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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chp 89. Mumbai Cable TV and the Ban

Last night, around 11pm, Mumbai Cable Operators finally started airing Cable channels again. StarMovies, HBO and AXN were still blanked out, but atleast StarWorld was back, meaning I can still watch Rockstar: Supernova and the various other sit-coms again. Woohoo! It’s a bummer that there are no more English movies on Cable, but atleast something’s better than nothing.

With AXN gone, we are going to miss out a couple of good serials like Maximum Exposure, The Contender, The Ultimate Fighter, The Shield, Numb3rs, World’s Most Amazing Videos, Xena: Warrior Princess, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Alias, Fear Factor etc etc.

Have you ever wondered where all these wonderful serials we get on our television here in India came from? Most of them are from The Big Four. These are the four main Television Network rivals in the US of A: NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX (FBC).

The percentage of US Households reached by these top four Networks namely NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX are 97.17, 96.98, 96.75 and 96.18 percent respectively! Boy, that is huge. For those of us here in India, to make it sound more familiar, let me try to label which Network our favorite shows on TV here in India actually belong to.

NBC is responsible for giving us great sitcoms and serials like Friends, Joey, Seinfeld, Frasier, Cheers, The Contender, Fear Factor, The Apprentice, Scrubs, The Office, Law & Order: SVU, Santa Barbara, The West Wing, Baywatch (1989-1990), ER, Just Shoot Me, Caroline in the City, Will and Grace, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hollywood Squares, Ed, Star Trek, The Pretender, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Knight Rider, Stingray, The A-Team, The Cosby Show, The fresh Prince of Bel Air, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and Miami Vice.

Whereas, from CBS (of the Janet Jackson’s breast fame), we get CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Rock Star, NCIS, JAG (except for season 1 which was aired on NBC, but cancelled it in 1996 after it finished 77th in the rating. CBS picked it up and went on to show 9 more seasons of it), NUMB3RS, The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Bold and the Beautiful, The King of Queens, Becker, Yes Dear, Still Standing, Everybody loves Raymond, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Tour of Duty, M*A*S*H and Chicago Hope. Two new serials that are soon to come to StarWorld, Ghost Whisperer and Two and a half Men are also from CBS. (The Oprah Winfrey Show and Wheel of Fortune were obtained by CBS through acquisition of King World Productions).

ABC gives/gave us shows such as Desperate Housewives, Lost, Alias, Boston Legal, 8 Simple Rules, My Wife and Kids, Less Than Perfect, Monk, Whose Line is it Anyway, The Drew Carey Show, Home Improvement, Full House, The Practice, Dharma and Greg, The Bachelor, NYPD Blues, The Wonder Years, Doogie Howser M.D., Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Addams Family, General Hospital, Three’s Company, Dynasty, The Fall Guy, MacGyver, TJ Hooker, The Six Million Dollar Man and Batman (of the POW and KABOOM fame).

From FOX, we get The O.C., The Simpsons, The X-Files, American Idol, Cops, 24, Arrested Development, Malcolm in the Middle, That 70’s Show, Ally McBeal, Married with Children, The Simple Life, 30 seconds to Fame, Temptation Island, MAD tv, Joe Millionaire, Guinness World Record Primetime, World’s Wildest Police Video, The Street, Alien Nation, Beverly Hills 90210, Boston Public, 21 Jump Street, animations from “FOX Kids” like Futurama and X-Men, and ofcourse a serial I so totally love which is not broadcasted yet here in India, Prison Break.

Yes, if you are as crazy as me about TV shows, then I’m sure you’ll recognize most of the names up there. Some of them might even bring tears to your eyes, because those shows were aired in India long before the entry of AXN, StarWorld and Zee. I used to watch Beverly Hills 90210, Tour of Duty, MacGyver, M*A*S*H, Sledge Hammer and The Fall Guy on StarPlus those days. And even before the entry of Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV Network in India (1991), I used to watch Knight Rider, Stingray, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Cosby Show and The A-Team on Bangladesh Channel during the black & white TV days of yore. Some of us from the Northeast and West Bengal could catch Bangladesh Channel Transmission on our TV antennae (we just had to tweak it a bit here and there), while the rest of India had just Doordarshan .

Anyway it really sucks that the I&B Ministry had to ban Cable Operators from airing any movies with an A or U/A rating on Cable. Like we used to see “anything” in the first place anyway. Every hot steamy scene had always been censored, much to our utter dismay . I don’t remember seeing any b**bs on Cable, but I think I do remember seeing Van Damme’s bare ass in a couple of his movies . And the way these people say it, “Adult Movie”, makes it sound like those sleazy XXX porn you buy illegally from one of those many black markets in and around the city. Sheesh.

I think banning of such channels will only encourage more pirated downloads from the Internet and the sale of pirated VCDs/DVDs.

I really hope they don’t stop StarWorld too because the channel airs my all time favorite show “Law & Order: SVU” which deals with sexual crimes (A post dedicated to “Law & Order: SVU” coming up next). And then there’s Baywatch and the upcoming Miss Teen USA contest to be aired on StarWorld which might be considered “A” too. “A” means “Adult Content”. How vague is that? Animal Planet and Discovery Channel show animals with close resemblance to Human beings happily fornicating in public. Isn’t that “A” too? History Channel shows the biographies of people like Caligula, Cleopatra and Mata Hari infamous for their sexual exploits. Isn’t that “A” too? News channels show news about rapes and other sexual crimes in India. Isn’t that “A” too? Music channels show music videos with models dressed in skimpy skirts and exposing a lot of skin. Isn’t that “A” too? Many Hindi soaps like “Saat Phere”, “Vaidehi” and “Virasaat” have contents about sex scenes, rapes, extra-marital sexual relationships etc. (Source: Mumbai Mirror) Isn’t that “A” too? And last but not the least, Doordarshan shows the Assembly House Session where politicians fight with each other using abusive languages not meant for your children’s ears. Isn’t that “A” too? Sooner or later, everything will be banned at this rate. Damn. No wonder people enjoy better serials in the US of “A”.

We live in difficult times, my friends…




>> Wikipedia pages of NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX
>> United States Television Networks
>> List of Programs broadcast by NBC
>> List of Programs broadcast by CBS
>> List of Programs broadcast by ABC
>> List of Programs broadcast by FOX


Jerusha said...

Suffer, all ye Mumabaikers! lol
Kim, why don't you come back to the south, where there are no ugly floods, no violent protests, no bombs, and plenty of sex-related TV shows? :D
(Xena??? Inhmeh ltks :DD)

MockingBird said...

Star Movies/HBO/AXN blanked out? Ban on airing of movies with an A or U/A rating on cable television? No kiddin'!! Our I&B Ministry is seriously a bunch of losers!

LMAO @ Doordarshan shows the Assembly House Session where politicians fight with each other using abusive languages not meant for your children’s ears. Isn’t that “A” too?

Nice post. I'll have to give you an A+ on this one ;)

Mizohican said...

@ sundancer: bleh :-P
By the way, whats wrong with Xena? *GRIN*

@ mocking bird: Thanx... :-)

Almostunreal said...

Kima ui ber te chu The Bold and the Beautiful hi lom....hmaaaan cable ron om tirha chhuah trnag khan la miss lo hrim2 lom

Ka hrethiam khop mai che..hrehom ngot ang

Mizohican said...

Haha Bold n the Beautiful a chhuah hma te pawn Santa Barbara leh Dynasty a happening lutuk... Ka en ziah thrin a lawm... B&B ka en lai te chuan Ridge a nau pawh kha an la thlak lo. hehehe....

Almostunreal said...

A nih Ridge-a nau hi voieng zat nge an thlak toh: :D

Mizohican said...

An thlak hmasak ber ka hriat ve kha chuan Brooke i pawh High School naupang mai mai a la ni... :-P

Anonymous said...

kima, this is for you:

There was once a sheep farmer who needed help with the difficult task of castrating some of his inferior male sheep to keep them from breeding with the females. He hired a French guy who didn't speak much English, but was a very good worker.

After the first day, they had successfully castrated 14 sheep and his French worker was just about to throw away the "parts", but the sheep farmer yelled, "No! Don't throw those away! My wife fries them up and we eat them. They're delicious and we call them 'sheep fries'."

Later that day, the French hired hand came in for supper, and indeed the 'sheep fries' were tasty.

The next day, they castrated 16 sheep, and the following evening they all settled down to another supper of 'sheep fries'. The third day, however, when the sheep farmer came home, he asked his wife where the French hired hand was, and she said, "You know, it's the weirdest thing! I told him since there weren't very many 'sheep fries' this evening, we were also going to have French fries, and he ran like hell!"

by Guess Who..hehehehe

Anonymous said...

Hey Kima,

How is it going out there? Wtf are you doin in Mumbai anyway? Talked to Paolo a couple of days ago. Old times etc ya know how it goes.

So mumabaikars dont have MTV huh? Funny when I was in Mumbai for a summer I saw cable guys showing hardcore porn late at night. Anyways if you do get a set of channels check out some of these shows. Prison Break, The Mind of Menica, Wildstyle, Heroes, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, Shark, Smith and this British Show IDK if you get this there called Hustle.

Peace out...!!
Email me when you get the chance

Pixie said...

Thank goodness we are still getting all those chaneels here in Bangalore... our cable operator is a good guy!! :)
Law and Order is one of my Favorite shows too.

Mizohican said...

@ anonymous: Uh... any particular reason for dedicating that particular joke to me? Thanx by the way :-P

@ Ass-wipe: Dudeeeeeee! Hey man, thanx for dropping by. Yeah, I have all the episodes of Prison Break, How I met your mother and Hustle. I LOVE THEM! Well, I'll try getting my hands on those other serials u mentioned. Criminal Minds is airing here in India from next month. It looks pretty good. Yup I'll email u on the addy u gave me. Peae out dude. Do continue to drop by.

@ whatever!! You should check out my next post on Law & Order: SVU :-)
I miss Bangalore more now. Ever since I shifted from there to here, things are becoming worse n worse... :-(

Anonymous said...

That sucks maaaaan!!
and you are right!Its the ekta kapoor serials that show sex/violence and all the "A" nonsense!But obviously they wont ban it.
But sadly my friend, tis is life!