to increase or supplement TRPs. Thus it turns out to be a win-win situation for the makers of the respective shows- as it helps to add more drama and generate more eyeballs.

The other popular trend is to make stars of a popular show perform at a special occasion for another show. Very soon, we will get to see Manav and Archana (Pavitra Rishta) perform for Choti Bahu. In an earlier episode, Laali (Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Ki Jo) had performed for the same show. Choti Bahu’s lead actors Dev (Avinash Sachdev) and Radhika (Rubaina Dalaik) have a lot to celebrate. They will soon be going off for their long pending abroad after Radhika’s burn marks are completely cured. Manav and Archana will be seen performing at a family celebration.

Such special appearances and guest acts help to generate a certain amount of bonhomie after long days of misery in serials. Most of the time the guest actors dance to popular Hindi film songs and this helps to lighten the dramatic quotient. It also helps to strengthen the particular image of the guest actors. Thus Manav and Archana’s performance is meant as a signal for the audience that these two will remain a couple come what may. It helps to reaffirm popular conceptions about particular characters. But in both cases, audiences have no reason to complain as for them it is value for time and money as it two for the price (and time) of one.

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