Colors shows to incorporate Covid2019-related topics for better relatability

With fresh episodes, viewers will slowly move back to their original habit of appointment viewing.

Manisha Sharma

MUMBAI: 13 July 2020 is when viewers of all GECs will be able to get back to watching their favourite shows. Viacom18’s Colors is currently looking at numerous ways to engage the audiences.

Viacom18 Hindi mass entertainment chief content officer Manisha Sharma expresses that the last few months have been life-altering for broadcasters, producers, artists, crew members and most importantly for the viewers.

In the new episodes that are being shot, the channel is covering pandemic-related subjects and also integrating it as part of the current storyline. It is also incorporating safety protocols and precautions like sanitisation and other safety measures in the narrative to generate relatability.

“We factored in the lag and production pace before putting fresh episodes on air. Hence, we are working against a timeline and creating banks of episodes for all our fiction shows,” explains Sharma.

While shooting resumes, safety and security remain a major concern. The channel is being extremely cautious and strictly abiding by the safety protocols implemented by producers, broadcasters and government.

Their priorities include sticking to the timelines, creating a pressure-free environment, keeping a tab on the daily influx of people on the sets and ensuring the same set of people are working together to keep risks at bay. Apart from that, the cast and crew members are staying in or around the campus to avoid travel hassles. Regular fumigation of sets, access to medical services, placement of sanitisers, usage of N95 masks, regular temperature checks and other necessary protocols are also being followed.

In the absence of new content, the channel has observed a shift in the viewers’ content consumption habits too. In this phase, family viewing has gained more prominence, people turned to mythological shows for comfort and entertainment, the trend gradually picked up and the audience soon developed a palette for classics. At the same time, there was a great demand for the erstwhile shows and soon reruns started to rule the viewership.  

She says, “As the content offerings now change with fresh episodes being aired, viewers will slowly move back to their original habit of appointment viewing. While the initial optics might be slow, we are certain that it will gradually pick up owing to the engaging storyline, highpoints, plot twists and intrigue around the characters.”

For promotion, the channel will use a ‘Kahaani ab tak’ capsule to summarise the journey till before the lockdown. “Taking the audience through their favourite characters’ journey so far has helped us to familiarise the audience with the show once again. Additionally, along with the marketing surround sound, we are banking largely on the highpoints and various other storyline hooks to keep the viewers intrigued.”

For now, Colors is shooting in controlled and closed environments with safety protocols. They will venture outdoors only when things get better. 

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