With support from both masses and media, the stage is set for Aditya Singhania to become the country’s next prime minister. Backing him further is his family legacy — he is the son of a popular assassinated political leader. At home, his mother charts his career, carefully planning each move, while the sister and cousin form his support system. Together, they paint a picture of the perfect family — only the sister is married to a man who despises his in-laws and often becomes the cause of their embarrassment. Even as all this is playing out, there’s a threat to Aditya’s life, which gets the Anti Terrorist Unit (ATU) and its head Jai Singh Rathod — who has his own family issues to tackle — to spring into action as they attempt to foil the assassination bid.
Rensil D’Silva calls 24 a soap set in the midst of a thriller — an aspect he feels will also prove to be the biggest draw of the show for the Indian audience. “In addition, there’s Anil Kapoor — a popular movie star — playing protagonist Jai Singh Rathore. So, in essence, 24 has everything the desi audience can hope for in a TV show, including good production quality,” says D’Silva, who has adapted the screenplay of the original American series by the same name for India.
The premiere episode on October 4 scored a television rating point (TRP) of 1.7 and the following episode fetched 1.5, numbers that some might consider less than ideal for a show made on such steep a budget. However, the team at Colors, which is airing 24, says it’s on par with their expectations, given that they are experimenting with a new genre and format. “The first two episodes of 24 have done well and we’ve received positive reviews online and offline. The initial feedback suggests metros have appreciated the show overwhelmingly. We are confident it will find its appeal in metros and non-metro towns in the coming weeks,” says Manisha Sharma, the weekend programming head at Colors.
While Team 24 awaits the long-term verdict, critics, for now, have given it a thumbs up, especially for its production quality being the kind that has not been seen on Indian television before. The performances — apart from Kapoor, the cast includes acclaimed actors such as Gulshan Devaiah, Tisca Chopra and Mandira Bedi — and editing have kept the desi