Exclusive | Roadies x2: 12 years and going strong

Reality shows have been around for about a decade now and it holds the same when it comes to Youth Reality shows. Roadies being the pioneer in this category was followed by Splitsvilla on MTV, Dare 2 Date on Channel V, Love by chance on Bindass, Sadda Haq on Channel V, Gumrah on Channel V, and a lot more came along the years.

All these shows have been drawing decent eyeballs, but amongst them all, the most popular show is MTV’s Roadies which has year on year been the number one youth reality show. This show has never failed to impress the audiences and has always got a tremendous response from every corner of the country.

Most of the youngsters have had a keeda of becoming a Roadie once in a lifetime and this show has been running successfully for 12 years in a row which is something extremely remarkable.

This property of MTV has always been innovative and clear whenever it has put forward its content for the audience. In an urge to know more about how they have evolved over the years, we at Adgully caught up with Aditya Swamy, ‎EVP Viacom18 Media and Business Head - MTV & MTV Indies.

Evolution of Roadies

Roadies has been the longest running reality show in India. Roadies is now in its 12th season and I think there is a lot of chatter in the industry whether there is a format fatigue and how do shows keep going on for so long and I have always believed that if you are able to refresh it and offer the audience something new, then you always see the audience lapping up the content. Over the years, we have constantly worked on the format and I think the changes that we were able to do in this season have been the biggest we have ever done.


We have changed the season, we have changed the format, and we have split the format wide open.  We’ve got four new hosts. We have changed the auditions format. Now it’s not only that the judges can select you, you can also select your judges. The journey is set to be an exciting one from Varanasi to Nepal. Having all that put together our opening episode has put together 60% more than what we did last year. Roadies has been the number one show in the genre but this year the lead is even bigger. In its very first week Roadies has become number one. In our genre crossing 100 TVTs is considered a big achievement and Roadies has opened at an average achievement at 120 and last week has almost crossed 140. It’s not just a sensation on television but also on YouTube which has crossed 10 million views. Our Facebook page has almost 9 million fans; this year we have had two big innovations i.e. we have launched Roadies in Tamil and Bengali on YouTube and on our website.

We have launched a Roadies torrent app where you can download all the eleven seasons of Roadies through a torrent, making it easy for the hard core fans to consume it. So I think it’s a 360 degree kind of engagement wherein we have different kinds of people consuming content from different screens and that’s made Roadies an Annual property and not a TV show that runs for twenty weeks but it’s an annual property on the channel for almost 365 days.

We’re really excited; it’s just three episodes down. The journey episodes now peak off towards the end of this month and I think with such a start the audience has really caught on to the fact that we’ve got in confidence in the show, we’ve got fun into the show, we’ve got an aspirational value behind the show and a holistic boxer in the show. So all of these elements have actually added to what the young kids are looking for.

So if you want to Bollywood factor, we have Esha Deol, the aspirational factor is Vijender Singh and so on. We have almost 15 more episodes to go. We are looking forward to a record breaking season. I look forward to Roadies x2 being the best ever season of Roadies.

Every year when we start this show, we don’t think of it as making the final season, we think of it as making the first season. So there is lot of energy and excitement. And I think all of the work that we have put in has come to see sound results very early up in the season.

Challenges

It is one of the toughest shows to make on Indian television. While we are actually physically shooting, the planning, with conceptions the show starts in August and the show goes on air in three months in December/January. It runs till June and then we take a month’s break and then we are back. So I think every single person on the crew is as much a Roadie as people who are in front of the camera. A lot of people are on the show because they believe in what the show stands for. The judges also stay in the same setup that other people stay, they rough it out and do the tasks themselves. Roadies behind the scenes actually capture what they put into the show themselves.

Celebrating the Hero within

Roadies is a show that celebrates the hero within. You don’t require a talent, you don’t need to sing or to dance or to act. You have to have the hard will power and the confidence in yourself that you can make something. You’ll say our strong guy wins the task, but its not the strong guy it’s the guy who has the most will power wins the task. So Roadies is about celebrating the Hero within and people have always looked to being recognized. They have a voice and that’s what they are able to capture in the show.


What’s with the Judges?

I don’t think getting a new team of hosts was a gamble but anything that you do to get a certain amount of novelty factor that is associated with it I think we were very clear that we wanted to have a diversified kind of profile of the gang leaders. Someone who can keep the loyal audience and someone who can also draw newer audience. In many ways Rannvijay has been the face of the loyal Roadies and I think with the three new judges we are able to add three new sets of viewers onto this show and I think that’s contributing a lot to the viewership.

We always make a show that it is going to be a super hit. You have to put everything in that is right and the result is that the audience will give you. I can’t say I expected this but yes we believe that we are making change for the better and that we ensure it works.By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit 

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