Tuning into DD Retro during Pandemic

COVID-19 National

BARC’s latest data shows Ramayan as the most-watched Hindi TV show with rank one amongst the top five soon after DD National decided to revive the old classics

By Shivani Verma

Shivamogga: As a child, the first thing Sidhdi used to do in the morning was — rushing towards her hall to find the TV remote to put on Shaktimaan at around 9 am. Especially on Sundays, after playing cricket in the morning, coming back home, Shaktimaan was one of her ingredients for breakfast along with a glass of milk. 

“As a child, I have made a lot of memories with this TV show. I used to feel that Shaktimaan is a real-hero with all his superpowers. I adored him so much so that I used to imitate him, wondering if I could get powers like him someday by doing this. I have done blunders at home while imitating his signature moves and broken things at times,” said Sidhdi, a resident of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. 

“My parents were watching Mahabharata on DD National a few days ago and I was just accompanying them and saw the advertisement that Shaktimaan is going to air again — I got all nostalgic. I used to watch this show when I was five or something, now I am 24 and I got a chance to relive my childhood all over again,” she added. 

The Television viewership monitor, Broadcast Audience Research Council India’s (BARC) weekly data shows that DD National (Doordarshan) has taken over all Hindi channels in India and stands first in the rank the previous week. 

Three out of five old TV shows are included under the top five Hindi GEC Urban Programs in India the last week. These three include Ramayan, Mahabharat, and Shaktimaan. Ramayan is the most-watched show with a total impression of 46395 (in thousands).

The old retros on DD National have seen an increase in the viewership also over the past few weeks. 

BR Chopra’s Mahabharat and Ramayana, two classics from the bygone era were re-telecasted on Doordarshan from March 28 amid the nationwide lockdown and high public demand. Soon after, old TV shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Buniyaad, Circus, Byomkesh Bakshi, Shrimaan Shrimati have also joined the bandwagon to keep people entertained. 

Prasar Bharti, India’s Public Service Broadcaster later announced a new channel DD Retro — an entirely new channel that would specifically telecast old TV classics. DD Retro announced the re-telecasting of shows like Chanakya, Upanishad Ganga, etc. 

Surendra Kumar who is in his 60s and is a big fan of Mahabharata said, “I watched Mahabharat when it was first telecasted on DD National. When Star Plus recreated it a few years ago, I watched that show too. I liked this version of Mahabharat because they have shown more reality in it and also because I really like the actors who played Bhishma Pitamah and Karan’s role. I am glad that they have restarted it because watching one of my favorite shows twice a day is great during the lockdown.”

Old TV shows from the south like Metty Oli and Thangam — Tamil language opera shows are also being re-telecasted on Sun TV.

Vasuki from Tamil Nadu said, “These old TV shows are a bliss to watch all over again. I have watched them before too. Now that we stay at home the whole time, I am re-watching these shows all over again.”

Twitteratis are showing their immense love and gratitude towards these classics by tweeting and also making memes. Here are some –

Naman Chourasiya, a resident of Guna said, “I am watching Shaktimaan, Ramayan and Mahabharat on a regular basis these days. It’s like I am reliving my whole life again with my family. More than me, I guess my parents are obsessed with these shows.”

“It’s good for the mental health of people during this time of pandemic and nationwide lockdown. It’s healthy for people to watch their favorite shows at this time not only to keep them engaged but also it will help all of us to cope up with stress and anxiety,” said Aleesha Rahmath, a clinical psychologist at NIMHANS, Bengaluru. 


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