By Maliha Rehman
Fahad Mustafa strides across an expansive, glossy arena, surrounded by a riveted, packed audience. They clap and cheer and he yells out to them, ‘Jeeto Pakistan!’
For many of us, seeing Fahad on TV every evening, giving away motorbikes and climbing atop cars with Herculean energy, is an essential part of Ramzan. Fahad Mustafa may be a fine actor and successful drama producer but Jeeto Pakistan on ARY Digital, every Ramzan, now 10 years strong, veritably makes him Pakistani TV’s favorite host.
In a similar vein, it would be fair to say that Jeeto Pakistan is the country’s biggest, most popular game show. The Ramzan edition, particularly, has a loyal fan following. Following the spirit of the holy month, the show’s highlight is the giving away of gifts to participants that range from electronic household items to motorbikes, cars, residential plots and even tickets for Umrah pilgrimages. Fahad’s energy and good cheer is infectious and he has an innate knack for deciphering the fine line between jesting with the audience and being rude – something that many of his peers have not been able to understand. Day after day, he quizzes the audience and oversees the playing of various games – and doesn’t get bored. Nor does his audience.
Added to the mix are a host of celebrities that form leagues representing different parts of the country. The concept of a celebrity league in Jeeto Pakistan was coined during the pandemic when social distancing requirements prevented the show from being staged to a live audience. Instead, ARY Digital came up with the concept of celebrities representing teams who would play games and interact with participants via live phone calls. Post-pandemic, the concept continues, having been a success. This year’s league consists of some long time favorites from show business and cricket: Adnan Siddiqui, Aijazz Aslam, Ushna Shah, Shaista Wahidi, Sana Javed and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Now, having completed a decade, the viewership continues to run strong while the gifts are getting bigger, better. The lineup of gifts for this Ramzan’s Jeeto Pakistan includes 1000 bikes, 12 cars and four flats, two in ARY Laguna DHA City Karachi and two in ARY Laguna Gujranwala. Furthermore, the overall Ramzan transmission in ARY Digital has hauled in the highest ever first day TV viewership ratings for Ramzan, at 289 GRPS.
The daily schedule includes the regular Iftar Shan-e-Ramzan transmission feature, followed by Jeeto Pakistan in the evening, the prime time weekly drama and then, late in the night, the Good Morning Pakistan Shan-e-Suhoor transmission. The drama lineup, continuing from before Ramzan, includes some very popular names, including the hit Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha, Tere Bina Main Nahi, Samjhota, Mann Aangan, Hook, Pinjra and the path-breaking Kuch Ankahi.
Coming back to Jeeto Pakistan, do the makers of the show feel the pressure to keep the format entertaining over a span of 10 years? “It’s always a challenge to outdo what we did last year with Jeeto Pakistan because every year comes with its own set of challenges,” says Jerjees Seja, CEO at ARY Digital. “Jeeto Pakistan has achieved so much success and it is a challenge not just to continue doing the show but also to maintain those ratings and still deliver quality year after year. On our ten year anniversary we are yet again leading the ratings and it is the resourcefulness of our team as well as the energy of our host which makes all this possible.”
It is a well-known fact that crowds begin swarming the ARY Digital studio from the afternoon on in Ramzan, where the show is filmed live every day. Also, despite very competitive Ramzan transmissions airing out on multiple channels following Iftar, viewership ratings indicate that there is a dedicated TV audience that hasn’t swayed from watching Jeeto Pakistan every evening. And while we’ve seen him do it so many times before, there is a certain excitement that we connect with Fahad Mustafa, climbing on cars and yelling ‘Jeeto Pakistan’! 10 years down the line, the show is still going strong.
What do you think?