With the prevailing norms of social distancing and self-isolation being actively followed by all and sundry, there was a question mark on the typically crowd-filled Ramadan shows on television. For the past few years, the trend of special game show transmissions during the holy month has really caught on, becoming the de-facto norm of television entertainment during a period when the regular fare comprising of film, drama, and music takes a backseat.
The Shows Go On
All the coronavirus troubles notwithstanding, this year will be no different. Despite the fact that the game show transmissions won’t be able to take place the way they usually do amidst throngs of crowds waiting for hours to test their skills and fortune as they play for fancy prizes like gold and cars, the TV channels are not giving up.
Quite the opposite, it seems a Ramadan game-show battle for eyeballs will only escalate to an all-new level in the coming months.
The new format
ARY Digital’s leading show Jeeto Pakistan hosted by Fahad Mustafa has started promoting the show’s new format that takes into account the safety regulations regarding public gatherings imposed in the country. Instead of filling the studio with its boisterous live audience, Jeeto Pakistan will now have a tournament feel to it.
Aptly titled JPL or Jeeto Pakistan League, the show’s new format centers around a battle between five teams, each representing different cities and captained by a celebrity, playing against each other for prizes.
Together with the show’s host, the list of team captains makes for a pretty starry affair. The teams of Jeeto Pakistan League and their respective captains are Humayun Saeed — Karachi Lions, Adnan Siddiqui — Lahore Falcons, Shaista Lodhi — Peshawar Stallions, Sarfaraz Ahmed — Quetta Knights and, Sana Javed — Islamabad Dragons.
The players will be the participants representing teams of their choosing and playing games while adhering to the safety protocols. Live callers will also be able to call in to support their favorite teams. The show this year will definitely have a different feel than the regular Jeeto Pakistan one is used to but this new format will ensure that the audience participation and its interactive appeal, which is the whole essence of the program, remains intact.
Not the only one
Surprise — it seems Jeeto Pakistan has company! ARY apparently is not the only channel that has changed the format of their flagship game-show this year. Over at Bol Entertainment something oddly similar has happened.
As Jeeto Pakistan’s direct competitor, Game Show Aisay Chalay Ga hosted by Danish Taimoor, too has publicized the new style of their show. And well, it is just the same as that of Jeeto Pakistan both in terms of format and the timings.
The Bol TV show will also have an inter-city team competition somewhat akin to PSL, with each team having its own (you guessed it) celebrity captains. The celebs headlining the teams here will be Ahsan Khan — Lahore Leopards, Maria Wasti — Islamabad Eagles, Mathira — Peshawar Hawks, Mustafa Chaudhary — Kashmir Heroes, Fahim Khan — Karachi Knights and Laila — Quetta Wolves.
The question remains if this is a coincidence or a calculated move, and it still remains to be seen what the shows on the two channels actually end up being like. For the moment though, all we can say is that Bol TV is set to cash in on the same format changes as Jeeto Pakistan‘s to ensure that Fahad Mustafa doesn’t get away with another winner without competition. As if to only underscore that sentiment, practically both the shows are claiming that this Ramadan, the winner’s mantle is theirs to claim.
As they say, imitation is the best form of flattery. It will be interesting to see who actually ends up reigning supreme in the ratings and popularity war in this year’s rather extraordinary circumstances.
What show will you end up watching and which one do you think will end up on top? Let us know in the comments below!