Indian television probably had never seen such outpouring of emotions when Barun Sobti decided to quit the hugely popular show 'Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon'. The show went off the air breaking millions of hearts. Following Barun's 'quitting', are Ankita Lokhande, Shivaji Satam, Pawan Shanker, Sriti Jha and Harshad Chopra, who are all leaving or are on the verge of leaving their signature shows. The reason that the actors offered when it came to leaving their respective shows halfway might vary from 'moving on to better career prospects' to 'refusal to grow old on screen' but it also raises the same old debate, do Indian TV soaps run out of steam after a certain amount of time, causing a sense of fatigue for viewers and lead actors?
In the initial heady days actors were thrilled to be part of saas-bahu
soaps and even stuck to the show till it went off air. But times have changed since then as the landscape of the Indian television industry now boasts of more GECs which means a fractured viewership that's changed the rules of telly viewing.Actors need to stay on
When a lead star quits a show, it sends the producer/broadcaster in panic mode. The most obvious answer is to get a replacement actor. Scarred by the rejection of new actors stepping into shoes of popular leads, producers are wary of treading the same path and prefer to either 'send off' the lead or 'kill him/her off'. Actor Aditya Redij
says, "I quitNaa Aana Is Des Laado
as I had inhibitions about playing an 18-year-old's father. If the makers keep an actor creatively happy, why will he/she quit?" Aishwarya Sakuja shares, "An actor playing the lead has to be available for a long period as the story line revolves around him/her. But, if an actor feels a sense of monotony, then there are many waiting to be in their shoes."Karan Kundra
says, "It is impossible for me to be a part of any show beyond a year. When I started with Kitni Mohabbat Hai
, Ekta Kapoor
was clear on not extending the story beyond a point and we wrapped season one gracefully and came back with 160 episodes of season 2."Calling it quitsPawan Shanker
The male lead of Kya Hua Tera Vada
has reportedly also quit the show
Reason: Doesn't want to grow old
Aftermath: Show set to take a leap, new male lead might be roped inBarun Sobti
The official heartthrob of TV and broke millions of hearts when he decided to 'take a long break' from Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?
Reason: Health and to eventually look at a career in films
Aftermath: The show shut shop abruptly a week agoShivaji Satam
After 15 years of playing ACP Pradyuman in CID
, Shivaji has decided to move on
Reason: Wants to focus on films
Aftermath: New characters will be brought inHarshad Chopra & Sriti Jha
After making an entry in Dil Se Di Dua Saubhagyabati Bhavo
some months ago, a disgruntled Harshad has quit the show, taking along with him the leading lady Sriti
Reason: Unhappy with the track
Aftermath: The show has introduced new charactersAnkita Lokhande
There are reports that Ankita won't be continuing with Pavitra Rishta
after February 2013. Reason: Doesn't want to play grandmom
Aftermath: Talks of show going off air are doing roundsLong running soaps end on a whimper
Most top shows, from Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
(1830 episodes), Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki
(1700 episodes), Dill Mill Gayye
(721 episodes) to the more recent Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?
(398 episodes) started on a high note, showing lots of promise and generating fan frenzy. When it came to their closure, the shows ended abruptly, an indication that the production houses had no choice, but to hurry up with the storylines, upsetting loyal audiences. Producer Sumeet Mittal shares, "Producers have a long story on mind when a daily soap airs. But, if we have to wrap it due to low TRPs, we do try to do justice to it." We'll be back after a season break
Shows with returning after a season break has always worked in the West. Following the footsteps of popular shows like Sex And The City
, Grey's Anatomy
, some popular Indian TV shows have also tried the 'second season' experiment In the past soaps, seasons of shows like Karamchand, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Kitani Mohabbat Hai, Na Bole Tum
have been aired, with mixed results, says, "Yes, introducing a second season is definitely a good option. When shows come back on a fresh note, it definitely works. There is no point dragging the soaps without any relevance. Second season of a show like Na Tum Bole Na Maine Kuuch Kaha
is awaited by fans eagerly."
In the end, it's not a jaded story line but a mint-fresh story line evolving continuously with powerful performances that does the trick. But with tracks being changed, altered story-lines, lead characters quitting the show — you never know in which way the show takes a turn.