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Action is okay in movies, not on mass television

By , agencyfaqs! | In | January 02, 2004
For this generation of Indians brought up on the trials and tribulations of the angry young hero, action-packed drama on the small screen certainly doesn't wash


For this generation of Indians brought up on the trials and tribulations of the angry young hero and his final triumph over evil on action-meshed celluloid, action-packed drama on the small screen certainly doesn't wash. For what would explain the untimely demise of STAR Plus' Josh... Aktion Unlimited, which was supposed to have revolutionised weekly television, but ended up as a 13-episode wonder, or that of Force 1 on Sony that aimed to dazzle the audience with its star-spangled credit line.

Force 1, launched as 'an experiment' by Sony Entertainment Television, actually preceded Josh… to the grave. The Shivam Nair-directed series revolved around the exploits of this highly evolved commando unit that dealt with issues of national security like battling international assassins and protecting the nation's leaders. The channel brass might have placed its bets on the impressive star cast comprising Mandira Bedi (who provided the much needed "visual relief" on Extraaa Innings and became a household name bigger than perhaps commentator Charu Sharma), Parmeet Sethi, Ashish Chowdhary (of Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye fame) and Nitesh Pandey (of Saaya fame); but the mini series bombed, and Sony did not even bother to revive the slot.

On its part, the 13-episode cop-robber routine of Aktion Unlimited... Josh was billed as the "the biggest and boldest show" by STAR, which had reportedly sunk Rs 1.5 million per episode of the show. But mass channel viewers refused to be swept off their feet by the muscle-flexing Salil Ankola and his band of boys, forcing the channel to replace it in August 2003 with love story Saara Akaash.

So is action a no-no on the small screen?

Points out a senior executive in a Top 3 television channel. "Admit it or not, mass channel viewership is woman-dominated and the action/violence genre has never gone down well with this audience. On the other hand, men go for 'mature' action, while kids tend to be carried away by the more 'fantastic' stuff. These two shows probably fell somewhere in between all these conflicting demands."

No wonder, mass television over the past few years has been caught in the stranglehold of kitchen politics with the only surprise element being who ultimately gets to pull the rug below the feet of the great undivided Hindu family - the cantankerous mother-in-law, the manipulative daughter-in-law or the evil sister-in-law.

The week of December 14 to 20, 2003, was no different from any other week in the year in the titles that appeared among the Top 10 or Top 20 or even the Top 50 serials on the TAM Top 100 list of television shows. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kahin To Hoga, Kehta Hai Dil, Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand, Sanjivani, Kaahin Kissii Roz, Saara Akaash - they were all there. The shows that have represented kids' television on mass channels - Son Pari and Shakalaka Boom Boom - were also there. So were Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, Devi, Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeekat, CID - the regular fixtures for Sony. Among regional channels Sun TV had Metty Oli, Annamalai and Kolangal, while Gemini TV had Dance Baby Dance. ZEE remained conspicuous by its absence third week in a row, and STAR Sports entered the sweepstakes six times, with its match analysis in the morning slot of December 12 giving cricket its seventh representative among the Top 100 this winter. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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