Politics is an inescapable part of all aspects of life in India – whether you’re a homeowner wanting a broadband connection or the host of the biggest rated show on Indian TV.
The sketch show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ has reportedly fallen victim to that scourge of politics after it was revealed that the hit show will end its run in January – at least on its current network, Viacom 18’s Colors TV.
The show premiered on Colors TV in June 2013 and has become a TV phenomenon drawing record audiences and re-inventing the TV comedy genre in India.
The show’s host Kapil Sharma has reportedly made the call to pull the plug after becoming “disillusioned” with the “Step-Motherly” treatment meted out to the show by Colors.
And the cause is a new up-start.
“We have been successfully entertaining the audience for the past three years with our content. But when our show became a habit for the viewers, they introduced another one on similar lines”, Sharma told the Times of India, referring to the new show ‘Comedy Nights Bachao’ which follows a similar format to Comedy Nights with Kapil but hasn’t made as big an impact.
Sharma continued: “Celebrities who readily agreed to come on our show were told that they will have to make an appearance on the other show as well. I understand the pressure on the channel to work towards making their shows a hit, but not at the cost of sabotaging an established one”.
Sharma added that whilst he had “great respect” for people who head Colors TV, he didn’t want to be a “part of the crowd” and had decided to call it a day.
The show – which features a host of talented comics and the unusual presence of former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu – has regularly attracted huge ratings and the biggest stars in Bollywood who, more often than not, end up rolling on the sets laughing.
Comedy Nights with Kapil is produced by a company owned by Sharma – a police constable’s son from the Punjab.
It’s not known whether Sharma intends taking the programme to another channel.