DD classics 'Ramayan' and 'Mahabharat' to return to TV?
India is on a binge-watch mode. In fact, since the country has been put under an unprecedented 21-day lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, netizens have been demanding the comeback of classic Doordarshan television series Ramayan and Mahabharat. And looks like, their wishes might soon get fulfilled. Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar hinted that the iconic series could return to the small screen.
Since people are mostly confined to their homes, television viewership is on the rise. And, evidently people wish to catch up on the good ol' classics. Recently, NDTV anchor Akhilesh Sharma tweeted that there is a huge demand for the re-telecast of these series, to which the Prasar Bharati CEO replied that they are working on it with the series' rights holders.
Yes we are working on the same with the Rights Holders. Will update shortly. Stay tuned. https://t.co/2Jhjw2qD3s— Shashi Shekhar (@shashidigital) March 25, 2020
Based on eponymous Hindu texts, Ramayan and Mahabharat were quite popular in the late 1980s. For the unversed, Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan, starring Arun Govil, Deepika Chikhalia, Arvind Trivedi and Dara Singh, originally aired on DD during 1987-1988. On the other hand, BR Chopra's Mahabharat, featuring Nitish Bhardwaj, Roopa Ganguly, and Gajendra Chauhan, originally ran on the state-run channel between 1988 and 1990.
Going by the comments on the tweet, fans seemed pretty excited about the iconic series returning to their living room. Some noted that these shows may also help reduce stress in these testing times. Meanwhile, some people demanded the re-telecast of other hit shows from the 1990s such as Bharat Ek Khoj, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Chandrakanta, Jungle Book, Fauji and Malgudi Days.
On a related note, other TV channels are also devising new plans to keep their audience engaged, more so because they are running out of fresh episodes to air due to halted productions amid the lockdown. For instance, ZEE TV has decided to start airing some popular web series from Ekta Kapoor's streaming platform ALTBalaji in its all-important 9-11 pm slot.