From KBC to Koffee With Karan and Balika Vadhu, 10 Hindi TV shows from the last decade that shaped this one

Natasha Coutinho-Dsouza

Dec 30, 2019 11:54:03 IST

This is the second in a two-part story on what the years 2010 to 2019 wrought in the world of Hindi TV.

Read part 1 here.


The years 2010 to 2019 marked the emergence of many new shows that would quickly go on to dominate — and shape — the Hindi TV landscape. From Comedy Nights With Kapil Sharma to Satyamev Jayate and even Naagin, it was a motley crew that reigned over the small screen in this decade.

But old favourites were not ready to be sidelined either. Several shows from 2000-2009 continued to enjoy high TRPs this decade, and audiences showered them with as much attention as they did the newer entrants.

Here’s a look at the 10 shows from the previous decade that remained popular in this one:

1. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah

Since its launch in 2008, Taarak Mehta has been a chart topper, weathering such storms as the death of actor Kavi Kumar Azad (who played Dr Hathi), the departure of Bhavya Gandhi (who played Tappu), and the long absence of Disha Vakani (aka Daya) on maternity leave. “The show has given the audience more than a decade of laughter,” says producer Asit Kumar Modi. “Children who have been our regular viewers have grown up with the show, and I believe a show that you loved since childhood, stays with you for a lifetime. Ninety-nine percent of our cast has remained the same since day one, and that is a novelty too; we create tracks that keep the artistes excited. The team is now my second family.”

2. Kaun Banega Crorepati

The game show has become synonymous with Amitabh Bachchan (although Shah Rukh Khan took over hosting duties for the third season) and 11 editions on, shows no signs of flagging.

“The format, contestants, content, host, production values, platform, promotion — all play a key role in KBC’s continued success,” creative consultant Siddhartha Basu told Firstpost. “First and foremost, it’s the Millionaire format that’s made it such a global success in so many languages and countries for more than 20 years. It's been done in nine languages in India. KBC in particular has gained immeasurably from Amitabh Bachchan as host. He was always a great fit, in view of his persona, his gravitas, charisma, language and sense of drama. Importantly, he has steadily evolved in the role. His empathy with each contestant, drawing out their stories, encouraging them to perform their best, opening up on the personal front…are all huge reasons for why the show has a hold on the hearts and minds of so many viewers.”

Basu points to the use of augmented reality, app interactivity through a play-along game, and weekly specials (like KBC Karmveer on change-makers and activists) as adding to KBC’s draw.

Calling KBC “a knowledge game that touches lives and uplifts us” Basu also credits Sony for “backing the show to the hilt”.

 From KBC to Koffee With Karan and Balika Vadhu, 10 Hindi TV shows from the last decade that shaped this one

Several TV shows from 2000-2009 continued to enjoy high TRPs in this decade

3. Bigg Boss

Based on the international show Big Brother, Bigg Boss came to India in 2006. The Hindi version’s success has led to iterations in Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil. Bigg Boss’ 13th (and latest) season received a month’s extension because of its high ratings.

Vikas Gupta, season 11 contestant (and till last week, a proxy participant for season 13) says it’s the unpredictability that lures audiences, as does voyeurism and curiosity.

Over the years, the show has hit on a successful formula, with its selection of ‘controversial’ contestants and their onscreen shenanigans. Actors have hooked up, been married, engaged in fisticuffs — all on camera, and this is in addition to the politicking that’s built into the DNA of the show. Every once in a while, longstanding host Salman Khan issues warnings to the contestants to keep things family friendly, but the show’s penchant for “crossing the line” is unlikely to dissipate. After all, TRPs hinge on it.

4. Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai

The fourth-longest daily soap in Hindi TV, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai began in 2009 as the story of a couple’s journey post-marriage. The lead actors Hina Khan and Karan Mehra have both exited the show, but it has gone on with Shivangi Joshi and Mohsin Khan playing the next generation. Surprisingly, the show saw no TRP dip after the change of guard.

Producer Rajan Shahi told Firstpost, “We complete our 11th year in January, and till date have submitted 3,080 episodes to the channel. The show has kept itself abreast with changes in the country, be it social, economic or filial structuring, and the expectations of the youth. There’s never a jaded feeling, for which I credit the creative team and writers. Most of the crew, including the director Romesh Kalra, have been part of our journey since the very beginning.”

5. Roadies (and Splitsvilla)

Roadies first aired in 2003, with brothers Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman as creators. With Rannvijay Singha (the debut season’s winner) taking on hosting duties, the latest season had Neha Dhupia, Prince Narula, Nikhil Chinapa and Raftaar as “gang leaders”.

Alongside Roadies, Splitsvilla too has enjoyed a wide audience. Sunny Leone, who hosts Splitsvilla with Rannvijay, says the show’s long run is in part because “watching young love is always interesting”. “Also, the contestants on the show are the youth of India and therefore very relatable on so many levels. Everything from how they dress, how they act, their language, how they treat their fellow contestants — it’s all interesting!” she says.

6. CID

This one’s an outlier even on this list. CID began airing in 1998 and revolved around the investigations of ACP Pradyuman, inspectors Daya and Abhijeet and Dr Salunke. The characters all became household names, and audiences were shocked when the series was abruptly pulled off air in October 2018. Shivaji Satam, who played ACP Pradyuman, told Firstpost, “A lot of research had gone into the show, be it the forensic aspect or how investigations were conducted. The characters worked well with the audience. Our show creator, BP Singh, also directed and played cameraman in the initial years. Sadly, I still don’t know why Sony pulled the show off air overnight, it didn’t deserve such treatment. People love the show and the reruns on Sony Pal are doing very well.”

7. Koffee with Karan

Going strong since the early 2000s, Koffee With Karan has seen catfights, controversies (need we say “Hardik Pandya”?) and pithy celebrity conversations, all moderated by host with the most, Karan Johar.

8. Pavitra Rishta

In its 2009-2014 run, the show made stars of its lead pair (then a real-life couple as well), Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande. The story of a lower middle class couple, Manav (Rajput) and Archana (Lokhande) won fans over, who stayed loyal to the show even when the leads were replaced by Rithvik Dhanjani and Asha Negi, post-time leap.

9. Crime Patrol

When Anup Soni began hosting the show in 2003, he admits there was no target audience in mind. But the series, inspired by real life crime stories, had an unusual perspective in why a common man (or woman or child) might end up committing a crime. “A lot of people tell me that they have become more aware due to our show. At the same time, some claim such shows promote crime. When people claim they were inspired by crime shows I believe it is just an excuse,” says Soni. “At the end of every episode, we always say, criminals get caught and there is no such thing as a perfect crime. As a host, I try not to sensationalise a case.”

10. Balika Vadhu

A novel story that took on the evils of child marriage ensured Balika Vadhu became one of the most popular TV shows of its time. Running from 2008 and 2016, the protagonist Anandi was played by Avika Gor, the late Pratyusha Banerjee, and Toral Rasputra. The show also ushered in a slew of other serials based in rural settings — a trend that dominated Hindi TV for several years after Balika Vadhu’s launch.

Analysing the success of Balika Vadhu and others whose popularity transcended several years, Raaj Shaandilyaa, who has written many TV shows (and most recently directed the Ayushmann Khurrana film Dream Girl) says, “Great content, entertainment and lovable characters are the only three requirements for a show to run over a decade. Once you develop a loyal audience, nothing can stop the show from becoming a success.”

Honourable mentionsIndian Idol, Dance India Dance, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, India’s Got Talent, Khatron Ke Khiladi, Jhalak Dikhhla Ja and Nach Baliye.

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Updated Date: Dec 30, 2019 11:54:03 IST