Hindi GECs gear up for new shows as life on TV sets back to normalcy

Viewers are expected to witness more than 12-15 new shows in the last two months of the year 2021

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Nov 17, 2021 8:47 AM  | 3 min read
Hindi GECs

Around seven months ago, the television industry had come to a standstill when Maharashtra government decided to implement complete lockdown in the state due to the second wave of Covid-19 in April. The government's decision led production houses and show creators to move out of Maharashtra to continue with shooting for their shows. 

The shoots resumed later in July this year with restricted timings and limited crew on the sets. However, as the Covid cases started to decline in the country with vaccination drive picking up, it has been a big relief for the producers/content creators. 

According to several producers, the situation on the sets has become better in the last couple of months. With cast and crew fully vaccinated and ease in restriction by the government, they can now focus more on creating new shows, while they continue to follow all the safety measures and government guidelines. As a result, viewers are expected to witness 12-15 new shows across Hindi GEC in the last two months of the year 2021. 

While the month of October witnessed the grand launch of impact properties like Bigg Boss and Big Picture on Colors, India Best Dancer on Sony Entertainment Television (SET), and SAREGAMAPA on Zee TV. 

The month of November and December will have a mixed bag of both fiction and non-fiction shows. For instance, Zee TV launched 'Aggar Tum Na Hote' on November 9 and 'Teri Meri Ikk Jindri' on November 13. Similarly, Colors recently launched its fiction show 'Sirf Tum' on November 15. On the other hand, Sony Entertainment Television launched 'Kaamna' on November 15. On the other hand, Star Plus is coming up with its new show 'Kabhi Kabhi Ittefaq' and Star Bharat is launching the second season of 'Sasural Genda Phool' on December 7. And &TV's 'Baal Shiv' to premiere on November 23.  

Hats Off Production Founder JD Majethia and the Chairman of the Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC) shared that the situation on sets is not similar to the pre- COVID levels as they diligently follow all the safety measures. “COVID is not completely out of our system, therefore it is important to follow the norms and all the guidelines. Since the restriction was lifted by the government and people can travel in trains and auto, the cast and crew have started travelling back to their home. However, sanitization and social distancing have still been managed on the sets.”

As earlier reported by exchange4media, the production budget had gone up by 20-25% (cost varies for different shows) during the lockdown period when shoots were happening outside Maharashtra. While the cost has gone down since the shoots started happening in Maharashtra from July onwards, it has still been 15-20% higher than the pre-Covid levels. 

The industry is bearing the cost of safety and hygiene measures since the onslaught of the pandemic last year, said Majethia. 

An industry observer shared that even though there are still some challenges that everyone faces on the sets while shooting, the good part is the work is going on. The shoots are happening on time, new shows are coming up. “There is an additional cost attached to the overall production budget and it's the same for the entire industry. For smooth functioning, it is also important to follow all the protocols so that the industry doesn’t face a similar situation again.”   

The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), President BN Tiwari, shared that around 100 shows shoots are happening across the country including some web series. “Situation is getting better and we are shooting for TV shows, web-series and even for movies. Everything is getting back to normal with each passing day.”

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