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    Feb 2010


    Default TV actors share their views on "no TRPs for two months" development

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    Imagine you are student and you have the tension of weekly tests and then suddenly one fine day you are exempted from the same for two months. You would feel elated right? But then what if the principal tells you that post the freedom you will not only need to give a consolidated test for the off period but even the existing evaluation pattern will change. Well… this sums the mood in the TV industry since this morning when it was announced that in lieu of upcoming digitization in four metros, the weekly TAM ratings system was being suspended for two months. But then before industry could cork out the champagne bottle, came a sting in the tail i.e. that a combined TAM sheet for two months will be issued on 19 December. This will be followed by digital ratings from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The rest of the country will continue to follow old TAM system for the time being.

    In a bid to find out what our actor fraternity feels about being freed from the terror of receiving TAM data by SMS every Wednesday for the next eight weeks, we spoke to few of TV actors and this is what they had to say. Karan Mehra of Yeh Ristha Kya Kehlata Hai said, “This suspension will not affect our Star Plus show. We have always worked hard irrespective of the numbers, be it 7 or 2.5/3 TVR. But it will give some time for other shows which are not doing well to pick up steam. I know how tough it is for actors when their shows go off air. It takes a toll on their self confidence. Now no more sleepless Tuesday nights, we all can enjoy peaceful Diwali.”

    Talking about the benefits of digitization, Karan who is also getting married in the same window, added, “This will make ratings more transparent as we will know how many people are actually watching what… at least in the four metros. Having said that, I have never really paid attention to the TRP business which is more of a marketing tool. How can 7000 boxes determine what a nation of a billion plus watching? For me popularity is determined when I go out and get mobbed by fans even after four long years.” His Rajan Shahi produced show recently celebrated completion of 1000 episodes.

    Veteran actor Hiten Tejwani also seconded Karan saying, “Good performing shows need not worry. Pavitra Ristha is a very popular show on Zee TV, so things are pretty much settled in our camp.” Ask Hiten about differences in TAM ratings years ago when Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi was rocking and he smiled, “We enjoyed a peak rating of 24 TVR. So when it dipped to 14 we were a bit worried. Fluctuation in numbers affect producers and channel more than actors, The above epic’s show’s end ratings were higher than the highest rated shows of the day.”

    Actor cum producer Anuj Saxena felt, “that actors will be relieved in one way that for the next two months you will not see sudden changes in story tracks which fluctuations in TRP always produce.”
    “And since there will be no major changes in plot lines, our call times and schedules will also remain unchanged,” added Anuj.

    Adaa Khan (Amrit Manthan) shared, “Tensions notwithstanding ratings are needed to find out where we are going wrong and which track is working. I also faced similar heart burn when my show was rating on the lower side. But I guess drama always works and we are now number two on the channel (Life OK).”

    Looking ahead she felt things should change once digitization sets in. “However, I am apprehensive that smaller channels like Life OK might be the hardest hit. I have heard that in some areas you don’t get our channel free to air on the set up box, you will have pay for it separately. So although core Amrit Manthan fans will subscribe to the channel, but the larger floating population might think twice and only pay for the bigger watched channels.”

    Samaira Rao of Love Marriage Yeh Arranged Marriage is hopeful that, “this break will give the creatives some time to work out a better story for ratings of this Sony show have been dipping.”

    When asked if this will give her time to also revisit her craft she fired back and said, “We actors are alone not responsible for the lower ratings and there are several other factors which also play important role in the overall scenario.”

    Not all actors seemed to be open to talk on the changing scenario in television for when we contacted senior actor Ronit Roy about the same he took the safe route and chose not to comment. He sent an SMS which read, “I have no clue and mind too busy to think of anything other than my current load of work.”

    Well…let us know what you folks think about the change!!!



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