It’s been almost 4 years since the medical TV talk-show The Doctors has appeared on Georgian television. Launched by Rustavi 2, the famous broadcasting company and later aired by another major TV channel, IMEDI, the show is still the most favorite medical program in Georgia.
Lika Kharebashvili, producer of The Doctors will disclose success of the show which is the identical to the CBS Doctors show in the US.
The Doctors is the leading medical show in Georgia. Why is it unique and what does it make so interesting to the viewers for such a long time?
I am really happy that The Doctors is so popular in Georgia. Running the medical talk-show is among the most challenging parts of my experience as a producer. Medical show requires hard work, much time and attention. It’s very hard to make the show for everyone, because we know medicine is very specific field with technical terminology. You need to understand the topic and interpret the scientific language into human voice. To make the episodes even catchier and more entertaining, we add some show elements and try to expose even the weirdest and unpopular topics of the show with the most interesting and creative manner. Our viewers are our inspiration, they give us feedback online and we try to meet their demands and take their comments into consideration when we plan the next episode. I think that the constant attempts of making the show more and more exciting guarantees the viewers’ interest.
After 3 years of running the show on Rustavi 2, the show has moved to Imedi TV. Has the show rating changed? Do you still intricate your viewers?
To be honest, I considered that the first period at the new channel would be hard as viewers used to watch it on Rustavi 2. But the rating of the first episode aired at IMEDI TV, on December 31, was unbelievable. 12% AMR – it’s a great result for a daytime show, it’s almost the primetime show benchmark. We have our unique, loyal viewers and we are very thankful for it.
As we know, except ratings, it’s a very successful show commercially as well.
Exactly. Both channels, where The Doctors has been run, are privately owned companies. So, if you want to be aired, you have to be successful commercially too. Everyone knows that the main income for TV Company is advertisements. Sponsors are looking for highly rated shows for placement. If you have high ratings, it directly means, that you have lots of viewers and of course you are becoming attractive for sponsors too.
How do you select the guests of the show? I’ve heard, It’s very prestigious for Georgian doctors to appear on your show, .
We carefully choose the guests for the show; we look for the professionals who can share innovative methods of treatment or tips for daily healthcare in a simple and concise manner. We double check that the information they provide is fully reliable and trustworthy. We feel that our guests are always happy to participate in the show.
The Doctors is often awarded with various awards and prizes. What is the main recognition for you?
We have obtained certificates and prizes for promoting the healthy lifestyle and raising the awareness about the diseases in Georgia. In 2015, the Doctors was nominated as the best medical talk-show of the year and we won the main prize – Golden Wing.
I’m proud that the program served to increase the public knowledge about the diseases and their prevention, healthy lifestyle and importance of exercising. As a result, lots of gyms opened in Tbilisi, more people go to the hospitals for examinations, smoking has been restricted indoor social areas, as a result of the big social campaign, more vehicle drivers let the emergency cars pass immediately. It has become a priority for people to care about the health. All these were the main objectives of the project and I’m happy to be the part of these big achievements.