Crime seems to be on the decline, at least in the television space. While there have been a slew of new show launches on Hindi GECs in the last few months, none of them are in the crime genre.
Shows on Hindi GECs are moving away from tried and tested content with broadcasters experimenting more. The year 2013 so far has seen majority of the channels launching content based on history, mythology, etc., apart from reality-based shows and popular genres of saas-bahu and family sagas. However, when it comes to crime-based content, there are the long-running ‘CID’ and ‘Crime Patrol’ on Sony Entertainment Television. Other crime-based shows include ‘Savdhaan India’ on Life OK (launched in April 2012), ‘Arjun’ on Star Plus (launched in August 2012) and ‘Shaitan - A criminal mind’ on Colors (launched in December 2012).
Low Ratings and ROI
Shows such as ‘CID’ and ‘Crime Patrol’ have enjoyed a run time of around 16 years and 10 years, respectively, as well as high reach and popularity. When it comes to ratings, ‘CID’ has managed to garner an average of around 1.8 to 2 TVR till date. As per viewership data for CS 4+, HSM markets for Week 22, ‘Crime Patrol’ garnered 1.4 TVR, ‘Savdhaan India’ clocked 1.3 TVR, ‘Arjun’ garnered 0.8 TVR, while ‘Shaitan’ clocked 0.5 TVR. This is in stark contrast to the top fiction shows on the Hindi GECs, which regularly clock TVR of around 3 to 4.
According to experts, though these shows have been appearing on various channels, none of them have gone beyond a certain level. Many such shows have moved from the Hindi GEC space to different news channels as well, which indicates that such shows have very viewership. Also, the crime genre has observed low ROI compared to shows in other genres.
Are the crime-based shows encouraging crime?
While the storylines of crime-based shows are interesting and kept realistic, sometimes they have also been deemed controversial due to the nature of the content that is depicted. Questions have been raised about how much is too much while re-enacting crime dramas and whether such content glamourise crime.
However, experts are of the view that crime-based shows do not influence people in a negative way. Also, it is important to realise that viewers today are much more evolved. Experts also point out that such shows spread the message that crime doesn’t pay. Viewers watch such shows for the entertainment or information factor.
Visual representation plays a significant part in crime-base shows, which should be done with sensitivity. Sometimes such shows are watched by children and in some cases might prove disturbing for them.
Hence, the intensity of the violence depicted should be toned down, feel experts. A sense of responsibility must be maintained when dealing with such programming content.