War of the Tulsis

There goes another myth about television. One always thought iconic figures on television were irreplaceable in audience minds. Going by that premise, one presumed Tulsi on Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi was Smriti Irani, and vice-versa.
When Smriti, who’s synonymous with Tulsi, decided to leave Kyunkii… to pursue a career outside Balaji Telefilms as a software producer and an actress, it was presumed that her parent-serial’s fortunes would plummet drastically. To everyone’s surprise Gautami Gadgil who played the replacement-Tulsi managed quite well.

Later, when Smriti agreed to return as Tulsi, there was a note of caution rather than jubilation at Balaji. “Why rock the boat when it was sailing smoothly? We all thought Gautami was doing fine,” says a source close to the popular soap. “However because Smriti was the original Tulsi, we welcomed her back.”

Now, however, Smriti’s return and Gautami Gadgil’s gradual withdrawal from the plot has been a bit of a downer for the show’s TRPs.

“The TRPs were definitely higher when Gautami was Tulsi. Viewers just don’t seem to be responding to Smriti as Tulsi anymore. Whenever the plot veers towards her character, the TRPs dip.

This has come as a shock to us. The most popular characters in Kyunkii are Karan-Nandini played by Hiten Tejwani and Gauri Pradhan. People love their love story.

The other two characters who seem to bring in the TRPs are Tripti and Ganga. Obviously the younger characters are more popular. And we’re now planning to write more episodes around these characters. As for Tulsi, Gautami in the role definitely showed better TRPs than Smriti,” says the source.

The channel Star in fact has taken a serious view of viewers’ preference. According to very reliable sources, the channel has spoken to Balaji’s head honcho Ekta Kapoor and urged her to bring Gautami Gadgil back.

Though at this stage of the soap’s progression, when on July 3 it completed eight years of telecast, Balaji is reluctant to make drastic changes in Kyunki’s plot, the return of Gautami Gadgil seems quite probable.

“We’re considering the possibility of bringing Gautami back as Tulsi,” says the source. Smriti was unavailable for comment.

Report By:Subhash K Jha

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