Fights for TRP's among leading television channels as well as TV shows are nothing new. After all, good TRP guarantees high endorsements which transform into huge profits for the channels. But there was a time when such aggressive measures were not necessary. It was because at that time India had only one channel and that was Doordarshan.
However, even in those days, really good programs attracted good TRP's and advertisements. One such program was Surabhi, which received thousands of fan mails. The hosts Siddharth Kak and Renuka Shahane had a hard time picking up a few and answering them.
Although Surabhi did shift to Star Plus after a few years, its popularity remained constant for a long time. It was because in those days it was one of the few programs dedicated to Indian culture.
Amid the current fight among leading news channels for TRP's a picture showing Siddharth and Renuka going through the fan mail surfaced online. In the backdrop, you can see hundreds of letters and postcards as there were no emails or mobile phones in those days.
Surabhi Received Highest Ever Documented Response For any Indian Television Program
Produced by Siddharth Kak's Cinema Vision, the show ran from 1990 to 2001 with just a break in 1991. According to the Limca Book of Records, this longest-running Indian cultural series is also the only one to receive the highest ever documented response for any Indian television program.
The main attraction was the weekly quiz which attracted a lot of responses. At one point in time, the show received 1.4 million letters in just one week. It became so popular that the Indian postal department had to come up with special postcards priced at Rs. 2. These competition postcards eventually became a regular for participating in such contests.
The program only offered real information and in a very straightforward manner. There was no drama, shouting, or strategy to attract TRP. But its authenticity and the way Siddharth and Renuka presented the show made all the difference.