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Realty Shows: Dawn of an era of Realism in Indian Television

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Who would have thought when BIG BOSS was launched with a great fanfare as a realty show of its own kind by Sony Television that it would redefine the way the business of entertainment is conducted on television. Realty shows have become a part of the Indian life, a second life so to say and its various avatars continue to have manifestations in the form of Indian Idol, Jhalak Dikhla Ja, Nach Baliye etc. The Big Boss is a watershed as it is the synthesis of convergence between Information, Communication and Technology to give a new definition to entertainment. Big Boss is considered as a watershed as it for the first time spewed the venom of back-biting and bitching along with manipulation in its myriad manifestations, exposing the seamier side so to say, and from hence onwards a new spice in form of grapevine news became part of the realty shows in television. This was a gradual convergence to the scenario as it is to be found in the film industry. This could be one of the significant signposts for the entertainment industry during 2007.

Realty shows also gave a new twist to potentiality of so-called favourites to perform in the competition. Many a shows found that the favourites of the judges were pummeled with the messages and had to byte dust, while those who were not so favourites among the judges went on to win the crowns. The institution of judges was also put under scanner, and judges also fought on the programmes, they also were found to wear their loyalties on their sleeves. It also happened during this year itself that those who were the favourites of the judges, but had been booted out by votes, were given a backdoor entry in the form of wild card entries.

The realty shows also contributed in a big way to increase in the market value of various telephone service providers and the profits that have been added to balance sheets of these companies have been partly contributed by the realty shows forming a major part of the bouquet on offer by various entertainment channels. Regionalism identities were also brought to fore and played a major part in the way the shows were conducted. A remarkable exception to this was South India in general, which did not participate in the same manner and frenzy in the realty shows as it was done by other parts of the country.

Innovations also found its expression in usage of the platform of multiple realty shows for either promoting new programmes to be launched on the television or for providing an interface for a new film to be launched. The captive eyeballs that these shows had the ability to generate must have triggered the approach to venture into this medium for publicity of the films and its stars. Surrogate advertisements, which have become a de rigor in the print media also made its debut in a big way through the realty shows.

The acme of the process was in the form of selecting a leader through voting in the form of Lead India Campaign and if one good single leader is thrown up by this programme then the flak that realty programmes draw in some quarters would die a natural death.

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