In a brave decision on part of Colors, Na Bole... returns on screen on January 14 after a three-month hiatus, having taken a 12-year leap. The show was critically acclaimed for its realistic characters, slice-of-life touch and lack of over-the-top drama. Yet, this never translated into ratings. After a run that lasted less than a year, the channel decided to take it off air. “But the feedback we received from viewers on our online forum when we shared this news, made us rethink the move,” explains Prashant Bhatt, Fiction Head, Colors.
Given the way television programming is evolving, the channel, says Bhatt, had been contemplating the introduction of seasons for some time. “The popularity of characters and show’s recall value are not as fickle as is perceived by us industry members. We realised this and decided that at least an attempt should be made in the direction. The audience feedback regarding Na Bole... going off air coincided with it and we made up our mind to bring the show back,” says Bhatt.
This, believes Bhatt, has also allowed the show to strengthen its content. The story has moved on — Megha and Mohan, who got married by the end of the first season, have now separated and the former feels animosity towards the hero. “But the driving point is that Nanhi — Megha’s daughter from her first marriage who played a crucial role in bringing them together — also dislikes him,” explains Kunal Karan Kapoor, who plays Mohan.
The show will take a leap of over a decade but unlike most television actors, neither Singh nor Kapoor mind the fact that they have to play characters who are in their 40s. While the 22-year-old Singh attributes this to her background in theatre, Kapoor says that the show suits his sensibilities. “I started my career on television by playing a geeky, stammering Varun in Remix. I then portrayed the characters of a brat in Left Right Left and a paan-chewing baddie in Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya. Mohan, who in the second season will no longer be a journalist but a social worker, works for me. It is easier for me to play a 40-year-old than a typical romantic hero,” he asserts.
To both Singh and Kapoor, the second season holds much promise, especially since the time slot has been brought forward from 10.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Bhatt adds that now there is a definite starting, middle and ending point to the show’s new season. “We are waiting for the response to this seasonal concept before trying it out with our other shows,” he says.