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Old shows in a new avatar – a smart move or foolhardiness?

16-July-2010
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Old shows in a new avatar – a smart move or foolhardiness?

Those were the days when there was just one channel (Doordarshan), when the streets turned empty when one’s favourite serial was on, and when the over-dressed saas-bahu sagas hadn’t taken over. Those were the days when iconic soaps like ‘Hum Log’, ‘Buniyaad’, ‘Mahabharat’, ‘Ramayan’, ‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi’, etc., ruled the roost.

Now, the news that Doordarshan is planning to revive one of its most popular shows, ‘Hum Log’, has generated a lot of curiosity. The show will be called ‘Hum’ and will be set in Bihar as opposed to the original setting, which was in Haryana. Keeping in mind the current scenario, there will also be some cosmetic changes such as the introduction of modern amenities on the show, including television and cell phones.

The show was a raging success in the 80’s, but will it be able to hold its own in the current environment with umpteen number of soaps and a multitude of reality shows and 300+ channels?

Ashwini Kamat, General Manager, MediaCom, noted, “What the channel needs to evaluate is whether the issues being addressed in the programme are relevant to the current viewer. If the current viewer cannot identify with it, the programme will never take off.”

Kartik Iyer, Managing Director, Carat Media, felt that there might be initial excitement about the show. He further said that the show would enjoy higher viewership in non-C&S households as compared to C&S households.

But would an advertiser prefer investing in such shows? Or would they rather go in for a show that is fresh and unseen? Mediacom’s Kamat said, “As long as the programme promises to deliver, it doesn’t matter to the advertiser.”

Media planners have mixed reactions on this development. While a lot will depend on the content of the show, it remains to be seen whether audiences will tune in to this show and accept it in its new avatar, considering the fact that it has high nostalgia value for a generation that still remembers it.

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