Primetime TV Shows: HOWZZAT!

By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, May 25 -- The IPL season may have slowed down the pace of show launches, but the coming months will offer enough entertainment in the form of 55 primetime shows. They include a bouquet of celebrity-based reality shows as well as daily and weekend soaps.

Exceptions like Sasural Simar Ka and Choti Si Zindagi that took off in the middle of the tournament have interested the ladies at home. The TRPs (television rating points) have proven that most top-rated daily soaps and reality shows garnered viewership despite the 20-20 matches showing in the primetime band.

"Our channel took a hit," says Ajay Bhalwankar, head of programming, Sony Entertainment, who is currently planning a slew of daily shows. "Fiction properties aren't as expensive as reality shows. And they have a more loyal and consistent following. So now, we've pulled our socks up."

So, 55 sounds like a big number, which might lead to a fierce race for eyeballs, right? Shailesh Kapoor, co-founder and CEO, Ormax Media, a media and entertainment research firm, agrees, "Too many programmes launching at the same time doesn't work. Well-promoted soaps will have an edge. Established reality shows like Khatron Ke Khiladi will stand out in a cluttered space too."

Soon, Hrithik Roshan will debut on TV with Just Dance, Akshay Kumar will be back with Khatron Ke Khiladi 4. Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Sunny Deol, John Abraham and Madhuri Dixit too will make their debuts and comebacks. In terms of daily shows, Ekta Kapoor returns to the prime time scene with Bade Ache Lagte Hain.

Ashvini Yardi, head of programming, Colors, observes that viewers always welcome choices: "I would love to compete in the battlefield where there are plenty of options. What's the fun if you're running the race all alone?"

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