Home / Industry / Media /  Covid-19 lockdown: Ramayana to return to TV screens beginning Saturday

NEW DELHI: Ramanand Sagar's iconic drama series Ramayana, telecast in the 1980s, is set to return to the silver screen as people forced to sit home because of the lockdown in the wake of Covid-19 crisis, turn to consuming more entertainment.

“Happy to announce that on public demand, we are starting re-telecast of 'Ramayana' from tomorrow, Saturday March 28 on DD National. One episode in morning 9 am to 10 am, another in the evening 9 pm to 10 pm," Union minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said in a post on Twitter on Friday.

Television viewership is expected to see a surge during the 21-day lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

Ramayana, aired during 1987-88, was a drama adaptation of Hindu epic of the same name, and is primarily based on Valmiki's Ramayan and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas.

It had garnered massive audience, with its stars gaining near idolatory status.

Telecast every Sunday, with Arun Govil as Ram and Dara Singh as Hanuman, the classic used to empty out streets.

Such was the appeal that a remake by Sagar’s company was aired on NDTV Imagine in 2008, and on Zee TV in the mid-90s and on Star Plus and Star Utsav in the 2000s.

Data from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) for the week ended 13 March shows that consumption of television content rose by over 40 million minutes week-on-week, a number likely to increase further in the coming days.

“With television having the ability to entertain every member of the family, confinement at home has families turning to their trusted television set for being connected to the world in a period of social isolation, broadcasters say," a statement from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd said.

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