'Shoot'ing star: When TV's most loved character gets shot

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 12, 2010
Anandi, the protagonist of Balika Vadhu on Colors, gets shot and in turn shoots up the TVR of the show

Colors' most popular show Balika Vadhu is at its high point. The protagonist, Anandi, is being shown as being in a critical condition. The episode aired on March 11 showed Anandi being shot in the head. The TVRs, too, shot up by 45 per cent, as per aMap analysis (C&S, 4+, NWE).

& #BANNER1 & #

Ormax Media's latest study on most liked characters on TV places Anandi at the top. This was substantiated by the TVR recorded by the show on the day, which was 5.5 as against an average of 3.8 over the last seven days. The channel started promoting the episode a week ago, hinting to the audience that Anandi will be fighting for her life in the week to come and that she needs the viewers' good wishes.

Approximately 8.4 million viewers tuned into the episode. The analysis shows a gradual rise in viewership over the last seven days as the promotions started. From a TVR of 3.3 on March 2, the show rose to 5.5 on March 10. It was undoubtedly the most watched programme on Hindi GECs during that time band. Its repeat telecast at 11 pm fetched a TVR of 2.5.

The channel is now running a 'Pray for Anandi' campaign to facilitate good wishes and prayers for the character. The campaign is being aired on television, with characters from other shows on Colors wishing her well, and a similar radio campaign.

Rameet Arora, head, marketing, Colors, says that over the week, the channel has been inundated with calls, messages and 'get well soon' cards from school children. "It is a critical point of the show and we are treating it sensitively, rather than sensationalising it. We are encouraging people to participate in wishing for Anandi's well being," Arora says. Part of the promotion is also involves holding pujas in six cities, where viewers can also participate.

Season 3 of IPL is scheduled to commence today. With such drastic turn of events in the storyline, the channel can surely hope to hold on to its viewers. However, that's not the intention, says Arora. "The story is where it is supposed to be and it's natural for us to promote it," he says.

The show became a phenomenal success in just a few weeks from its launch, beating the long running soaps on rival channels. Although the launch TVR of the show was a mere 0.7 (TAM: C&S 4+, HSM), it soon became the highest watched show on Hindi GECs, building a loyal fan base and spinning off similar programmes on other channels, too. Much of this has been credited to the protagonist, Anandi.