Cover stories around prime-time television shows on Hindi general entertainment channels are a delight to execute. Among other reasons, it’s because they remind us that within the space we cover, parallel universes exist. While the ad-mediamarketing intelligentsia is busy bashing the content for reasons galore, these shows and their makers operate in a world of their own, oblivious to the brickbats being hurled at their kind, routinely.
Recently, Star Plus’ nine-year-old daily soap ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ completed 2,500 episodes, a record on Indian television. On the occasion, we interviewed the ‘show runner’, Rajan Shahi. Little over a year back, Star Plus introduced this interesting title; today, every show on the channel has a designated show runner, a person – she/he could be a writer, creative director or, as in this case, a producer – on whose shoulders the show rests.
Rajan, who launched the show on January 12, 2009, which was when the first episode was aired, spoke to us about how the idea to create this show was born, the challenges the team faced along the way – for instance, when several key actors walked out of the show last year – and what it means to create this record.
By the way, three of the actors on the show, Hina Khan (who played the lead), Rohan Mehra and Karan Mehra, landed up in the Bigg Boss house after quitting ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. How’s that for trivia?
When we interviewed Rajan, he was in Santorini, Greece, with the cast and crew of the show, shooting the next few episodes. The interview was conducted over several video calls.
Around a year back, we ran a cover story on the makers of SAB TV’s comedy show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ when it completed 2,000 episodes. And a year before that, we ran a similar piece on Colors’ popular drama Balika Vadhu when it completed 2,000 episodes.