2018: Naagins and daayans bring back fantasy & horror on Hindi GEC

The year witnessed launch of shows such as Naagin3, Kaun Hai, Manmohini, Laal Ishq, Vikaram Betaal, Daayan, Sitaara: Ek Vishkanya Ki Kahaani, Tantra, Qyamat Ki Raat and Nazar

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While year 2017 was mostly about rebranding and extending time slots across Hindi General Entertainment Channels (GECs), 2018 will be remembered for the comeback of the fantasy and horror genres on television. The year witnessed launch of shows such as Naagin3, Kaun Hai, Manmohini, Laal Ishq, Vikaram Betaal, Daayan, Sitaara: Ek Vishkanya Ki Kahaani, Tantra, Qyamat Ki Raat and Nazar. 

As per the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data of Week 1-50 (HSM Urban +2 and Prime time Original airings considered), Naagin3 ruled the TRP chart this year and grabbed the first position in the list of Top 10 shows of 2018 with 9.3 million average impressions.

The launch of new horror shows has given a boost to the viewership of the genre. Viewership share of horror shows on Hindi GECs has grown 1.8x over 2017. Also, horror programming duration is up by 40 per cent compared to 2017. HSM Urban contributed 69 per cent eyeballs to this genre's viewership. Mah/Goa, Guj/DD/DHN &UP/UK markets show highest viewership for these shows.(Hindi GEC/HSM2+/ Period considered week 08-52, wk 01-31 across originals + repeats airings), according to BARC.

Speaking about the television entertainment space in 2018, Zee TV’s Business Head Aparna Bhosle says offering viewers the relief of escapism and transporting them into an alternate reality away from the rigmarole of their daily stress, the supernatural fantasy genre kept viewers hooked in 2018.

“Four of the top 10 weekday fiction show-- Kumkum Bhagya, Kundali Bhagya, Ishq Subhan Allah and Manmohini-- are from Zee TV. Manmohini was the third biggest weekday fiction launch of the year (YTD) with 5426 TVTs at HSM-Urban. The channel gained 83 per cent viewership in the slot with this launch. We also grabbed slot leadership (7:30 pm) on weekdays. On an average, competitors get around 17 per cent viewership contribution from the fantasy genre, while Manmohini contributes about 8 per cent to the total GRP contribution for Zee TV,” said Bhosle.

She added, “TV viewing habits have been constantly evolving over the past few years as viewers become accustomed to the ability of accessing their content anywhere, anytime and on any device. Total content consumption, especially multi-screen viewing, continued to grow in India this year as well with audiences having the flexibility to choose their content via different devices at their preferred time. However, there continues to be a very strong appetite for traditional TV content, with fiction programming being the key driver as is clearly seen in Hindi GEC viewership that has increased by 8.5 per cent as compared to Q3 FY18.”

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head of Hindi and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, too agrees that the year saw a whole lot of premieres and new genres. “I think we have pioneered the fantasy genre with Naagin. GECs have seen a whole lot of premieres and new genres this year. In Colors particularly, we have experimented with a newer genre with shows such as Tantra and Sitara. Naagin’s Season 3 has been our best season so far. It has done beautifully well for us.”

Binaifer S Kohli, producer of comedy show Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain, says though horror shows have made a comeback on TV this year, the comedy genre too is very much in demand. “I feel there is also good demand for the comedy genre,” she says. 

While fantasy and horror were the flavours of the season, channels also brought shows on differentiated subjects such as Triple Talaaq, Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai, Ladies Special, Kesari Nandan, Daastane Mohabbat, Karnsagni, Kulfi Kumar Bajewala. 

Talking about Zee’s idea behind launching such shows, Bhosle said, “Towards the end of 2017, Zee TV re-articulated its brand philosophy as Aaj Likhenge Kal, reflecting the emerging mindset of modern India that seizes opportunities in the present to build a better future. In 2018, we took a quantum leap in transforming our fiction line-up with content offerings that mirrored this philosophy.”

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