Specials

'Some tried roast format well; I don't know how the society will accept it' : Anooj Kapoor

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/event-coverage/2016/01/23/anuj-kapoor.jpg?itok=o5tlRiKb

The comedy genre on Indian television has witnessed considerable growth over the last few years. While Sony Pictures Networks India’s comedy channel Sab TV has carved a niche for itself in the space, others like Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL) also saw the potential in it and launched Big Magic. What’s more, even Hindi general entertainment channels dish out their fair share of comedy week on week.

Sab TV, which has pioneered the daily comedy format in the industry, has given many iconic shows over the last 15 years. 

From dramedies to stand-up comedy to roast comedy, shows are sprouting left, right and centre across channels. In a competitive scenario, it’s definitely no laughing matter to constantly innovate and dish out content that will tickle the funny bone. And Sab TV senior executive vice president & business head Anooj Kapoor probably has the toughest job of making sure that the channel’s shows are consistently making the audience laugh.

In conversation with Indiantelevision.com, Kapoor talks about the comedy genre and its growth.

Excerpts:

How was 2015 for the comedy genre - fiction & non-fiction - on Indian Television? 

It’s interesting to see channels beyond Sab trying to emulate our model of daily comedy. It’s a tribute to Sab, which is a pioneer in daily comedy.

More and more channels are introducing comedy shows and we also have a comedy channel in Big Magic. Do you think that the comedy space is growing or is it just a strategic move? 

There’s no doubt that the genre has grown and it is poised to grow more sooner or later. Sab has carved out a successful business model for itself since the last seven - eight years of how daily comedy can attract viewers and advertisers. Fortunately, some players in the market have also realised the same and it can only be good for the genre overall.

Stand-up comedy, family drama comedy or historical comedy, which do you think has more potential?

Only good content has the potential to make shows successful or unsuccessful. To give you a parallel of comedy in Hindi cinema, there are different kinds of comedy created by different people. The kind of comedy that Hrishikesh Mukherjee created is different from that by David Dhawan or Priyadarshan but at the same time they were all successful, which proves that whenever you create quality content in comedy or in any other genre, it will attract viewers.

Sab launched a first of its kind reality show called Comedy Superstar. What was the response and what’s the scope of a reality show like that?

The response was not very good but our intention to launch the show was good. We tried to create a platform for budding stand-up comedians but fortunately or unfortunately the audience are now used to some top level people from the field, who are veterans in the industry now. The audience is used to their peculiar style of humour and obviously new comers would not match up to their standard, so they didn’t do well. But as a format, we would certainly try it again as it gives the industry fresh talent.

In the fiction and non-fiction space, many international shows have been brought to India. Is there scope of bringing international comedy show formats to India?

In 2012, Sab TV launched the Indian adaptation of the American sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, which was called Jeannie Aur Juju. Between the 1990s to 2000, many successful sitcom were launched in the west, a lot of which have the scope of being brought to India. 

Fortunately, at present, we don’t have a shortage of home grown content, which is also more cost effective. However, if a striking show in the comedy genre comes up and if we have a suitable budget, we are open to acquiring it.

When it comes to ratings, Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma is the only high rated show on Sab TV. However, the others have not really delivered remarkable ratings. What is holding them back?

All channels have a flagship show, whether it is Star Plus’ Diya Aur Baati Hum or Sony Entertainment Television.com’s CID. In fact, CID has been Sony’s flagship show for a very long time. So just because channels have a flagship show, it doesn’t mean that their other shows are not successful. On our channel, we had Lapataganj and F.I.R, which ran for 1500 episodes. Now we have shows like Chidya Ghar, which has done more 1000 episodes and Balveer that has completed 800 episodes and are still going strong. These are delivering a threshold for the channel and making it a profitable proposition for us.

When the channel has four strong running shows, which are doing so well in a difficult daily comedy format, then they are successful. Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma, which is based on the famous weekly Gujarati series Duniya Na Undha Chasma written by renowned writer Tarak Mehta, who is already a household name in Gujarat, enjoys other benefits that other shows on the channel do not have.

What growth are you expecting from comedy genre in the coming year?

It’s difficult to say how the comedy genre will grow. It will depend on what everyone in the market is doing to raise the bar. If they are able to grow themselves, then obviously the overall genre will expand but if not, then I don’t see a market growth.

Comedy as a genre is spreading its wing to others platform as well. Do you think it as a danger sign for television? 

Not at all because it simultaneously existed in the west for decades and now it is available on multiple platforms. Everyone has survived and sustained in the market, so I don’t see it as a danger.

What do you think were the landmarks in the comedy space in 2015 - on-air and off-air?

Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma became the world’s longest running show and was named in the Guinness Book of World Record. That is a big landmark on-air. When it comes to off-air, we launched Chai Pe Chutkule where stand-up comedians travelled to various cities in India and Sab viewers were provided with free entertainment by top ten comedians over a cup of tea.

Colors is now trying the roast format with Comedy Nights Bachao. With the Indian Censor board’s hawk eye on “propah” content, what is the scope of brining the international roast format to India? We saw what happened earlier this year with the Ranveer Singh - Arjun Kapoor roast.

Some people have tried it successfully but I don’t know to what extend the format will be accepted by our society. We will have to wait and watch for its sustainability.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/17/FICCI.jpg?itok=4EpczuIP
Furthering 'Brand India': Film & entertainment buyer-seller meet at Festival de Cannes

NEW DELHI: A buyer-seller meet is being held during the Festival de Cannes 2017 to provide a platform for the Indian media & entertainment industry to showcase its product and services, strength and capabilities and further the image of “Brand India.” The meet is being organised by the...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/20/Elisabetta-Romano_0.jpg?itok=iXTtEynO
Ericsson launching virtualised MediaFirst video processing

MUMBAI: Ericsson has created the foundation for all IP and cloud native delivery models with the launch of Ericsson MediaFirst Management Controller and Ericsson MediaFirst Encoding Live 8.1.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/20/John%20Wastcoat_0.jpg?itok=yOu6Koio
File transfer & global collaboration: Telstra & IBM Aspera team up

MUMBAI: IBM has announced that Telstra has selected IBM Aspera to deliver simple, fast and secure media file transfer capability for Telstra Global Media Network (GMN) over the internet powered by Aspera Files.

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/11/Ed%20Chizhikov_0.jpg?itok=RblbrQcC
20 countries enter deals for 360 deg VR content with RT at MIPTV 2017

MOSCOW: RT, the global TV news network, has become a pioneer of 360-degree video format commercialisation by securing licensing agreements for VR content with organisations from across 20 countries. The deals followed an RT showcase in which it demonstrated expertise in integrating panoramic videos...

Specials Event Coverage Miptv
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/17/jiri%20%281%29_0.jpg?itok=fOcUftmf
Comprimato launches post-production video plug-in tools for proxy-free Adobe workflows

Comprimato, a leading provider of GPU accelerated storage compression and video transcoding solutions, has launched Comprimato UltraPix, a simple video plug-in for popular post-production tools. The first release brings proxy-free, auto-setup workflows for Ultra HD, VR and more on any hardware...

Specials Event Coverage Occasions
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/11/Miptv-vr_0.jpg?itok=RhvAvyG4
Channel-defining drama, high-concept format & breakthrough VR drive global alliances at MIPTV 2017

CANNES: MIPTV 2017 provided plenty of drama for the thousands of delegates from over 100 countries in Cannes with a host of high-end projects being brought to market from around the world.

Specials Event Coverage Miptv
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/05/MIPDrama-Latam%20%281%29.jpg?itok=TnKDsvkJ
Globo's unreleased superseries featured at MIPDrama Latam

Globo’s unreleased superseries ‘The Days Were Like That’ was among the 10 productions featured at the first edition of MIPDrama Latam Screenings, held on 3 April -- day one of the 2017 MIPTV.

Specials Event Coverage Miptv
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/06/Rai%20Com%20%26%20Castalia_1.jpg?itok=G0CreVT8
Rai Com & Castalia deal will take All'Opera to LATAM

CANNES: All’Opera, the ambitious programme to bring the best Italian opera productions to cinema audiences all over the world, continues to broaden its footprint, with ink drying on a new theatrical distribution deal for Latin America signed by Rai Com with Castalia Communications at MIPTV. With...

Specials Event Coverage Miptv
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/06/gokel%20%281%29.jpg?itok=lTC8F1CT
Beta Film adds shows to its successful Spanish series slate

After the tremendous success of its Spanish slate of Velvet, Grand Hotel and Embassy, Beta Film is further extending its engagement in the Iberian series sector by boarding two new Atresmedia/Bambu-shows as international co-producer.

Specials Event Coverage Miptv

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories