Beyhadh 2, which recently went off air, starred Jennifer Winget and Ashish Chowdhry
Beyhadh 2, which recently went off air, starred Jennifer Winget and Ashish Chowdhry

More existing on-air shows to face Covid-19 heat? Makers and actors weigh in on the question

Over the last few weeks, Nazar 2, Beyhadh 2, Ishaaron Ishaaron Mein and Patiala Babes have had to face the heat.
Hindustan Times | By Rishabh Suri
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2020 05:24 PM IST

With no shoots having happened on ground in two months now, all formats have been affected. Some TV shows which were on-air before the lockdown, had to even be taken off-air. Over the last few weeks, Nazar 2, Beyhadh 2, Ishaaron Ishaaron Mein and Patiala Babes have had to face the heat. 

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Makers and channels claim that it is a tough time. Sony, which decided to take three of it’s shows off air, said in a statement, “Isharon Isharon Mein, Beyhadh 2 and Patiala Babes are finite fiction shows and the nature and the pace of the narrative is time-bound. Given that all shoots have been stalled since March, owing to the unprecedented situation we are in, these shows couldn’t shoot their logical ends... keeping best interests of all in mind and in joint agreement with the producers, it has been decided to terminate these shows, as of now.”

Actor Mudit Nayar, who acted in Ishaaron… says he understood the decision, but was ‘obviously upset’ as it was ‘abrupt’. “The units will be shorter now for future shows, and members cut down to half. I am sure the shows which are doing well, channels will back them up, but the ones who’s standing cost is not worth it, they will take them off. I don’t think it’s the channel’s mistake. There’s no certainty on when shoots will resume,” he tells us.  

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We reached out to Colors to ask whether any of their shows are going to meet the same fate. A source tells us, “We have temporarily stopped airing them considering there is no bank, but all would be resumed, none has gone off air.”

Producer Rajan Shahi, who is behind popular shows such as Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Yeh Rishte Hain Pyaar Ke, says such calls are taken by both the broadcaster and maker. “As of now, fortunately, no such calls have been conveyed to me. I am cautious now, and working towards seeing how we can keep the brand of our shows alive,” he says. 

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Well I am still not able to sink in the fact that it’s over! A show that is sooo close to my heart, my character ‘Mini’ that I truly lived and breathed on! My amazing team, that I had been working with since 1.5 year, that became my extended family❤️ It aches my heart to bid a bye, goodbyes are tough, very tough.. But we don’t have control over certain things, like this corona lockdown, due to which we had to shutdown our show... Nevertheless, always thankful for this beautiful journey, and an amazing experience, where I got to learn and grow so much!! Thank you @rajitawriter and Vivek sir for believing in me, for giving me various shades to portray playing the same character... Your appreciation always motivated me to do even better❤️ Thank you @beingyusufansari sir, for all the guidance and advices, both on-screen and off-screen🤗 Thanks @shashank429 sir, it was lovely working with you again after years, after NBT🤗 My lovely lovely team of coactors, @sourabhraaj.jain (Billi, it was great working with you🤗) @saisha_bajaj Sai, Ash loves you! @aniruddh_dave @paridhiofficial @mohit_hiranandani93 @hunarhale @bhanusudan @rushitavaidya28 @bhawsheel @sandhyashungloo @poonamsirnaik @anooppuri2005 love you all❤️ And @aadatan_fitoori @akash.jain1890 @harshkankeshwar @kunikacc @reemstini Aap logon ke Bina Mini, Mini Nahi hoti🤗 Thank you @sonytvofficial for giving us the platform, and connecting our show with the audience! And last, but not the least, our lovely fans, #PBians #MiNeilians and #Ashnoorians ur love and support means the world!! Muahhh😘 At the end, I would just wanna say even tho the show has ended, but it will live forever in my heart!! Let’s be happy now, that this beautiful journey happened, and stay positive, spread love❤️ #PatialaBabesForever #MiniForever #MiNeil #Thankful #Grateful #Blessed #Emotional #LoveLoveLove

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We further ask him how the crisis will affect current on-air shows. “Advertising rates have gone down, there is no money flow in. It is going to be difficult for everybody, not just one section. Broadcasters to makers, we all are in the same boat. At such difficult times, it’s difficult to even say, post lockdown, create a brand for existing shows. It will be a tough call, as there is no revenue coming in. Broadcasters have to be selective about the kind of shows being retained. Existing telecast shows will be under scrutiny every week, not even every month,” explains Shahi.

Actor Ashish Chowdhry, who was a part of Beyhadh 2, says he’s ‘totally in agreement’ with the people who called off shows, including his own. He reasons, “This time is difficult to cope with finances. Whatever takes anybody out of the muck is a step that must be taken, but for betterment of everyone. For all you know, there will be a Beyhadh 3 soon! TV shows are a habit, which everybody is used to watching every day. That habit once broken, it will be uncertain. It’s a dicey situation for the producer.” 

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Producer Binaifer Kohli, who is behind shows such as Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain!, says that the future of anything, including TV, looks “little bad”, but us Indians “can overcome any problem”. “Shows have standing costs, like the sets, salaries of people. When it all started, the channel kindly said we will pay the technicians for a month. Then it got extended to two months. Now, the monsoon season will start, and diseases like dengue will compromise the bodies of people, and in turn, compromised bodies get Covid-19 faster. Maybe looking at this, channels are starting with cheaper shows, which have the fatigue factor setting in. I don’t know why these decisions were taken for each show,” she reasons.

Reports doing the rounds reveal that two more shows- Dil Jaise Dhadke.. Dhadakne Do, which stars on Star Plus, and Star Bharat’s Kartik Purnima, will not return after the lockdown ends and shoots resumes.

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