MUMBAI: 7 November will go down in history as the night when India's television industry began the process of shutting down production.
Following a meeting of the core committee of producers under the Association of Motion Pictures and Television Programme Producers of India (AMPTPP), it was decided that weekday general entertainment TV show producers would cease production or set construction from midnight.
Producers of Hindi general entertainment shows which were to be shown over this weekend could, however, continue to film until Sunday midnight, was the message sent out to the community.
"From Monday onwards, TV viewers will have to make do with a slate consisting of programming re-runs," says an industry observer. The only exception to this stand from the industry is Big Boss on Colors, in which participants have been holed up in a house, which will continue filming till the show ends on 22 November.
"We have informed our producers to stop filming from tonight," said the business head of a leading general entertainment channel.
A cross section of producers Indiantelevision.com correspondents spoke to agreed that they would follow the industry in the shutdown plan.
According to sources close to the situation, the producers had given the workers' federation till 3.30 pm this evening to revert. But that did not happen. And hence broadcasters and producers took the hard stance, following a long meeting in the evening.
Clearly, it will be interesting to see how this soap opera unravels.