The team now plans to look forward and take their shows to the next big level. At the outset, Guruodev Bhalla, Vice President, Television Division, Walkwater Productions had a heart-to-heart conversation with TellyBuzz wherein he talks of creating new benchmarks in order to fulfill the promise given to viewers..
Your flagship show Pratigya on Star Plus is going strong.
Yes, by the grace of God, the show is faring well. The ratings have been steady and we would now want to take it to the next level, and attain a rating of 6-7.
The ratings had actually slid down in the past few months. What's the reason?
There has been a marginal drop and nothing major. I would attribute that to the late timing of 10.30 PM that Pratigya has. The recent months have been cold, and I presume that many families do not stay awake till midnight due to the bad weather. Having said this, the ratings of Pratigya have been oscillating between the 2nd and 3rd position on the channel.
The character of Kesar was replaced at a crucial time. Did that affect ratings?
Not at all. Kalpana had to move on, and in fact, our ratings went up when the new Kesar was introduced. The switch has been good and it has not affected anyone. The channel is happy and that is what matters.
What can the viewers look forward to in the show now?
There are some exciting fresh new tracks in store. We will not leave any stone unturned in getting our TVR to a high of 7. Pratigya has a lot of potential to grow, and with a great creative team in place, we will surely not rest.
How are you going to take ahead the Krishna-Pratigya part of the story line?
I would not want to comment on it, as Pearl Grey takes care of the creative aspects. All I would say is that there is lots of fun, emotions, drama and conflicts coming in the near future..
There have been reports about the problems actors faced when it comes to the hike they deserved at the completion of one year. What do you have to say?
I really do not know from where these stories originated. I heard of one or two such stories being flashed. But we did not react to anything as it is just someone's imagination. We as Producers have a responsibility towards our viewers. I would maintain that we are doing a fabulous job, are executing our tasks well and delivering with a lot of promise. There is no room for panic, and no actor is leaving the show. It was only Kalpana who left us, but that again was a cordial decision taken for the betterment of her personal life.
What attempts are being made to take Pratigya back to the #1 position again?
It is the prerogative of the channel to take it to the top again. As a production house, we keep suggesting various creative ideas. Our writer Shanti Bhushan and Pearl Grey are working on certain things with the programming team of the channel. It is a combined team effort and we are looking for an interesting phase of the show. We carry a huge responsibility on our shoulders and will not let the channel down.
How do you see the competition in TV today?
It is very difficult in today's DNA age to stay on top forever. Everyone is trying their best to give their challenging best; all are on their toes and are alert in responding. I would say television has a good environment, and the atmosphere is very healthy. The creative minds of all the leading Star Plus shows do bump into each other and we do appreciate each others' work. There is no negative energy at all; credit needs to be given to Star Plus as they have come up with a good variety of shows.
Rishton Se Badi Pratha on COLORS, i.e. your second show, has seen a sea change with Parul Chauhan replacing Shalini Chandran. What was the exact reason?
The best people to answer to this will be the channel. Again, there is nothing negative and there is no bad blood. Shalini had her reasons and we accepted it. At the end of the day, the show has to move on..
What made you zero in on Parul?
This would be better answered by the channel and Pearl. Guess it is the talent in the actor, appearance and also the way in which they are visualizing the story ahead that has brought about this change.
Was this change made because Chhoti Bahu is launching?
Nothing like that.. Certain circumstances brought about this replacement and it was unavoidable.
What are the plusses you have seen in the Jodi of Vishal and Parul?
Parul is a great actress, is a good looker and is very professional when it comes to work. The same applies to Vishal Karwal. We have had no issues with him. We believe they both would compliment each other, and add to the story line and script.
What can we expect in future in Pratha?
Rishton Se Badi Pratha is still a young show. There are a huge set of high points, drama, conflicts, emotion and romance.
The ratings of Pratha has not gone up..
There is nothing very negative about the ratings of Pratha. Yes, there is always a room for improvement, and we believe that there is a great potential in the show. We have a great set of actors, a very established writing team and have a hugely successful show in Pratigya behind us. We are optimistic and would take the story ahead. Viewers would be in for some pleasant surprises as the story unfolds..
We have heard a new show is being worked out between Walkwater Productions and Spellbound Productions. What is it about?
It is again a unique show, wherein we promise to live up to expectations and give viewers an interesting world that has not been seen before. We have had a fantastic association with Pearl Grey, and our hard work is paid off as we have already won three awards for Pratigya in the Best Show category. We are now keeping our fingers crossed for our third show. We aim to cross our own benchmarks, challenge our perceptions, and push ourselves to the extreme in terms of creativity.
Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh