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Bring on the TV reboots: Kasautii Zindagii Kay takes the trend forward... and more are expected

Serials that had ended a long time ago are being brought back in a new avatar to recreate that brand value and to reignite viewers’ interest. Ekta Kapoor and other industry names tell us how it works.

tv Updated: Jul 31, 2018 17:01 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Ekta Kapoor,Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2,Hina Khan
A promotional visual for the reboot of Kasautii Zindagii Kay, which returns after 18 years.

What started with the announcement of three major reboots last year — Sarabhai vs Sarabhai; Hum Paanch; and Khichdi — has now become a mini-tsunami of iconic shows finding their way back into people’s drawing rooms or laptop screens. Right now, there’s plenty of excitement over a reboot of producer Ekta Kapoor’s Kasautii Zindagii Kay after 18 years — the stakes are really high for the show. Rumour also has it that Ekta might bring back yet another of her iconic shows, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii. The reboot is likely to start from where the show ended a decade ago, and Sakshi Tanwar, the original protagonist, could be the narrator this time.

Ekta says, “For Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2, we’ll have a huge amount of nostalgia to live up to. I feel that it’s worth it, because getting a show with established characters, especially one with a plot like Kasautii..., gives you a bit of an advantage when you begin. Of course, the disadvantage is that the audience will always look for their old characters in the new ones, and will always remember Kasautii... far more fondly now than they did then when they saw it.”

Producer Ekta Kapoor reportedly plans to do more than one reboot of her iconic shows.

The name is often tweaked for a reboot. Hum Paanch came back as Hum Paanch Phir Se; Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon had a sequel titled Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon - Ek Baar Phir; the supernatural drama Naagin is already running in its third season; Na Aana Is Des Laado returned as Laado 2: Veerpur Ki Mardani. While some clicked, others fizzled away. Yet, it’s evident that the trend itself is gaining momentum.

TV producer Rajan Shahi, who was toying with the idea of making a sequel to the hit show Bidaai: Sapna Babul Ka, calls the “lack of brand names being created” as the reason why reboots are the next big thing. “In today’s time, shows on TV are going off air [within a very short period] and there’s very little recall value. Somehow, they’re not able to sustain [themselves] for too long, unlike earlier, where you name a show and there’d be an immediate recollect. Hence, broadcasters are calling the makers back to make and create a brand name again, because of the credibility attached to that kind of a show. And it’s easier to tap into the existing fan base of that show.”

However, Rajan is quick to add that while there might be a big initial hype, “it’s not that every sequel or brand name will work. Even if you evolve with time in terms of story, texture and cast, you still take a calculated risk. In a reboot, you not only have to reach out to the previous fan base but also cater to a new audience, new generation with a new taste.”

The cast of Hum Paanch Phir Se.

Hina Khan, who is reportedly the new Komolika in the Kasautii Zindagii Kay reboot, feels that audiences have a lot of expectations from reboots. “Viewers always imagine a particular character in the same light as what they’ve seen earlier. That’s why they use this term ‘reboot’, which means it’s going to be new and fresh but with a somewhat similar style of storytelling. Also, there’s already a set audience that loved the show, so chances are that they’d come back and watch it again,” she says.

Assessing the risks and challenges, Ekta says, “For all practical purposes, it’s always considered a very big challenge to take up a reboot, because you never end up reaching close to the classic. A classic has a certain sheen to it. Yet, weighing all the pros and cons, I still feel it is worth it, because remakes like these will create the natural curiosity in the audience that TV has stopped creating in a very long time.”

Hina adds in agreement, “A lot of times, viewers don’t accept the new version of the show, so you can’t negate that risk, but at the same time, it’s an opportunity for them also to watch something new.”

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First Published: Jul 31, 2018 16:57 IST