An amazing thing about tellydom is its penchant for allowing programming trends to drag on for fairly long periods of time. Opulent sets, weddings, a sharp positive-negative divide of characters or the death of prominent stars - viewers have seen it all over the last three to four years, since Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kasautii Zindagii Kay - prime time shows on STAR Plus - caught the imagination of the masses.
Another visible - and to some extent successful - trend has been the time transition in storylines, resulting in the entry of new stars and the prompt ageing of the current crop. Kyunki set the ball rolling two years ago with a 20-year leap, which saw the entry of the fourth generation, that is, Tulsi Virani's children as well as her nieces and nephews. Kahaani followed suit last year, with Kasautii yet to take the plunge. Allied shows such as Shagun in the afternoon slot on STAR Plus and Kehta Hai Dil, a weekly prime time show on the lead channel, have also leapfrogged into the future.
One more to adopt the time-tested formula, is Sony Entertainment Television's Kkusum. The daily soap, telecast at 9.00 pm prime time, has seen a time transition of 18 years, implying an older Kkusum agonising over the trials and tribulations of her teenage daughter Kumud.
The spotlight, now, is trained on the mother-daughter duo with the young girl projected as a reflection of Kkusum - a hardworking type, who epitomises middle-class values - marking a return to the original strain of the plot, which dwelled on the ordeals of the central character, prior to her marriage into an affluent Punjabi family. In effect, Kkusum, the quintessential Maharashtrian girl, unfolded a new chapter in her life when she fell in love with the dashing Abhay Kapoor, implying also, a move away from the humdrum
Channel executives maintain that viewers were keen on seeing the original triumph-over-all-odds storyline coupled with a certain breath of freshness, which is why the introduction of Kumud, following a transition in time frame. Sunil Lulla, executive vice-president, Sony Entertainment Television, explains, "Kkusum has endeared herself to millions of middle-class girls and the new plot is aimed at taking the serial to further popularity."
The bigger reason, of course, is to improve the show's prospects on the ratings charts. Kkusum's ratings have hovered between 2 and 3 in the base cable and satellite audience in the four-plus age group on an all-India basis.
In the target group of 25-34 years, male/female, Hindi speaking markets, Kkusum averaged a score of 3.6 in the first half of December last year (that is, December 1-15, 2003), increasing 4.2 in the second half, which is also when the transition took place (December 22, 2003).
Into the New Year, Kkusum has picked up some more points, averaging a score of 4.6 in the first half of January 2004, with an overall growth of 29 per cent. "The show has successfully built the channel's franchise in the 9.00-9.30 pm time band and the new storyline is geared at adding further muscle," states Lulla. © 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : January 30, 2004