The highs and lows of the Indian small-screen in 2013

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 - 11:57am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
As we bid adieu to 2013, here's taking stock of what worked and what didn't in the year gone by...

Highs
Comedy Nights With Kapil
The unique format, Kapil's affable hosting skills, his inimitable sense of humour and the excellent supporting cast made Comedy Nights With Kapil an immensely entertaining show. It catapulted to the top within a couple of weeks of its launch and had all the top filmstars from Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar to Ranbir Kapoor promoting their films on the show. SRK even offered to buy the show from Kapil! It's not been a smooth ride though. The show suffered a few losses too, first Kapil's set was gutted in fire and the biggest blow came when Sunil Grover who was playing Gutthi quit to host a show on a rival channel. That, however, hasn't made a dent in the popularity of Comedy Nights, which continues to rock the small-screen.

Mahabharat
It was four years in the making, so naturally the latest tele-version of the epic was much-awaited. The lavishly-mounted serial (the producers are said to have spent Rs 4 crores on the sets) had the biggest opening for any show this year. High on special effects and gloss, the serial was panned by critics for its flawed narration. Yet, the serial seems to have caught the fancy of the Gen X and is consistently rating among the top 10.
 
CID’s  1000 episodes
ACP Pradyuman, Daya and Abhijeet the detective trio, who have been relentlessly solving crime in CID, reached a milestone this year. They completed 1000 episodes on air. What's more, the detective series continues be the top-rated show on Sony, a rare feat for a show that has been on air for 17 years!  That's probably the reason, none other than Lata Mangeshkar, who claimed to be a fan of the show, threw a special bash for the CID team - again a first for any TV show.

Jodha Akbar
Ekta Kapoor's and Zee's ambitious historical drama Jodha Akbar has been in the news for more than one reason. Soon after its launch, there were protests against the depiction of Jodha and Akbar's romance, with some even claiming that Jodha did not exist! It's been six months now, and despite protests and lead pair of Rajat Tokas and Paridhi Sharma not getting along well, the unique love story between a Muslim emperor and a Hindu princess has managed to capture the viewers' imagination. The serial is consistently rating among the top serials across channels.

Anil Kapoor's 24
The team of 24 will have you believe that it is a game-changer. Well, it certainly was a novel experiment but the jury is still out on whether it’s a game changer ! Anil Kapoor's Indian TV debut in the remake of the hit international show was much-awaited. Though it scored on its narration and performances, it got limited by its very format and story. While the metro audiences gave it a nod, the pan-Indian viewer did not relate to it resulting in lesser numbers. However, 24 will rate among the highs of Indian television as it brought a new type of storytelling and the concept of a finite seasonal series to desi shores.

Bigg Boss 7
The reality show has been around for six seasons, but this year, it went to another level - higher or lower depends on how you perceive it, but it was undoubtedly the talking point. Tanishaa Mukerji's participation, her romance with Armaan Kohli that allegedly hasn't gone down well with her illustrious film family and more. The war of words between host Salman Khan and Kushal Tandon led to a fight between their fans. Kushal's fans accused Salman of being unfair while Salman took to twitter to clarify his stance. Last but not the least, a dramatic twist was added when Sophia Hayat  filed a police complaint against Armaan and he was arrested from the house! He was subsequently released on bail. With all this masala, it wasn't surprising that the show got better ratings than last year.

Koffee With Karan
Karan Johar, who had given his show a miss last year, returned with his Koffee cuppa this year. Since his last outing led to controversies, one expected shocking revelations   this year too and so far he hasn't disappointed. People are still recovering from Salman Khan's outrageous revelation that he is still a virgin! Not to mention Kareena Kapoor teasing Ranbir Kapoor and calling Katrina Kaif her sister-in-law on national television.  We are sure more steamy secrets will be out by the time this seasons’ Koffee is over. 

Lows
Shows that were launched with a bang and went with a whimper
Badalte Rishton Ki Dastaan
Launched by the producers of hit show Sasural Genda Phool, Badalte Rishton Ki Dastaan starring Sanjeeda Sheikh, Additi Gupta, Kiran Karmarkar among others was to be a big-ticket family saga on Zee. However, it was axed within three months of its launch. Apparently, the channel and the producers weren't on the same page when it came to taking the storyline ahead. The cast rues that the serial wasn't given enough time to build up and connect with the viewers.

Chhanchhan
Sanaya Irani who had a hit show Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon returned with the show that was supposed to on the lines of Rekha's hit film Khoobsoorat. Supriya Pathak played the strict disciplinarian mother-in-law while a newbie Farhaan Khan was cast opposite Sanaya. The serial had a good start but soon trouble started. Whispers of Farhaan not performing well began and he was replaced with Anuj Sachdeva. But by then the serial had nose-dived. It was axed within six months of its launch.
 
Dil Ki Nazar Se - Khoobsoorat
It was to open the 7.30 pm slot on Sony. The show had popular names Rohit Khurana and Sowmya Seth in lead roles. The story was based on the concept of Beauty and the Beast, but the thin plot and the lack of chemistry between the lead pair led to changes in the storyline. First a love triangle was introduced, then the hero was done away with and finally it took a time-leap. But nothing could save this show, which was taken off within five months of its launch.

The Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon Ki Malika
Nobody could digest the concept of a coy and simpering Mallika Sherawat trying to find her life partner on national TV. Though this was official desi version of the popular internation The Bachelorette, the viewers had already sampled the fare in Rakhi Sawant, Rahul Mahajan and Ratan Rajput’s  Swayamvar. Mallika, however, had the last laugh sporting designer dresses and having 20 men romancing her, age no bar! Not to mention pocketing one crore an episode if reports are to be believed.   

 
Punarvivah 2: Ek Nayi Ummeed
The producers of this show came up with a unique experiment. When the original popular serial ran out of steam, they just got in a new cast altogether and started a new story with the same name. Gurmeet Choudhary and Kratika Sengar, the stars of the first season were replaced with Karan Grover, Shristy Rode and Rubina Dilaik. But within a month of its launch trouble began – Rubina quit the show, was replaced by Parul Chauhan and a new character in the form of Eijaz Khan was introduced. But no amount of permutation and combination could help this triangular love story and it had to be axed.

 FIR
When Chandramukhi Chautala aka Kavita Kaushik decided to move away from her khaki uniform to play a sweet fun loving girl Maina in Tota Weds Maina, FIR promptly took a leap. Chitrashi Rawat was brought in to play her daughter and cop Jwalamukhi. The revamped FIR never had a chance with the viewers used to Chandramukhi and in three months the show was back with the original cast! Tota Weds Maina shut down and Kavita was back donning her best cop act.


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