From the days of network television to the current streaming services, small screen offers us big-time entertainment with gripping characters, fantasies, animations, sci-fi series, reality shows and a lot more. American tales, British anthologies, Indian sagas; we bring you a list of 10 most-watched series on World TV Day.
Original run: January 2008- September 2013
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Premise: This American crime drama tells the story of a terminally ill chemistry teacher, who is struggling and depressed. He teams up with a former student to produce and sell crystallised methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future before he dies. What follows is series of murders, plane crashes and betrayals.
Kaun Banega Crorepati
Run: July 2000- Season 11 running
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan
Hosted by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, this game show is based on the British programme Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Common people compete for a qualification round and selected contestants get a chance to answer a series of general knowledge-based questions to win a cash prize. Every season has some celebrity participants too.
Original run: September 1994 — May 2004
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer
Premise: When six best friends hang out in New York, living beyond their means, struggling to find happiness in life, what unfolds is a show that creates history. The show is believed to have changed the face of American sitcoms. On May 6, 2004, when its finale was aired, it was watched by 52.5 million American viewers, making it the fifth most-watched series finale in TV history!
Run: May 2003- fifth season premiered on July 15, 2019
Starring: Anup Soni, Sanjeev Tyagi, Nissar Khan, Ujjwal Chopra, Karamveer Choudhary
Premise: This crime anthology series attempts to bring stories of crime happening in India. The case presentation, however, is dramatised in a story-telling format. The series focuses on interactions with analysts, suggestions to avert crimes and makes viewers aware of the current crime scenario around them.
Game of Thrones
Original Run: April 2011- May 2019
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Premise: The American fantasy drama is known to have broken all previous records by bagging 58 Primetime Emmy Awards. The storyline is roughly based on A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin’s book that has a mixture of fantasy and grimy medieval politics.
Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
Original run: July 2008- present
Cast: Dilip Joshi, Disha Vakani, Bhavya Gandhi, Amit Bhatt and others
Premise: Based on the column Duniya Ne Undha Chashma, written by playwright-journalist Tarak Mehta for a Gujarati weekly magazine, this show depicts the everyday happenings of a housing society where residents help each other face challenges, overcome sticky situations and celebrate. It is one of the longest-running Indian TV shows with 2,863 episodes!
The Big Bang Theory
Original run: September 2007- May 2009
Cast: Mark Cendrowski, Johnny Galecki, Jim Jarsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar and others
Premise: With 279 episodes over 12 seasons, this comedy is about brilliant physicists but socially awkward Leonard and Sheldon. When a woman (Penny) becomes their neighbour, she takes it on her to show them how little they know about life outside the laboratory!
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai
Original run: January 2009- present
Cast: Hina Khan, Karan Mehra, Shivangi Joshi, Mohsin Khan
Premise: This longest-running Hindi show with 3,040 episodes is a story of a couple that has had an arranged marriage; how they fall in love, face challenges and come out of them. There are misunderstandings, differences; lots of twists and turns.
Original run: September 2009- September 2019
Cast: Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and others
Premise: This one is a ‘mockumentary’ sitcom that follows the lives of three modern-day families in California. As the blended Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan (since they are related) try to deal with their kids, quirky spouses and crazy jobs, we get an honest, hilarious look into the modern family.
Original run: November 2006- present
Cast: Salman Khan
Premise: Inspired by a show titled Big Brother, which was aired in the US, this reality game show has Salman Khan as its host. The series follows a group of contestants (housemates), who live together in a custom-built house, isolated from the world, and are under constant surveillance.
My all-time favourite is Friends. I love it because it portrays an amazing journey. Each individual is unique yet together they form a strong bond. — Aditi Govitrikar, model and actress
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