'High quality fiction next big thing on Indian TV'

Dubai, June 19 (IANS) High quality fiction will be the next big thing on Indian television, according to Sameer Nair, the man behind the hugely successful "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) and a slew of daily soap operas that once helped make STAR Plus the numero uno Hindi entertainment channel.

"High quality fiction is what can be the next big thing on Indian television and not general soap operas," Nair, who is now the chief executive officer of NDTV Imagine, the Hindi entertainment channel of India's NDTV group, said here Thursday.

He said this while speaking to reporters at the launch of NDTV Imagine's Middle East and North Africa (MENA) launch.

To a question on the scope of reality shows on the Indian television, he said, "Reality shows include talent search contests, quiz shows too. And these have been successful."

When pointed out that reality shows do not really cover such contests or exctenainment, but programmes like "Big Boss" where participants face real adverse situations, he said: "If you mean shows like 'Survivor' or 'Temptation Island', these are all dead and gone today."

Even laughter shows are on their way out, believes Nair.

"We did one 'Great Indian Laughter Challenge' (aired on the STAR network) and it has been duplicated beyond oblivion," he said.

He said one programme may click with one set of audience but might not necessarily succeed with another.

"Take a programme like 'Indradhanush'. It was not quite a hit with viewers in India but was a great success among the NRIs," he said.

Nair said innovative programming was the need today for Indian audiences.

"One cannot experiment just for the sake of experimenting. One has to ensure that ideas click with mass audiences," he added.

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