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TV going exclusive

Having learnt the lesson the hard way, channels have clauses that disable actors from walking out.

tv Updated: Oct 21, 2013 15:50 IST
Kavita awaasthi
Kavita awaasthi
Hindustan Times

Barun Sobti quit Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon and his fans went on a rampage of sorts. The channel, which had plans to replace him, had no option but to end the show. Pratyusha Banerjee left Balika Vadhu, which was her claim to fame, while Giaa Manek walked out of the hit Saath Nibhaana Saathiya, after claiming that she had issues with the production house. These are only few examples of shows that have been held ransom.

Many lead actors quit their shows for big roles, bigger shows or the biggest platform of all — Bollywood. Having learnt the lesson the hard way, channels have now added clauses that restrict lead actors from walking out. The recently-implemented clause says that actors have to stay on till the show ends or for a specified time frame.

Ever wondered why Jennifer Winget or Hina Khan aren’t seen on other channels? The reason is an exclusivity clause, whereby lead actors can’t work or appear in special episodes on other channels. Stars from one channel can’t feature in reality shows on another. The supporting cast, however, is not bound by this clause. Lead actors are the face of a show and if they change, the show suffers. While the channels have vested interests, many actors also vie to play lead roles as they are aware that once in the big league, their career is set.

If you thought stars are short-changed due to their exclusivity, you would be wrong. They are paid anywhere between Rs1 and Rs5 lakh, depending on their stature. While new shows have this clause, older ones have added them in their renewed contracts.

Some actors refuse to sign binding contracts leading to their opting out of shows. A lead actor who quit her hit show in a shocking revelation, was banking on a rival channel’s big show. While money and long delays were the primary reasons for her leaving, the exclusivity contract was another.

So, dear stars, read the contract document carefully before signing the show!