The year 2006 set a new trend for almost all Pakistani channels, terrestrial & satellite. The trend was that of the daily morning shows, but little did we know, that in less than half a decade, the trend, instead of growing productively, will continue to grow visually in numbers, but will lose its charm & intelligence and fan following.
Although the golden age of PTV saw morning talk shows, but they did not succeed much in having an avid dedicated viewership, reasons were quiet apparent – National TV channels have to be very wary of the content they display or talk about. But then, in 2006, a fresh, vibrant and full of life woman stepped in, to change the face of Morning shows.
Nadia Khan, often considered as the pioneer of entertainment based, morning shows started her show at ARY Digital, with quiet a bang. In no time, the show attracted large number of audiences, majority housewives and other women. One of the main reasons for such swift popularity of the show was that it covered all topics that were of interest to women – fashion, lifestyle, makeup, cooking, health & fitness, gossip, celebrity news etc. The lady also vouched to make the lives of normal public less frustrating and depressing by taking their attention, away from the daily catastrophes that were proudly shown on TV channels.
With a factual perspective, morning shows also earned good revenues, since they were inexpensive to produce, relying heavily on the eloquence and humorous nature of the host. They also managed to successfully break the strong bond that many Pakistani women had with Indian “Saas Bahu” soaps, which certainly helped Pakistani men breathe a sigh of relief! All was going well for a year or two, morning shows viewership and ratings were soaring high and were considered to be molding the women of Pakistan in a way that one could have never imagined. But then, the repercussions of “excess of anything is bad” began to strike them.
As private channels grew, more and more of such shows ran on air, compromising on the quality of content. And so, the disastrous declining phase began, where every channel wanted to follow the trend and win the race of ratings and viewership.
Needless to say, when all that’s on your mind is to win viewership, you begin to experiment with content, and when this happened, a lot of educated class of viewers felt lost amidst the war of high TRPS.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed the standard of morning shows declining further and further, to an extent, where one questions himself if they are even worth one’s time? The once loved shows that believed to portray the Pakistani women in a much sophisticated manner are now only a money earning business and I refuse to even call it an entertainment. Women, especially housewives, who were beginning to stay aware of what was going on around the world, absorbing wisdom, and beginning to feel independent and proudly accepting their role and status in the society, are now being pushed back in to the realm of real life drama’s & gossip.
All that’s left of morning shows now is singing, dancing, calling “najoomis & Jadugars”, discussing topics like extra marital affairs, Saas bahu, celebrating shaadi weeks, talking adversely of contemporaries in the world of morning shows etc, completely degrading the level of intellectuality. The shows that were working on to broaden the mind of women are locking them in to the self destructive nut shell, now.
Be it any channel, or any morning show, all that we see is a couple of ladies calling the host, appraising her designer clothes, her style, her set and telling her how she’s being idealized by them. Is this what we really want? This is not productive programming.
I think morning shows still stand a chance for improvement, only if they realize what wrong they are doing to women and fix it, before it gets too late. I hope we start acting as responsible citizens and work towards the betterment of society. I’m clearly not against the massive number of morning shows running daily, but what I’d like to see is for them to put across a message in each of their episodes that can improve the life/minds of our masses.
Article Author/Writer: Nida Khan