'Ramayan' breaks records, garners 17 crore viewers in first weekend
Three-decades-old Ramayan is a hit on TV, once again! Ramanand Sagar's epic mythological series has garnered massive viewership, as people across India stay home due to ongoing nationwide lockdown. The mega-series recorded a whopping 17 crore viewers in the first weekend of its rerun, becoming the highest-watched serial in Hindi general entertainment space since 2015 when BARC started measuring TV audience.
The epic Doordarshan series was relaunched on Saturday
Upon public demand, the Doordarshan series, which first aired in the late 1980s, was re-launched on Saturday, in an attempt to beat lockdown blues and anxiety over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to data from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the show garnered 3.4 crore viewers on Saturday morning, and the following episodes were seen by 4.5 crore, 4 crore, and 5.1 crore viewers.
Advertisers will soon flock the show, said BARC CEO
BARC's Chief Executive Officer Sunil Lulla said the numbers were a bit surprising, while terming the relaunch move by Prasar Bharti as a "brilliant" one. He added that given the popularity, advertisers will soon flock the series, which will be running for some more days.
'Ramayan' runs on DD National in two slots everyday
Based on the eponymous Hindu epic text, Ramayan kept families glued to their television screens when it was originally telecast in the 1980s, each Sunday morning. The show stars Arun Govil as Ram, Deepika Chikhalia as Sita, and Dara Singh in the role of Hanuman. It runs on DD National everyday in two slots: from 9am to 10am, and from 9 pm to 10pm.
'Mahabharat', 'Shaktimaan', 'Circus' also back on TV
Apart from Ramayan, another popular mythological series from the late 80s, Mahabharat has also returned on TV. It airs on DD Bharti at 12 pm and 7 pm everyday. Others classic DD shows that have made a comeback are Mukesh Khanna's superhero series Shaktimaan, Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Circus, comedy series Shrimaan Shrimati, Chandraprakash Dwivedi's Chanakya, and popular detective series Byomkesh Bakshi, among others.
Amid lockdown, TV viewership is on the rise
As Indians stay home to deal with the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, television viewership continues to rise. According to BARC India-Nielsen data, TV viewership saw a sharp spike of 37% between March 21 and 27, as compared to the pre-lockdown period from January 11 to 31. And while general entertainment content witnessed a minimal growth, the viewership for news, infotainment, and movie channels grew substantially.