TV serials and web series have distinct audiences, say Ravi Dubey, Ankita Lokhande

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By Arundhuti Banerjee

Mumbai, Sep 12 (IANS) At the beginning of the year, one of the earlier popular television series ‘Jamai Raja’ reappeared for its new season as ‘Jamai 2.0’, starring Ravi Dubey and Nia Sharma. The web series was well-received.

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Now that another popular television series ‘Pavitra Rishta’ is all set to return on the OTT platform ZEE5 for its new season, ‘Pavitra Rishta 2.0’, IANS caught up with Ankita Lokhande and Ravi Dubey to find out how these lead actors view the transition from one medium to another.

The question begging an answer is whether television will lose out to OTT platforms in the battle for eyeballs? Or, will both co-exist, albeit warily.

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In her conversation with IANS, Ankita said: “I think our idea of releasing the new season of ‘Pavitra Rishta’ is in a way, bringing or expanding the television audience to the OTT platform. Of course, the independent audience of OTT platforms has only grown and there will also be an audience who will watch TV and OTT both.”

“But there still exists a generation gap and content differences between television and OTT shows. In small towns, in the generation of our parents and grandparents, there’s still that interest in watching family dramas on television, whereas OTT has offered a lot of exciting shows in genres such as thrillers, murder mysteries and action dramas, all aimed mainly at a younger audience.”

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The show ‘Pavitra Rishta’ first aired in 2009. As lead cast, it featured the late Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande. The new season releases on September 15 on ZEE5 featuring Ankita and Shaheer Sheikh.

“A show such as Pavitra Rishta, which is a love story that revolves around Manav- Archana and the involvement of their families too, makes a perfect choice for both generations. I also think there are not many shows on OTT platforms that are a love-story as well as a family drama. Therefore, I think our show releasing on OTT will bring my older fans to the new platform as well as the already existing audience to a new exciting series. The coexisting of both sections of the audience will happen in near future,” Ankita believes.

The coexistence of parallel audiences is a factor that even Ravi Dubey recognises. ‘Jamai Raja’ was a success on TV when it was first aired in 2014. The second season of the show ‘Jamai 2.0’ was released on ZEE5 in 2019, and achieved an equal measure of success. The sequel to the second season, ‘Jamai 2.0 Season 2’, started streaming in 2021.

“I think there are adequate numbers of audience for both television and OTT and also we have numbers to support that. So, I do not think TV series are losing their audience to OTT platforms anyway, but yes, with time, OTT audiences are increasing.

“When we get the TV ratings every Thursday and if we compare them with the ratings that used to come before the OTT boom, we see that there are shows that are doing as good or as badly as they did before OTT happened. Yes, with great stories and superior production qualities, OTT platforms have set a benchmark but that does not mean TV shows lost their glory,” Ravi told IANS.

He added: “Whether it is regional language shows, national or international shows, TV shows are trending on a daily basis and that is the reason why TV series are still made. TV is also doing fairly well. If it hasn’t grown in the last 5 years, like the way OTT space did, it also didn’t go down. TV is here to stay, so is OTT. What I feel is, there will be integration of television and OTT audiences. The success of ‘Jamai Raja’ and ‘Jamai 2.0’ and its latest season is a result of that.”

(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at arundhuti.b@ians.in)

–IANS

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