The IMDB has ranked the serial at 8.9/10. Mahabharat is considered as a gold standard in terms of TV series success.
Thanks to the 21-day lockdown, one of the most iconic TV serials in India, Mahabharat has returned to the public broadcasters DD. The episodes of Mahabharat are being shown every day from March 28 two times a day at 12 noon and 7 pm on DD Bharti. The TV serial Mahabharat is based on the Hindu Epic Mahabharat written by Ved Vyas and was directed by Ravi Chopra. The TV series was produced by BR Chopra and the first episode of Mahabharat was broadcast on Doordarshan on 2 October 1988. It had 94 episodes and on June 24, 1990, the series ‘final instalment was broadcast. The IMDB has ranked the serial at 8.9/10. Mahabharat is considered as a gold standard in terms of TV series success. It left a maximum impact on a generation that was hooked to Sunday morning prime-time watching it religiously.
Streets around the country used to get empty during the broadcast of Mahabharat, and earlier Ramayan, and people would leave or interrupt their work to watch the show. The sort of massive popularity can only be imagined in the days of OTT platforms. Although it smashed all of India’s TRP records, it was a super hit in the UK and other countries too. Mahabharat TV series attracted up to 5 million viewers a Saturday afternoon on BBC2, according to the Guardian report.
Here are some fascinating facts about the television show Mahabharat:
- In the Mahabharat Ki Mahabharat documentary: The Making of B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat, Kishore Malhotra, a member of the production team said that the total cost of making the TV series was Rs 9 crore.
- BR Chopra wanted a strong narrator for Mahabharat and considered that role to be played by legends like Dilip Kumar and NT Rama Rao, but Dr Rahi Masoom Reza persuaded him to have “Samay” or the narrator’s time when he said the phrase “Main Samay Hoon” or “I am the Time”
- Dr Rahi Masoom Reza said that he accepted the task of writing Mahabharat because he knew that he could link India’s past with his present.
- BR Chopra’s team submitted the final storyline of the Mahabharat TV series to Doordarshan in 1986 with a breakdown of all 104 episodes that were later shortened to 94 episodes.
- Dr Reza had said that Ravi Chopra had done a better job than his legendary father B R Chopra.
- More than 15,000 people had shown interest in playing different roles in the Mahabharat TV show. 0nly 1500 of them were shortlisted by the casting department and called for video screen tests
- Gufi Paintal was Mahabharat’s casting director, and he also played the Shakuni role. It took him 8 months of video testing and Hindi diction checking to finalize various characters