There are umpteen examples of how the fear of TRPs either don’t offer room for experimentation on television or if at all something out of the box does emerge, the same ‘number mania’ kills it sooner than later. So, it is not surprising when producers Deeya and Tony Singh revealed that they haven’t been successful in convincing Star Plus to bring a sequel to their sitcom, Sumit Sambhal Lega.
The Indian adaptation of American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymonds, Sumit Sambhal Lega premiered two years ago but still resonates with the audience, even though it never fared well on the TRP charts. So, despite the producers’ request, under the norm of the industry, low TRPS are reason enough for the channel to not green-light the show’s sequel.
“We want to have a sequel. There is a scope of a story for Sumit Sambhal Lega. We even told the channel. But it wasn’t a great TRP puller. So, the channel didn’t feel it would be viable to bring another season. It is not supporting as expected. The show has its own dedicated fan following and we wish we could continue it. We are still pushing for it and hoping one day the channel will change its mind,” Deeya says.
A family comedy on a General Entertainment Channel like Star Plus was unusual and hence, it was lauded for bringing Sumit Sambhal Lega in the prime time slot. Boasting of actors like Satish Kaushik, Bharti Achrekar, Namit Das and Manasi Parekh, the series became popular in a matter of few episodes, even as it faced stiff competition from heavy-duty daily soaps that rule the television. Directed by Parmeet Sethi, the series was produced by Deeya and Tony under their banner DJ’s Creative Unit.
The producer, known for cult shows in the dramedy genre like Banegi Apni Baat and Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, say that it is unfortunate that good content needs a lot of pushing and big channels are generally hesitant to go beyond over-the-top melodramatic serials. “It is a challenge (to survive) and becomes tougher when there is no wave for good content. You see, if there are two-three shows of similar nature going on in other channels, then it’s different. Here, only we are doing such shows, so we need more love and support from our audience,” she says.
This is why Deeya says they decided to bring their upcoming production, Har Mard Ka Dard, on a smaller channel like Life Ok. “We knew the show would fit in on Life Ok in a much better way than on Star Plus. It is a situational comedy like our previous shows but we have also added the elements, which sell on television, like fantasy. There is also enough drama in our show to attract the audience but we still we have stayed true to its spirit.”
Har Mard Ka Dard, which sees Parmeet returning to the director’s chair, is a humorous tale of a man who will get superpowers to understand a woman’s thought process.”
Actors Faisal Rashid and Vaishali Thakkar are playing the lead characters. The show also stars Anita Kanwal, Paritosh Sand and RJ Mantra. Telling a story about a man’s struggles to understand women without sounding sexist. The makers say they were aware of the possibility and hence were careful while discussing the scenes with the writers. “During the conceptualization of the story, we sat with the writers and discussed the fine lines to avoid sexism. We don’t intend to make fun of women but only to project a man’s point of view. Har Mard Ka Dard is a situational comedy.”