COVID-19 lockdown: TV serials, reality shows to go off air by April first week
Kochi: With all the shootings at a standstill due to the nationwide lockdown over COVID-19 outbreak, broadcasting of television serials, reality shows and web series will be temporarily stopped from April first week. The makers are forced to suspend the broadcasting as the shooting of new episodes are pending.
It is hinted that the makers of most of the shows declared that there are no more new episodes to air.
Following the coronavirus outbreak in the state, Malayalam television fraternity took the decision to suspend shootings of serials till March 31. As the central government imposed nationwide lockdown till April 14, the shootings also continued to remain cancelled.
The lockdown has affected over 100 daily wage workers in the television industry. Shooting location owner Tishia John informed that the daily workers are in distress after the shootings were cancelled. Her house at Vazhakala in Kochi was the shooting location for the popular TV serial ‘Uppum Mulakum’.
“Artistes will not face much problem due to cancellation of shootings. But I personally know many people who are struggling without any livelihood amid the lockdown,” said Tishia.
Another location owner Dr Rajan Kanakkar also explained the pathetic condition of the daily wage workers employed in the television industry.
“A huge group of workers including make-up artists, technicians, light boys, cooks and other helpers are facing 7huge financial crisis. Usually, they will have work for 10 to 15 days a month. They used to save the income from the work to meet their expenses,” said Dr Rajan.
Doordarshan former director K Kunhikrishnan stated that shooting ban amid coronavirus will affect the people from poor background who are employed in the industry. He noted that among the 20,000 people in the television industry, the majority are from poor families.
“People who works behind the cameras never get any benefits from the welfare programmes. Hence, the shooting ban amid the lockdown will create more trouble for such people,” he added.
People and TV serial addiction
In Kerala, a large group of people are addicted to television serials. Hence, the temporary suspension of serial broadcasting will result in depression among these people.
Psychiatrist Dr C J John stated that efforts must be taken to engage the people who are addicted to TV shows in entertainments like reading.