Back after break: GECs gear up to launch new shows post lockdown 2.0

Over 15 shows are slated to launch in the next two months

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Jul 28, 2021 8:31 AM  | 3 min read

After witnessing a slowdown during the lockdown period following the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) are now gearing up for the launch of new shows. The month of July already saw the rollout of Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 11 on Colors TV, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi Season 3 on Sony TV, and Zindagi Mere Ghar Aana on Star Plus.

According to the information available with exchange4media, over 15 shows are slated to launch in the next two months. Coming soon will be shows such as Balika Vadhu Season 2, The Big Picture, India's Most Sansanikhej Kahaniyaan on Colors TV, Tera Mera Saath Rahe on Star Bharat, Dance Plus on Star Plus, Ziddi Dil Maane Na, and Dharm Yoddha Garud on Sony SAB, Shark Tank India, The Kapil Sharma Show Returns, Kaun Banega Corerpati, and India's Best Dancer on Sony Entertainment Television, Comedy Factory, Bhagya Lakshmi and SaReGaMaPa on Zee TV, and Ghar Ke Mandir-Kripa Agrasen Maharaja Ki on &TV.

While broadcasters and producers are planning new shows, the challenges of shooting amid Covid-induced restrictions are still there. 

Says Sunshine Production’s founder-director and producer Sudhir Sharma, "In the current scenario, we have multiple restrictions. Shoots are not allowed after 4 pm and on weekends.  Therefore, planning is the key, and we have to prepare better.”

Sharma is currently shooting for Sony SAB’s upcoming show Ziddi Dil Maane Na. He shares that they are still evaluating the situation and will finalize the launch date accordingly.

"We don't want to put anybody's life at risk. The shoots have already started, and we will decide on the launch date in 10 days," he says.

But despite the challenges, the makers of the show are also trying to create a bank of episodes since the health authorities have warned of a possible third wave.

Sharma, however, says that it is not possible to have a bank of 30 episodes for a daily soap, especially when one is shooting for lesser days and hours. "It's not possible for daily soaps, the maximum that you can have is a bank of 10-15 episodes."

Adds Sunjoy Waddhwa, founder and promoter of television production company Sphereorigins, "We are planning storylines in such a manner that we have our episodic and script bank ready."

Waddhwa is currently shooting for the second season of one of the most popular TV shows- Balika Vadhu. The roll out of Balika Vadhu Season 2 has been delayed by two months. The show was supposed to start June-end. It will now go on-air on August 9, 2021.

"We are working within the restrictions imposed by the authorities. We can't shoot for long hours, we have to finish within the time frame. We are putting extra effort to move things faster. Now, the planning has become a little more meticulous since we don’t have the option to carry forward the shoot to the next day," mentions Waddhwa.

Speaking on the same lines, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), President BN Tiwari, had earlier shared with exchange4media, "We are facing hurdles while shooting in Mumbai. Preparing for the shoot while following the guidelines consumes a lot of time, and then we have to wrap up at 4 pm. So it is challenging to shoot in the given time frame."

He had also mentioned that the industry body has been writing to the government to give some more relaxation, including allowing their people to travel in local trains.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Thakur, the Co-founder of Frames Production, is currently shooting for Super Dancer Chapter 4. He has also started working on the second season of India's Best Dancer on SET Dance Plus on Star Plus.  The registration for both the shows has already begun.

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