The Viral Fever is one of the most loved and respected production houses in the country. More popularly known as TVF, it has successfully given stiff competition to the corporate-backed film industries in the country to provide a sneak peek into different aspects of our population.
From talking about the issues of urban unemployment to the administrative functioning of a ‘gram panchayat’ in a North Indian state, their series have covered it all. In 2015 when TVF came up with the Pitchers, little did they know that this long format of storytelling was soon going to take the entire country by storm. With a bunch of young and talented actors at the helm and with a powerful, yet heartfelt story, TVF was able to hit the ball out of the park with its attempt.
The first season of the show shed light on the distress of the Indian youth and the need to develop an option of self-employment. The series benefited tremendously from the state of our country, back then. in 2015, India was standing at the brink of digitisation, an age that redefined the start-up culture in the country. Given the technical prowess, this Biswapati Sircar-written series was also able to get fame amongst the masses for its simplicity.
“The show was one of the first web series in India. We had no clue if it would ever be accepted. It was a time when the internet was still in the nascent period and was quite expensive. And it seemed like an unreal thought that people would log on to YouTube to watch a show. As an actor, I needed work. And while many would think it to be a courageous decision, it was a much-needed step in my life. Thankfully, it worked, and started the trend of web shows in the country.” said Naveen Kasturia in an interview with the Indian Express.
A major reason behind the success of TVF Pitchers (and their other series) was the approach the production company had with its content. All of their shows could be connected with a common string of hitting the chord of the youth and conveying socially relevant messages, effectively and entertainingly. TVF used the elements of comedy, romance, and at times, old-school Bollywood hooks to connect with the audience. This helped them broaden their viewer base to all across the country, in a relatively short period.
Pitchers will be remembered as an iconic series for the actors that it introduced to us. Today the likes of Jeetendra Kumar, Naveen Kasturia, and Abhishek Banerjee have become household names, but it was ‘Pitchers’ which got all of them together for the first time. Besides actors, TVF also turned their writers into stars by promoting them on several fronts. Biswapati Sircar is as big a star on the Indian internet arena as anyone else, thanks to his associations with such legendary series.
“Pitchers 1 made me an actor. Before that, I was a dejected actor. I got too many rejections from a lot of casting directors and lots of directors. I was so demotivated at that time that I had apprehensions about going for the auditions for Bhati (his role in TVF Pitchers). It was a one-scene role and Nidhi, who is my friend, started calling me for this audition. And I tried to avoid that for like one good month. But when she pushed me, I went and gave the audition. I did that one scene and I forgot about it”, said Abhishek Banerjee