TV shows being closed one after the other, many actors are facing difficulties, even bothered to pay the rent of the house
- Covid and the lockdown have posed many challenges for television producers and actors.
- Unfortunately, despite the many twists and turns, many TV shows were called off in the middle of the second phase of the lockdown.
The corona pandemic has taken a huge toll on everything and television shows have not escaped it either. Be it a show like ‘Durga’ which went off-air in three months or ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ which ended in just 9 months. For one reason or the other, these daily soaps end in a few months and some have to change their shooting location. Covid and the lockdown have posed many challenges for broadcasters, television producers and actors in terms of financial crunch and number of restrictions.
From shifting the shooting locations to coming back, there are still many protocols, sanitisation work and financial burden that the makers and actors of these daily soaps are facing. ‘Gupta Brothers’ on Star Bharat was a lockdown-phased show. It began on October 5, 2020, and its last broadcast was on January 26, 2021. Unfortunately like most of the shows, the show got shelved amid the second phase of the lockdown despite having all the major twists and turns.
Sonal Vengurlekar, who is one of the lead actors of the daily soap, expresses her disappointment and says, “Actors always try to do their best for their projects as it is also their only means of earning. But when it stops suddenly, a lot of things get affected.
Sonal tells about her tough days that I didn’t have enough money to pay my EMI for my new house and car. I actually had to break all my FDs and mutual funds to sustain this stage. Recently after a long hiatus, all my dues were cleared.
Thus the lockdown has definitely affected the actors and they are forced to think of alternative business ideas to keep themselves financially afloat. She further says that the kind of fees we used to charge have actually come down by 40-50 percent due to Kovid. Nowadays, all the auditions are happening online which doesn’t give the kind of kick that we used to do in the audition rooms of the production houses. So I have to think of new avenues to continue my earnings.
For the new shows that started during this pandemic period, things were tough as at one point they needed time to connect with the audience and on the other hand there were financial obligations too. ‘Pavitra Bhagya’, which started on Colors last year, also ended in seven months. Kunal Jaisingh, who was one of the main characters of the show, says that despite the beautiful storyline and amazing cast, the serial got closed as the shooting was stopped due to the lockdown.
The actress says that when the first wave of the Kovid-19 epidemic happened, our shooting was stopped. We had lost our connectivity with the audience. It was a new show, so we were trying to make our way among the audience, but before that happened, everything came to a halt. When we resumed it after the lockdown, no one was willing to watch it again and eventually we went off-air. Thus it is a period of despair and discontent for many actors and producers as well. Despite all his efforts to keep his show going, he was often unsuccessful.
Another example that falls in this category is the show ‘Durga’ which started on 14th December, 2020 and ended in three months. Actress Kajal Pisal, who joins the star cast, feels there is constant pressure on the show from budget to TRP ratings and when these factors are not met, things end on a bitter note. Had it not been a pandemic then we would have had some time to prove ourselves but in the present scenario no one will give us a second chance. Since television shows have actors of all age groups, at times the elderly actors and kids were not allowed to shoot, it really messed up the entire track. Also, the budget has been halved and we have no one to blame except the situation. At present, no one is willing to risk the money and the show is off-air for three months in this period.”
Amidst all this crisis, many shows have managed to continue by shifting their venues, making proper planning, following all the protocols and precautions. Sagar Parekh, who is the actor of Tera Yaar Hoon Main on Sony SAB, says even when we were shooting outside Mumbai it was a pleasant experience. There is a saying that, ‘Tough times never last but tough people do.’ The shooting time was different and now they are different. We all need to work hard to meet the deadline. It is best to focus on the positive things and everyone is hoping that we will be back to our normal days before the year is over. So certainly things are getting back to normal but it will take more time for these shows to achieve monetary stability and continue airing.
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