Kyunkii... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi..., Ekta Kapoor’s flagship saas-bahu soap that everyone loved to hate and still watched, is going off air.
But the news is that from Star TV, the channel that took Ekta’s production house Balaji Telefilms to court to get Kyunkii ... off air, the show might move to another channel, 9X.
The alarm bells first went off in the production house when, last month, Star group’s SGL Entertainment Ltd told them that since the viewership of the show had dropped, it should be taken off air. The TRPs of the show – in double digits till last year - dropped big time, worrying the channel and the advertisers. Balaji was given time till November 10.
However, they filed a case against the channel saying that they had breached the contract, because according to the contract, the soap was to be aired till March 2009. On Monday, the Mumbai High Court dismissed Balaji’s petition against Star’s termination notice, because it accepted the channel’s stand that ‘viewer fatigue’ had set in for the soap.
When contacted, Ekta replied by SMS, saying, “Please speak to Star and get their version. I’m not going to quote.” Star TV responded to an official email regarding this case – Yashpal Khanna, corporate communication head of Star TV, said, “We are not speaking officially on anything to do with Balaji as of now.”
Industry sources, meanwhile, say that Balaji has been in talks with 9X to air Kyunkii... because its other shows on the channel have been doing well. However, when contacted, 9X representatives refused to respond to the speculation. Balaji also remains mum on the topic of shifting channels.
Meanwhile, a show anchored by Kiran Bedi is going to fill the 10.30 pm slot on Star after Kyunkii ... goes off air. But is this not the end of the association of Star TV and Balaji. The 10 pm slot that earlier featured Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii has been replaced by a new Balaji soap – Tujh Sang Preet Lagai Sajana.
However, according to industry insiders, Star TV had also asked Balaji to wrap up Kasturi and Kayamath. Both the shows have not been doing well and the advertisers have been backing out of these time slots. Both, the channel and the production house’ve not commented on this either.
Smriti Irani, who made it big playing the role of Tulsi Virani in Kyunkii ..., says she’s not going to be sentimental. “I learnt about the legal tussle from media reports. I guess it’s a channel’s prerogative to run a show and the production house’s decision to make a show and how they want to make it. I am not a party to either. I’d rather look back at the eight years with a lot of happiness because whatever I have today is because of this show. I am melancholic but I am definitely not chipping into to add to the mud-slinging that’s happening,” she says. “I would not say that all that is happening is unfair and get melodramatic about it. I’d say that in all practicality, look at the slot that this soap created for eight years, also look at the fact that the 10.30 pm slot has no competition. So I am glad that Kyunkii... has held its own in that respect.”
Actress Rakshanda Khan says, “I haven’t shot for the serial for the past five months. But it is a terrible thing because Kyunkii ... is the mother of all Indian TV soaps. This is where it all started. And all of the actors associated with it would definitely be very upset with it going off air. I cannot think about it objectively as a viewer and say that it should have been off air earlier or not at all. I have been a part of it, have very fond memories of the serial and will miss it very badly.”
(With inputs from Nikhila Pant)
6 months ago