So you thought only soap operas could give you saas-bahu dramas and emotional love stories? Now reality shows on Indian television are set to roll out all this and more as they spice up content to grab eyeballs.
Though plain vanilla music and dance competitions continue to enthral viewers, value addition by involving people, including celebrities, from different backgrounds and professions as participants is working even better.
While "Chak De - Shehar Di Kudiyan Te Galli De Gunde" on Channel 9X pits six young girls from the metros and equal number of boys from small towns, a new show titled "Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena" on Colors starting Friday has paired six cricketers with six TV actresses to burn the dance floor.
"Given the unique format, 'Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena' is sure to find universal appeal across demographics and will entertain the cricket lovers as well as the showbiz fans, equally," Rajesh Kamat, CEO of Colors, was quoted as saying.
Apart from these, STAR Plus' ongoing show "Aaja Maahi Vay" also has non-celebrity couples competing to win a grand engagement function.
STAR Plus is also coming up with the fourth season of its popular dance reality show "Nach Baliye". It is starting Oct 10 and, according to the channel's spokesperson, viewers can expect a lot of freshness.
" 'Nach Baliye' is an established brand and the original talent hunt celebrity brand as far as dance formats go in India. It is natural that in its fourth season there will be some new elements and some revisions to the format. It will increase the level of competitiveness as well as the quality of the show," Anupama Mandloi, senior creative director, STAR Plus, told IANS.
STAR One also has a show called "Zara Nachke Dikha", judged by actors Malaika Arora and Chunky Pandey. In the show, girls are pitted against boys. Eight male and an equal number of female TV stars are participating in it.
When the show was launched, Ravi Menon, executive vice president of the channel, had said: "Gender war will get a new meaning with the show."
Another entertainment channel, SaharaOne, has a show "Saas Vs Bahu" that has two teams, each comprising 15 onscreen mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, who challenge each other by rolling out dance performances.
"The key to any reality show is the concept. While conceiving this reality show, we were pretty sure that it was not going to be just another of those song and dance shows where TV stars get together and shake a leg," said Nilanjana Purkayestha, business head of SaharaOne Television.
"The premise of saas-bahu conflict has become so deeply rooted in our audience's psyche that it has become a genre of its own - 'The saas-bahu drama'. We thought why not take this premise and take the conflict to the next level," added Purkayestha.
Channel 9X has another reality show, "Kaun Jeetega Bollywood Ka Ticket", that has one celebrity actor teamed with a non-celebrity contestant. They compete together with other teams in dancing and acting. The winner will get a chance to feature in a film which will be co-produced by Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms and Suniel Shetty's Popkorn Entertainment.
In terms of music reality shows, NDTV Imagine came up with a different theme with "Junoon Kuchh Kar Dikhaane Ka". The show has budding singers contending with each other in different genres - Sufi, filmy and folk music.
Pioneer music and dance reality shows like "Boogie Woogie" and "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" are still having a successful run.
While "Boogie Woogie" is sticking to its old format, "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" has matched up to the trends and introduced the concept of 'gharanas' (camps), where the singers work under the tutelage of established music directors who also judge the show.
The popularity of these shows is also used as a platform by filmmakers to promote their forthcoming films.