Bigg Boss helped us consolidate our position in the top 3 GECs: Manisha Sharma

In a conversation with e4m, Sharma, CCO, Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18, speaks about Bigg Boss, upcoming shows and production challenges in the new normal

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Mar 1, 2021 9:03 AM
manisha sharma

After a successful season of Bigg Boss season 14, Colors has now launched another popular non-fiction show- a dance reality show Dance Deewane which started on February 27. 

Returning for the third season in succession is Madhuri Dixit and choreographer Tushar Kalia while joining them on the panel for the first time the dancer and choreographer Dharmesh Yelande. Alongside the panel of judges, Raghav Juyal is hosting the show. 

Manisha Sharma, Chief Content Officer, Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18, Colors said, “It is one of its kind property that not only celebrates dance but also salutes the passion that the three different generations showcase. While we are elated to have Madhuri Dixit and Tushar Kalia back on the judge's panel, we also have Dharmesh Yelande joining them and the very talented Raghav Jugal taking forward the mantle as the host. With a renewed energy and core thought- 'Waqt Ko Nachayenge, Dance Machayenge', we are looking forward to this new endeavour.”

Last weekend, the network concluded one of its biggest reality shows- Bigg Boss season 14. Though we are still waiting for the weekly viewership numbers of Bigg Boss, Sharma shared that the show helped Colors to consolidate its position in the top three GECs. 

“The past year was indeed stressful, and at the start, we did not think that we would be able to pull off Bigg Boss because it is one of the biggest productions in India. The show is mounted on a large scale and there are many people involved in the production of the show. We have around 100 cameras rolling at any given time. We also had to ensure the safety of the crew and the artists because of the pandemic. No artists were allowed to go inside the house without being quarantined for the required amount of time. Nobody was allowed to have any kind of contact with the housemates. The groceries were supplied to the housemates with the crew wearing PPE kits.” 

She added, “With all of this planned well in advance, we launched the show successfully and it opened very well. Even though it was in the middle of the pandemic and with IPL posing a challenge. Still, we pulled through and ended the season on a big high. Bigg Boss helped us consolidate our position in the top 3 GECs, so it has been good.”

While speaking about the shootings under new normal, Sharma mentioned that it still poses challenges. She said, We have to be very careful while shooting in the new normal because if one person gets down with the infection, we have to stop the shoot and get everybody tested immediately, so we are trying to be as much as on the bubble. In each of our respective shows, we try not to get too many new people from outside. In non-fiction shows, we are testing every week to safeguard everybody on the show because there are only fixed numbers of the episode, unlike fiction, where you can change the story.”

She further added, “It is very challenging to shoot under new normal, and a lot of costs are attached to all these things, but we want to continue with our business and don't want to slow down, and hence we are taking all the precautions.  It not just us; even the producers are very strict as they are also investing in shows both emotionally and financially.” 

Sharma shares that the shows keeping the channel in the top three slots are Choti Sarrdaarni, Barrister Babu, Molkki and Namak Issk Ka. Its long-running show Shakti- Astitva Ke Ehsaas Kii has also done well for the channel.  “We want to focus on our new launches Bawara Dil and Udaariyaan, and then we have Dance Deewane in non-fiction and soon will launch another season of Fear Factor- Khatro Ke Khiladi. The focus strategy for us is to grow the business and create long-running properties.”  

The channel recently launched a new show named Bawara Dil, which is an adaptation of the ongoing Colors Marathi show Jeev Zala Yeda Pisa. Speaking about the trend of adaptations, she said, “Networks now are all trying to maximize all their strength. This is not the first time the networks are doing remakes, and it happened in the past as well. Some shows worked for the channel, and some didn't. But as long as the story is good and viewers enjoy its good strategy, nothing is wrong with it.” 

Sharma also commented on IPL, which is scheduled for April this year, Sharma mentioned: “Yes, IPL will come and go, but we all have to survive. Everyone has to do their business; there is no other option. Everyone's business got impacted due to the pandemic and ongoing, but we will continue to do our business.” 

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