This fort­night...

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL / CONTENTS - Ash­wini Gan­gal ash­wini.gan­gal@afaqs.com

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.

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