TV stars who take home fat pay cheques don't necessarily guarantee high TRPs for their shows
A lot of money might be riding on the veterans in the television industry, but the irony is that none of the highest paid actors on TV today are able to give a TRP boost to their shows. Whether it is Ram Kapoor
in Bade Achhe Laggte Hain
(BALH) or Rashmi Desai's much-hyped re-entry in Uttaran,
the serials with some of the most popular names of Indian television are struggling to maintain viewership.
"While this may come as a surprise to many, the insiders in the industry always knew that this would happen sooner than later," rues producer Saurabh Tewari
, whose serial Madhubala... Ek Ishq Ek Junoon
with fresh faces like Vivian D'sena and Drashti Dhami is among the top ones on TV, going by TRPs.
"When Ram Kapoor became a hit with BALH, everyone thought this trend of bringing back oldies would work, but aisa hua nahi. Old actors rarely make a successful comeback on TV. The prime example of this is Smriti Irani, whose comeback on a comedy show years ago, flopped badly," he says, Even Ram Kapoor, who was a hit with viewers, and reportedly commanded a pay packet of 80,000 per day, has not been able to sustain the TRPs of his show.
"TV channels tried working with old faces and new stories, but it didn't work for everyone. There were stories being written by every producer and channel for comebacks of popular TV actors, but they obviously didn't realise that on TV, the script rules, not the faces," says producer Bhairavi Raichura.
Director Ravindra Gautam, who has worked as a director with shows like BALH and Parichay,
was recently roped in for a month to direct the serial Honge Juda Na Hum
, to boost its TRPS. "TV stars are a myth, there can't be stars on TV. Agar aisa hota toh khali
veterans ko le lene se hi
shows chal jaate
," says Gautam, adding, "Also, it is not easy for every director to handle these actors."
Apparently, working with the stalwarts of the TV industry comes with its cup of woes. "Content is compromised when you're working with these actors because they don't give a show more than 15 days in a month. The TV industry works on a daily basis, and 15 days isn't enough to cultivate a track. That's why shows with some of the highest paid actors also have elaborate parallel tracks, which are created to sustain the show. But parallel tracks can't be substitutes for the main track," points out Saurabh.
But Samir Soni
has a rejoinder to that. "What has really happened with shows having veterans from the TV industry is that content has taken a back seat. Director aake bolta hai, '
please pull the show with your acting,' but someone should give us the script also na
? There's no innovation in content in shows that have the highest paid actors. Yes, of course there are fans who will watch our shows only for us, but even we have limited scenes in an episode. There are other tracks as well," he says.
Samir also says that the time slot given to their shows is also one of the reasons for low TRPs. "Most shows with highest paid actors are aired in the late-night slot, with re-runs throughout the day. So people usually have time options to catch the show," he points out.Ram Kapoor:
80,000 per dayShow:
Bade Achhe Laggte HainCurrent TRP:
75,000 per dayShow: Punar Vivah
70,000 per dayShow:
65,000 per dayShow:
Honge Juda Na HumCurrent TRP:
65,000 per dayShow:
50,000 per dayShow:
Kya Hua Tera VaadaCurrent TRP:
50,000 per dayShow: ParichayCurrent TRP: