When Shivaji Satam announced that he wants to close his account as ACP Pradyuman in the long-running detective series CID, it sent shock waves in TV circles. Even Barun Sobti’s decision to quit Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon in which he plays Arnav has upset the followers of the show.
A few days ago, Sriti Jha’s character Sia died in Saubhagyavati Bhava because Sriti wanted to leave the show. Harshad Chopra who played Raghav in the same serial also bid adieu. Buzz is that Karan Tacker who plays Virat in Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai is unhappy with the attention being showered on co-actor Kushal Tandon and is poised to quit. Mouli Ganguly is also contemplating leaving Kya Hua Tera Vaada.
As important as it is to gain popularity, actors don’t have qualms about quitting shows for the big shift to films, a better show or plain boredom. Barun who had in the past taken a break from his show to shoot for his debut film Main Aur Mr Right, finally decided to breakaway completely. He reasons saying that shooting continuously for 12 hours daily is taking a toll on his health.
“I want to take a break and spend some time with my wife and chill. My film will release next year in March and I want to be there for the promotions,” he says.
While Satam, who has been the face of CID for 15 years, prefers not to comment, sources say that exhaustion, lack of sufficient time to spend with his family and age factor led to his decision. However, producer-director BP Singh maintains that he will not allow Satam to leave for the simple reason that “there cannot be a replacement for him.”
“He is the face of the show,” he asserts. The channel is also apparently trying hard to retain the actor whose contract is due for renewal in December.
In the past there have been many instances of actors quitting mid-way. These walk-outs adversely affect the show’s popularity and the producers have to devise plots to keep the content engaging. However, producer Rajan Shahi, who replaced Mohnish Behl with Sharad Kelkar as Dr Ashutosh in KTLK says, “With all due respect to Mohnish, Ashutosh’s character was bigger than him and people readily accepted Sharad.”
He adds that even during Bidaai when he showed the death of Sara’s character, it garnered the highest ratings and continued to be on top of the charts. “A lot of money and energy is invested in building a show and the characters so it is unfair that actors after tasting success prefer to ditch the show for films or other shows,” he says vehemently.
Sukesh Motwani, Zee’s programming head, fiction, says that TV is still about characters and not actors. “Most of the times the character and the actor overlap because the nuances, the way they talk, smile etc, are built into the character. Apart from one or two exceptions, where the shows may have got affected when the actor left, most of them have continued to do well,” says Sukesh.
Even Nachiket Pantvaidya, Star Plus GM, concurs that none of their shows have ever seen any dip in the ratings “thanks to engaging content.” And the show just goes on!