Public Service Broadcaster Doordarshan is looking to milk the cash-cow of ancient Indian history shows to its full effect. After the humongous success of Ramayan, Mahabharat and the old-classic shows that started airing in the wake of the Wuhan virus pandemic, the channel has now announced that a re-run of the show Shri Krishna will also start soon.
Prasad Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar took to Twitter to confirm the news and said the broadcast was “coming soon”.
Coming soon https://t.co/AuA7HWuTm4
— Shashi Shekhar (@shashidigital) April 23, 2020
— Prasar Bharati (@prasarbharati) April 23, 2020
Written and directed by Ramanand Sagar of the Ramayan fame–Shri Krishna is an adaptation of the stories of the life of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu—based on Bhagavata Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Harivamsa, Vishnu Purana, Padma Purana, Garga Samhita, Bhagavad Gita & Mahabharat.
The Hindu epics Ramayan and Mahabharat have already climbed the top of TRP charts and shattered nearly all the old records and therefore calls from the audience began to grow–demanding the re-telecast of the hit series that originally aired between 1993-1996.
After the announcement, people were visibly elated and took to Twitter to share their excitement.
— !!!!!!! (@OzaMHinal) April 23, 2020
— Bihar Reawakens (@BiharReawakens) April 23, 2020
#ShriKrishna is coming…. Get Ready for another Record Breaking TRP 🔥🔥🔥
DD National On Fire…🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/2H99Ka48OM
— Radhe 🇮🇳 (@being_salmanism) April 23, 2020
Shri Krishna remained one of the most-watched shows back in the 90s where Sarvadaman D. Banerjee played Lord Krishna and Vishnu, Swapnil Joshi became a household name after he played the teenage Lord Krishna, Ashok Kumar Balkrishnan as young Krishna, Deepak Deulkar was seen as Balram and Shesha, Pinky Parikh played Rukmini / Yamuna / Lakshmi / Durga and Reshma Modi was seen as Radha respectively.
The show was first broadcast on Doordarshan’s Metro Channel (DD 2) from 1993. And then again in 1996, DD National aired it from the start.
Buoyed by the success of its shows, DD has scurried to ramp up its programme roster and is already looking to move beyond the obscure L1 process that had destroyed the program quality on the national network, the Information, and Broadcast Minister Prakash Javadekar had informed a few days earlier.
Since being confined to their households in the wake of a national lockdown, the content consumption by Indians has increased manifolds. As per latest BARC India viewership data for week 15 of 2020 (April 11-17), the ancient Indian history shows were watched by 353 million viewers for 109 billion minutes, making up nearly 43% of overall Hindi GEC viewership.
In the pre-COVID-19 period (January 11-31), the total viewership share of historical content on Hindi GECs was just 14%, which jumped to 37% by week 14 (April 4-10).
In the week-14 (April 4 to April 10), DD broke the cumulative viewership record when it achieved mammoth viewership figures of 1.9 billion.
As per the available data, Ramayan and Mahabharat are airing almost 190-200 slots of 10 seconds each per day during the telecast of the shows.
The lockdown has proved that content is still the king and the goldmine of TV shows that DD possesses can be used to good affect. CEOs of Prasar Bharati and Doordarshan are working on a project to evolve an online platform for the viewers to compete with the other OTT platforms. These are interesting times and DD has realized that it has all the required ammo to compete and consequently it is going all in. The revival of DD has indeed been a fairy tale of sorts.