Seniors Lather Up While TV Soaps Dry

Ganesh Krishnamurthy, 76, sits on his sofa in Chennai, concerned about Sreemoyee and her husband Anindya in Kolkata. Anindya needs a stent for her heart, Sreemoyee's old love interest has reappeared in her life as her son wants to leave them and go to another country ... Things are at a critical juncture and I don't know how long I will have to wait to see what what about Sreemoyee and his family ”, he regrets. Ree Sreemoyee ’is not a relative but the main character in a popular Bengali series that keeps the company in its seventies for a few hours every night. Or at least it did until the running of the bulls closed production across the country.

Unlike the younger tech-savvy population that relies on web and OTT platforms to avoid boredom while locked out, the role of television in the lives of the older generation that grew up in an analog era cannot be underestimated. , browsing channels instead of web. Now, they are caught in a cycle of reruns as television networks have no new episodes to stream.

It's pretty depressing that I have nothing left these days, says the Patna resident, 62, for whom a diet of Bhojpuri soaps was his only escape from the monotony and darkness of the ongoing pandemic. Thankamani A, a 50-year-old housewife in Thiruvananthapuram, is mentally preparing for the coming weeks after her son told her that her favorite series will soon cease to air while those like Ashok Mangalkar from Nagpur, who sought refuge in the Comfort of Marathi Soaps, feel an emptiness. I miss those afternoons of watching daily soaps and then discussing the stories and the character with my wife, he says.

Leena Gangopadhyay, writer and creative director of popular Bengali soaps, has received countless messages from eager viewers. All social networking sites are awash with messages. The mother of an executive on the broadcast channel Sreemoyee is so addicted that she personally requested the story of the series, says Gangopadhyay.

The length of the delays will depend on how long the lock lasts. But it is advisable for viewers to accept the fact that next month (or more) will not follow its usual television rhythm. Almost all primetime scripted series and non-fiction shows in all languages ​​have exhausted their banks of non-broadcast episodes and are now trying to figure out what to do in terms of content.

If Doordarshan regained the cult success of the 80s Ramayana to keep its viewers busy, Hindu channels like Zee TV have decided to collaborate with the OTT repository of ALTBalaji and unearth three new finite shows. It felt like the right time to see if the audience was taking these three finite series featuring very popular television faces of all time, said Aparna Bhosle, Zee TV's business director. “Also, it made sense to offer finite series in the current context. The blockade is temporary, a publication in which we would resume filming and continue with our usual programming of daily fiction programs.

Some of the main television channels in Tamil and Malayalam, such as Zee Tamil and Colors, internally evaluated the available content and some found a way to judiciously manage the new content by reducing episode viewing time to prolong the shows for a few days. plus. . Content providers for Sun TV even opted to work double shifts that lasted until the early hours of March 19 to capture as much new content as possible after the announcement by the Federation of South Indian Film Employees to stop the recordings long before the three-week shutdown. in force.

With more than 60-70% content on suspended channels, according to the director of Tarang, an Odia entertainment channel, the channels have turned to dubbed versions of popular Hindi serials in addition to soap repeats and reality shows, old-time movies from Hates and religious programs Kannada's television industry, which generally maintains a larger reserve of 20 programs, also faces uncertainty with production on pause.

In Telugu-speaking states where the popularity of television series often nullifies the publicity given to new movie releases, the new episodes stopped as of March 21, with at least 70 fiction shows and 20 TV shows. non-fiction that is not broadcast, according to the President of the Telugu A. Television Producers Council

The last time the Indian television industry took such a hit was in 2008, when more than 100,000 workers launched an indefinite non-cooperation strike against low wages, back wages and long hours.

But unlike in the past, when production companies would maintain a bank of at least 10-15 episodes not aired, today one doesn't have a backup of more than one or two, says Ashoke Dubey, secretary general of the Federation of Employees. India Film Festival. . It is mainly because TRP ratings fluctuate and determine the nature of upcoming episodes that are filmed a day or two before airing, he explains.

As the entertainment industry watches the loss and disorder, Radikaa Sarathkumar, who runs the Tamil production company Radaan Mediaworks, says: We did not expect the virus to affect our lives to this extent. The audience probably echoes that.