Of iconic status
‘CID’ is 13 years old and is still going strong on television. Srabanti Chakrabarti discovers the reasons behind the show’s tremendous success.
When we talk about longest- running serials on Indian television, we always seem to mention Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Shanti. Somehow, CID never features in that list. The crime serial on Sony is perhaps the longest-running show on Indian television and is just a month away from completing 13 years of continuous broadcasting (the first episode of CID was telecast in January, 1998)! This is an achievement and there is no denying the fact that CID is a success story few shows can replicate.
B P Singh is the man behind Fireworks Productions that gave birth to CID. “CID has been an integral part of my career. After all, 13 years is a very long time,” says the producer. Within a few seconds, he corrects himself, “But, I have been a part of CID for 17 years because, before it went on air, I had shot its pilot episodes with Shivaji Satam. A detective serial with a weak storyline is like a person without a soul. Therefore, ensuring that CID has a strong storyline was my biggest challenge. But I am glad that my team of writers passed the test with flying colours.”
Rajan Wagdhare, who is directing CID for the last four years along with a few others, talks about the show’s unprecedented success. “B P Singh selects the best of stories for the show. Till date, no two plots or stories on CID have been similar, even after completing 13 years on television. Another reason for CID’s success is that we always shoot on location. Although we occasionally shoot on set, such episodes have been very few in number.” The veteran director feels that shooting on location lends an authentic touch to a crime-thriller and, as a result, the audience can relate to it better. Adds Wagdhare, “The creative team has complete freedom while working on the show. There is hardly any interferance from the channel authorities, which helps us in creating a better product.”
Interestingly, majority of the people from the cast and crew have been associated with CID for many years. Take Hrishikesh Pandey for instance, who plays the character of inspector Sachin on the show. He has been with CID for more than three years now. “Many television actors today work for multiple shows. Whether they admit it or not, it does affect their work. However, if you look at CID, whether it is Shivaji Satam (ACP Pradyuman), Daya Shetty (Inspector Daya) or Aditya Shrivastava (Inspector Abhijeet), CID has always been their priority. Their characters have achieved an iconic status, which is one the of reasons why the show is extremely successful,” says Pandey.
Showering praises on his cast and crew, Singh says, “I am very lucky to have a loyal team. Everyone in the staff trusts me blindly and works extra-hard to ensure that we churn out better episodes by the day.” Adds Pandey, “I won’t deny that I got many offers while working on CID, but seeing the dedication and loyalty of my seniors on the show, I resisted the temptation of shifting to other shows. It is inspiring and motivating to work with a dedicated team. Like B P Singh, who comes to the set everyday and gives suggestions for improving the show. Why would I want to work anywhere else?”
As Shivaji Satam, the actor who has been playing the role of ACP Pradyumna, said recently, “This role has become a part of my life and I do not think I will get tired of it any time.”
Singh feels that CID can be enjoyed by all age groups, which is why it has become a household name. “When we started this show, I wanted it to be a family entertainer. Therefore, we always make sure that we do not show any gory scenes, despite CID being a crime thriller,” explains the producer.
So, what does the future hold for CID? Are we going to see any changes? Singh reveals, “Starting March next year, the serial will undergo some changes. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to reveal the exact nature of these changes.”
Whatever the changes might be, one hopes that the CID team continues to boggle us with its cases in the way it has been doing for the past 13 years. After all, television today can boast of very few entertaining crime thrillers. Singh knows this very well and will surely not lose an opportunity to capitalise on the goodwill and loyalty the show has generated.