When Mahesh Bhatt launched his television show Naamkaran in 2016, it was touted as an attempt to move away from the cliches of daily soaps.
Just a few months in and the agenda seems to have changed.
The show starring Barkha Bisht which airs on Star Plus has undergone some major changes. And here is the shocker, the protagonist Asha, played by Barkha, has been killed off to introduce a new storyline into the story.
To counter the dipping TRPs, the makers now plan to pander to the masses and give them what they want, a young romance.
(OUCH: Hot Lovemaking Scenes Between Barkha Bisht-Viraf Patel Chopped
From TV Show Naamkaran, Nov 4 2016). and the focus had shifted to the child artiste Arsheen Naamdar who plays Avni.
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Naamkaran initially did not shy away from portraying love and lust on the small screen. But the general reviews which the channel received after the episode was, ‘Theirs being a family channel it should not show such steamy scenes’.
And now, they have eliminated the lead character itself.
When we called up Mahesh Bhatt, he candidly told us that that the story line had to be changed to improve the lagging TRPs.
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“The medium of television is devoted to the masses. While there is no denying that there is a niche audience which supports content like Naamkaran, as a nine PM show on Star Plus it has not garnered TRPs. The reason is that it is not overtly emotional and is sombre in its tone and the romance is between two middle-age people, Barkha and Viraf. The television audience includes households which have 15 and 16-year-old girls, who want to see young romance. So, having a young girl as the protagonist with her mother, could only get us so far. We were not flying like we should in the slot. So we are just letting the snake shed its skin so that we can start afresh. This is exactly what has happened,” he explained.
“Of course it was a painful because Barkha was emotionally attached to the show. I am very grateful to her because she gave a lot to the show,” added the ace filmmaker.
Speculation has been rife for weeks that Barkha has been eliminated from the show. But the actress had not come out in the open about it. But when SpotboyE.com called her up evening, she spoke rather candidly.
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“It was sudden but the reason I was given is that the show is not doing well and every two weeks Bhatt Sir was trying to do something new with the story and this was a huge turning point that they wanted to bring in. I was told about it, in advance. So it was not like one day I turned up on set and was told that it is over. Bhatt sir spoke to me, our producer spoke to me. But like you said, it was sudden because every week our story line seems to be changing,” said the actress, who is currently holidaying in Goa.
“I am really glad that I was part of such a great show. I got to work with Bhatt sir who is a master. He even directed us in some shots, so it was a great experience,” she added.
When quizzed about the fate of the show, Barkha maintained that the TV audience in India does not seem interested in good content.
“In our country, the sensible shows do not seem to work. Most of our TV viewing population is in the rural areas and I don’t know if they are ready for or interested in a show like this. It was too sensible a show for our audiences, that is it,” she maintained.
Similar sentiments were expressed by another TV star recently, Vindhya Tiwari, who in a candid interview with SpotboyE had said, “The ratings will always come from housewives, whether you like it or not, which is why most production houses are supplying exactly what the ladies want.” (TV Bahu Vindhya Tiwari Dons Bikini, Says People Love Her Legs!, Dec 27 2016).
So is Bhatt enjoying his stint in television, we asked? For, here is man who has always said and done what HE wants.
“Certain films like Arth, Saaransh, Zakhm, Janam, I was the author of those films. They flowed out of my pen and my life. A group did not sit down, conceptualise and write those films. Then there were other films like Murder, Raaz, Jannat, they were collaborative.
Television is a group activity, there are the writers, the actors, the technicians. I love that, because I am a people’s person. The fluctuating TRPs keep you on your toes and in touch with the real India. I love it, I enjoy television,” said Bhatt.
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