Coronavirus lockdown: TV channels introduce re-runs of shows, web content

With all the shootings at a standstill due to the coronavirus lockdown and reserve episodes of new shows depleting, television channels are reintroducing old and recent hits such as "Ramayana", "Kasam Se", "Kumkum Bhagya" and "Bigg Boss" to name a few.

Some of them are also airing popular Hindi web shows on their channels to keep the slots occupied as people turn to TV and streaming platforms to stay entertained as they spend time indoors for 21 days.

All the shoots were suspended from March 19, impacting the on-air shows though some of them have episode banks to last till this month.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said Doordarshan will be telecasting mythological series "Ramayan" from Saturday on public demand.

"Happy to announce that on public demand, we are starting retelecast of ''Ramayana'' from tomorrow, Saturday March 28 in DD National, One episode in morning 9 am to 10 am, another in the evening 9 pm to 10 pm. @narendramodi @PIBIndia @DDNational," the Information and Broadcasting Minister wrote on Twitter.

Popular entertainment channel Colors is filling the evening slots by bringing back "Belan Wali Bahu", "Bhaag Bakool Bhaag" and Sidharth Shukla-Rashmi Desai-starrer love story "Dil Se Dil Tak".

The early primetime will be followed by the current fiction line-up starting with 'Vidya', 'Choti Sarrdaarni', 'ShaktiAstitva Ke Ehsaas Kii', 'Barrister Babu', 'Shubharambh' and 'Naati Pinky Ki Lambi Love Story'.

"The unparalleled leader of entertainment, 'Bigg Boss 13' is back to add the desired amount of spice and drama at 10 pm," the channel said in a release.

In the unprecedented times of social distancing, Manisha Sharma, Chief Content Officer of Colors, said they wanted to provide wholesome entertainment for the entire family "ranging from original shows to seasons shows across genre".

"To drive away your lockdown blues, we are presenting dedicated blocks for comedy, drama, romance to give you the best of the best content. As we all try to get ahead of the pandemic, we want to continue to be your companion for everything entertainment," Sharma said.

Zee TV is bringing finite web shows such as Ram Kapoor-Sakshi Tanwar's Karle Tu Bhi Mohabbat, Sharman Joshi's Baarish and Rohit Roy and Gurdeep Kohli starrer Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain for the first time on television. All the three shows streamed on Ekta Kapoor's video on demand platform ALTBalaji.

Viewers of Zee TV also have the option to binge-watch episodes of past hits "Kumkum Bhagya", "Kundali Bhagya", Ram Kapoor's "Kasam Se" and "Brahmarakshas".

Zee TV Business Head Aparna Bhosle said with people spending time indoors due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they are looking at providing entertaining content for the entire family.

"We have three new finite series, we are also reintroducing classic shows so that the audience has a wide variety of content to view and can enjoy this extended family time together," Bhosle said.

Star Plus said they were looking at airing a new show in "Maharaj Ki Jai Ho, bringing back old hit RadhaKrihshn and "Hostages", the Hotstar series, on the channel. They are also looking at world television premiere of latest movies to keep the audiences hooked.

Binafer Kohli, producer of highest running TRP show, "Bhabhi Ji Ghar Pe Hai", said they have a bank of few episodes which they will continue to play out.

"We have a bank of episodes of our two shows Bhabhi Ji Ghar Pe Hai' and Happu Ki Ultan Paltan' that will last till the end of the month and a little more. Bhabhi Ji Ghar Pe Hai' and Happu Ki Ultan Paltan' have had re-runs in the past and they get great re-runs. The channels are taking care of re-runs. The show belongs to the channel and they can re-run it," Kohli said.

Another popular Indian sitcom "Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah" producer Asit Modi said there will be re-runs of the popular show on Sab TV.

"People's mindset will change after the lockdown. We are studying the situation and thinking of new ideas," he added.

Not just TV shows and web shows, viewers can access performances by artists such as Prateek Kuhad, Vir Das, Karsh Kale, Kamakshi Khanna, music band Indian Ocean and Aisi Taisi Democracy team - Varun Grover, Rahul Ram and Sanjay Rajoura on their Instagram or Facebook account. They need to register on Bookmyshow to stream the shows for free.

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