year of the game show. The year will be remembered
specifically because this programming genre was the
buzz of activity. It all started with the raging success
of Kaun Banega Crorepati, anchored by an ageing
and dismissed-as-a-has-been Bollywood actor on a written-off
TV channel Star Plus. Phrases like Lock kiya jayein,
Confident have now become part of our every day
vocabulary. Based on the popular US show Who Wants
to be a Millionaire? which was licensed to Star
by rights owner Calendar, the show gave birth to clones
all over the country, on TV, in marketing promotions,
and on the world wide web. Some sizzled, some simply
fizzled. (Game shows had been attempted in the past:
Tol Mol ke Bol, Antakshri, Family Fortunes, Wheel
of Fortune, Kriket etc , but none of them worked
as well as KBC has.)
biggest disaster was the hurriedly-launched poorly-executed
two-anchor-hosted Sawal Dus Crore Ka on
Zee TV, which highlighted the fact that great
programmers can make lousy programmes. Zee TV
is struggling to find an answer to KBC
instead of getting its other programme menu card
The result: it is losing audience share even for its
bread and butter programming, and in the process its
ad revenues. Surprisingly, one of its not so heavily
promoted game shows hosted by Ruby Bhatia in the afternoon
slot appears to be drawing viewers. It could do wonders
if given the right push.
Sony Entertainment on the other hand has been lying
low and working hard at creating a show that is different
from KBC and hosted by Govinda. It looks to
have a potential winner on its hands if one goes by
the trailers on the channel.
Other players who have boarded the game show gravy
train include: Sabe TV, DD, Sun TV - with its mega
success Koteeswaran - ESPN Star Sports with
its Sports Quiz. Clearly, the game show fad will fade
but right now it appears to be the season for this
The year also witnessed the revival of family-based
series. The primary evidence of this was the runaway
success of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and
Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, both produced by new diva
of TV production Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms.
deal with the issues of normal middle to upper class
joint families and are extremely well and tightly
scripted with good performances by the cast.It's not
as if the programming sub-genere is really new - several
family based series have aired on TV in the past -
but it's the way the series have been treated that
has attracted audiences.
lost some of its charm during the year as audiences
refused to watch tainted cricketers play in stadia
and on their TV screens. Surely, the revenues of ESPN-Star
Sports will show some erosion in the coming year,
reflecting the disenchantment of viewers with the
sport. No other sport has been able to replace cricket.
Some major cricket deals were struck with WSG-Nimbus
bagging the Sri Lanka cricket rights and ICC rights.
The latter decision hurt Zee so bad that it yelped
News and current affairs programming came to the forefront
during the year on the back of the hijacking of the
Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in Afghanistan and
the subsequent freeing of the hostages at the airport
there. International channels like CNN ad BBC started
showing some snazzily produced current affairs shows.
Business reportage really came to the forefront with
the success that CNBC has notched up with the telecast
of the goings-on on the stock exchange.Technology
shows also appeared with the launch of the first IT
and internet channel TMG Enter.
The year also saw an explosion in language programming
with about half a dozen new regional language channels
debuting. From about a few thousand hours of programming
mainly courtesy DD at the beginning of the decade,
Indian television today airs hundreds of thousands
of hours of regional shows - whether dubbed or original
fare. And this is likely to increase in the coming
years, spurring further production activity from regional
languages producers. Quality shows will make their
mark in Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali as the programmers
year was also a high for religious programming.
Channels on religion - an example is Sanskar and
Maharishi Ved Vision - run for more than 12 hours
a day and every channel be it entertainment or
or current affairs air daily morning half hour
or more shows to satisfy the spiritual hunger
of TV viewers.
television production sector is attaining some maturity.
Many more genres have to evolve, and the Indian TV
viewer has to be kept enthralled as the options multiply.
The government, on its part, has extended IT sops
to film and TV exporters giving them an incentive
to export their products to global channels and local
cable channels catering to the NRI diaspora worldwide.
Hopefully, the industry will come up to the challenge
Read more on the Year 2000 from
developments in television
Cable TV Front
broadcasting legislation perspective