The concept, of twist and turn on Thursday helps the serials to increase their TRP. This concept was started by Ramesh Sippy, who picked this up from Dallas and Dynasty and perfected into an art on Buniyaad and which Shanti and Swabhimaan rediscovered for Doordarshan. On Thursday, Ekta Kapoor took it further: in the never land of soaps, always look for a hook. And try to keep it for the weekend, to built enough viewer interest.
So if Mihir, the lead star of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi died on a Thursday (February 8), he resurfaced on another Thursday (March 22) and saw his wife, Tulsi, almost getting married to another man, also on a Thursday.
As Sanjay Doshi, CEO of Balaji Telefilms, producers of the Star Plus serial, puts it: ``The big twist has to be on Thursday. That's why it's called the cliffhanger.'' When the serial has Rs 80 lakh - Rs 1 crore riding on it every day in sponsorships, the cliffhangers have to be frequent. Which is why, says Upadhyay, his character had to be resurrected earlier than the plot had intended.
Such twists help the TRPs. When Mihir was out of action, the ratings had dipped to 10. The most recent 29-city TRPs (according to INTAM) for the serial indicate that Kyunki... (for the week ending May 13) is up to 12.79 and occupies the first four spots. As Doshi says proudly, even the afternoon repeats figure on nos 19, 20, 21, and 22.