Imagine a pivotal character in a popular American show like Modern Family or Breaking Bad replaced in a flash?
The idea seems preposterous. But our
shows don’t mind making any such changes.
In the past, audience’s favourite lead characters such as Asad (Qubool Hai), Manav (Pavitra Rishta), Mihir (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi), which have been played by popular names, have seen newer faces playing them after a sudden change of events.
While a replacement might seem like an overnight decision, it is usually not.
Channels would never want their lead actors to quit a show, especially when it’s doing well. However, common problems like date issues, disagreement on fee hike and ego clashes result in such sweeping decisions on the part of the channel.
Sometimes, the change in the lead character causes a severe setback to the show.
When Barun Sobti quit Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon, the channel took the show off air. Although a TV biggie like Sushant Singh Rajput was replaced by an equally popular Hiten Tejwani in Pavitra Rishta, the ratings of the show never reached its past highs.
More recently, Karan Singh Grover’s exit from Qubool Hai came as a surprise for all, especially because the show’s biggest USP was the chemistry between him and Surbhi Jyoti. His replacement, Raqesh Vashisht, will have to prove his mettle now, which will be an uphill task. Also, it will take a while for the viewers to get used to Raqesh instead of Karan.
On the flip side, getting into the shoes of the outing actor is not a cakewalk for the new entrant.
Two new faces in Balika Vadhu — Sargun Mehta, who replaced Sriti Jha, and Toral Rasputra, who came as a substitute for Pratyusha Banerjee — had to make efforts to fit into their new team, which had been working together as a family for five years.
The jury is out on the pros and cons of replacing actors. It takes a lot of time to reconnect with the character, and in today’s competitive times, it might mean loss of ratings.