Imported formats on small screen

FOREIGN FACTOR


Mona Vasu in Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao.

There is no denying the success of reality shows on television today. What started as just a mere dance-music format has now evolved into a whole new world filled with drama. What’s more, most of these shows are the licensed versions of many successful foreign shows and audiences are getting to view both of them.

The latest two reality shows —Sach Ka Saamna, hosted by actor Rajeev Khandelwal, which has been adapted from Moment Of Truth and Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao, the Indian version of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here — make one wonder what makes these desi versions click in India.

Raghavendra, director of the first season of a game show, Daddy No 1, which has been inspired from a show called My Dad is Better Than Your Dad, says, “It’s how one adopts the concept to suit the viewers’ sentiments that matters the most. Be it in the North or the South, the psychology of the viewers vary and it’s up to the makers of the show to understand this and treat it differently.”

People from within the industry say that it isn’t the lack of originality that make them take on international formats but the fact that they have been tried out before gives them the confidence that it will work out here as well.

Deepak Tijori, who was part of Bigg Boss Season 1, a remake of Bigg Brother, says, “Many of the programmes are buying the official rights to adapt these shows to the Indian audience. People are always on a look out for something new and contemporary.”

“Bringing out something new and innovative here will take a lot of time, so many go for shows that are a huge success in the West and try it out here,” he adds.

Just when one thinks that the tried and tested formula works out here, one comes across shows like Kamzor Kadi Kaun, the remake of Weakest Link, that it’s not always a success.

“Not everything that works in the West has to work out here. For example, Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain? which was inspired by Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader did not get the required viewership as compared to Kaun Banega Crorepati, which was also an adaptation. Again, it matters how one presents the show,” adds Raghavendra.

Nethra Raghuram, who was the winner of Khatron Ke Khiladi, the Indian version of Fear Factor, says, “Even though I remember watching the original, it was definitely a whole new experience when I went on the show as a participant. Making an Indian format also provides people an opportunity which they wouldn’t otherwise get in the foreign format.”

While some do manage to pull in the required TRPs, the question still remains, do they curb one’s creativity?

“There’s no denying that at the end of the day, it’s the business that matters.

Home-grown formats don’t come with any reference point and it’s like shooting in the dark, you have to go with your instinct completely,” concludes Deepak.


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