Season 2 of Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha started a month ago, Pratigya that ended last year is gearing up for a second season and producers of Saas Bina Sasural are in talks to bring the show back in a fresh avatar. The trend of shows making a comeback after a break is slowly but surely catching up.
In the past, there have been shows like Khichdi, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Dill Mill Gaye, Chhoti Bahu and Kitani Mohabbat Hai that have had two seasons. And yet, unlike international shows that are designed with seasonal breaks, the soaps on Hindi general entertainment channels are stretched with time-leaps rather than going in for breaks.
One of the first shows to have a second season was Khichdi as Instant Khichdi. This was followed by Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, which in its first season was telecast as a weekly and in its second innings on weekends. Even Karamchand that was aired in the ’80s was brought back 20 years later with Pankaj Kapur reprising his iconic carrot-chewing detective act.
The advantage of bringing back a hit show is, the characters are already popular and recall value is high. Says Prashant Bhatt, weekday programming head, Colors, “Audiences develop a strong affinity toward their favourite characters. Seasonal shows allow you to take a break, experiment with the concept and improvise it. It can be a continuity or a fresh new story with the same actors in a new setting.”
However, they also have to contend with comparisons. Even expectations are high. But Sudhir Sharma who is producing Na Bole Tum... reasons that there are expectations from a new show also. “There is no need of comparing season 1 to season 2.
The ratings of a show are unpredictable in any case,” he defends adding that the idea behind a season 2 is the story “that has left a lot to explore”. That’s exactly why Pearl Grey is producing Pratigya’s season 2. “We will retain the character and the cast of the show but it will begin with a leap of 16-18 years from the first season,” she says.
For J D Majethia who made both Khichdi and Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, it has been a learning experience. For Khichdi, the producer just changed the setting of the show from middle-class to upper-middle class with the same whacky characters and it worked like magic. However, in the case of Baa Bahoo Aur Baby there was a problem.
“The research indicated what the viewers wanted in season 2, but when we incorporated those elements, they were not so pleased,” shrugs JD. The show just couldn’t recreate the magic of the first one. This incidentally is true of several shows that have come back after a break.
Shows like Chhoti Bahu and Kitani Mohabbat Hai did not even take off from where they left, instead they put the same characters in different settings, which did not find favour with the viewers.
Rajan Shahi who has been flooded with requests for a season 2 of his popular soap Bidaai is a little wary because of this.
“Unless I have something that will go beyond season 1, I don’t want to attempt it,” he says. Vipul D Shah who is planning season 2 of Saas Bina Sasural is still undecided whether he should take the story forward or put the same characters in a different setting.
For now, all eyes are now on Na Bole... and the upcoming Pratigya 2 to see which way the next seasons go.