Indian Soap Opera

Indian Soap Opera

Indian soap operas are soap operas written, produced, filmed in India, with characters played by Indians (including those of Western descent like Tom Alter), with episodes broadcast on Indian television channels/channel chains that are often not limited to the Republic of India itself: often many “serials” (as they’re more commonly referred to) are broadcast overseas in Pakistan, the UK, USA, and some parts of Europe, South Africa, and Australia. (Doordarshan, or DD, is an exception: Until recently it was only viewable in India and Nepal, but now also in the UK.)

Indian soap operas are often mass-produced under large production banners, with houses like Balaji Telefilms — run by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor, daughter and wife respectively to Hindi film star Jeetendra — running the same serial in different languages on different television networks/channels. (See below: Ekta Kapoor's "K" Phenomenon.)

India's first soap opera was Hum Log, which concluded with 154 episodes, was the longest running serial in the history of Indian television at the time it ended. Every episode was about 25 minutes long, and the last episode was about 55 minutes. (See below: India's first soap opera and longest running Indian soap operas.)

The most common languages in which Indian serials are made in are Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam, though many contain a mix of the predominant language and English. This often creates and unintentional comic effect: a certain high school-themed serial on Star One has created a bizarre language of its own, a heavy mix of colloquial Hindi and corruptions of modern American slang, which, though fairly odd to understand at first, has created its own coterie of loyal fans devoted to using the very same language in daily speech.

Hindi soap operas have gained popularity abroad, across South Asia and beyond into Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, and among the Indian diaspora elsewhere. A number of Hindi soap operas have also been dubbed into Mandarin and gained popularity in China. They are also aired overseas in the US, the UK, Australia and so on.

Read more about Indian Soap Opera:  India's First Soap Opera, Features, The "K Phenomenon", Success and Status, Speed To 1000 Episodes Club, Longest Running, Social Impact

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    Are you suggesting that we reopen the Opera with a murder as an added attraction?
    Eric Taylor, Leroux, and Arthur Lubin. Lecours (Fritz Feld)