New Delhi, Dec 20: The idiot box in India hit a saturation point in 2015 with major reality shows failing to ignite audience's interest despite being fronted by the biggest Bollywood stars, even as fiction stuck to its kitchen-sink route.
When Salman Khan openly admits less TRPs of "Bigg Boss", it spells bad news for the controversial show, once considered a threat to daily soaps. While the changed timings of "Bigg Boss Nau" have contributed to the less viewership, repetitive fights and boring contestants have added to the its woes, so much so, that a consensus seems to have built up that the series needs a break to come up with fresh content.
The trouble, however, is not just limited to "Bigg Boss". Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, whose television debut in "Kaun Banega Crorepati" had the whole nation glued to their television sets, failed to recreate the magic with "Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi", whose TRP stands at a dismal 0.5.
Similarly, Shah Rukh Khan's charm could not save "India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun" from its boring format.
The inaugural season of actor Farhan Akhtar-hosted "I Can Do That" also had a disappointing run. One of the few gainers among the reality shows this year has been "Comedy Nights with Kapil" with current TRP of 2.3 but it still lags behind "Swaragini", which sits at the bottom of the point table among daily soaps with 2.4 TRP.
Originally aimed at providing comic relief to the viewers on weekends, Kapil Sharma's series is reduced to a platform for film and serials' promotions.
Poor script and insipid presentation create a lackluster show, with Navjot Singh Sidhu's laughter making more noise than the actual content. Youth-centric reality shows "Roadies" and "Splitsvilla" have enjoyed a popularity but that seems to be fading now.
Such shows have always harped on fights, name-calling and plotting but lately they have been invaded by the melodramatic tone of fiction, making it less believable and appear rather scripted.
This, however, does not mean that fiction has done exceedingly well as most of the content keeps revolving around the kitchen politics no matter how innovative the beginning has been.
Small screen's attempt at a mature subject like reconnection of an elderly divorced couple with "Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar" went kaput after a few months with the drama changing gears to a run-of-the-mill love story between the leads.
The concept of struggles of a gay couple to come out with their relationship was one of the highlights of teenage-drama "Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan" but with time, and popularity of its lead couple, the focus shifted to their love story and supporting characters were used to fill the background.
'Queen of TV' Ekta Kapoor's "Kuch Toh Hai Tere Mere Darmiyaan" and "Dil Ki Baatein Dil Hi Jaane" also could not get the love and loyalty of fans.
"Kuch Toh Hai Tere Mere Darmiyaan" even replaced its lead actors with popular faces Ali Goni and Asha Negi but they could not save the ship from sinking, primarily due to uninteresting storyline. The show is reportedly going off air next month.
"Dil Ki Baatein Dil Hi Jaane", starring Ram Kapoor, began as a story of a man, whose wife has died of cancer.
Within a few months, the show dipped in its popularity and was taken off air. The entire blame cannot be put on the makers when a four-year-old show like "Sasural Simar Ka", with the current plot of witches and their effects, stands among the top shows at the TRP point table.
"Saath Nibhana Saathiya", running since 2010, had a leap of 18 year but its lead actress Gopi continues to look younger than her two adult daughters.
It is the highest TRP earner of the channel and forces one to think does audience really want to be spared from kitchen-politics drags? Over-stretched shows like "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai", "Diya Aur Baati Hum", "Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi" and "Balika Vadhu" are still stand strong.
While "Servicewali Bahu", about a working girl whose greedy in-laws saw her as a 'living dowry', ended within five months of its launch. Sonali Bendre-Aporva Agnihotri starrer "Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh", a love story between a married woman and her unmarried boss, was one of the few good shows which stuck to its limited series format.
Though large in number, talent-hunt shows "Dance India Dance", "Dance Plus", "India's Best Dramebaaz" and "Indian Idol Junior" enjoyed audience's love and affection.