Colors CEO Raj Nayak, in an interview with Times of India, has finally revealed his reasons for pulling the plug on the popular TV show 'Comedy Nights With Kapil' starring comedian Kapil Sharma.
The last episode of the show, that has run successfully and consistently for two and a half years, was aired on 24 January.
Shocking fans across the country, host Sharma announced in December that he has decided to wrap up the show after the channel introduced a competitive programme called 'Comedy Nights Bachao'.
Nayak made it clear that the controversies between Kapil and the channel were of a private nature and the two parties still held a lot of respect and love for each other. However, he had decided it was time to speak up because "our silence was being misinterpreted."
Nayak would have you believe that there's no bad blood. He said Sharma is "a nice person" and "extremely talented".
"It was the channel's decision to call it 'Comedy Nights With Kapil' (originally the show was to be titled 'Comedy Nights'), as we felt that it would give him a sense of ownership and his loyalty to the show would be 100 per cent," he said.
Nayak alleged that Sharma had violated his contract with Colors by hosting shows on competitive channels, in addition to renegotiating for higher sums of money. He also claimed that launching 'Comedy Nights Bachao' was a forced decision taken to compensate for Sharma's requirements of reducing the episodes to once a week, and to fill in the 10pm weekend slot that Sharma started refusing to do.
In his initial statement revealing the date of the last episode, Sharma had claimed that the channel was giving 'Comedy Nights Bachao' more prominence and diverting celebrities to the show.
The last episode starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur was almost cancelled, however was finally aired after Sharma, and several fans appealed to the channel. Sharma even took to Twitter to appeal to Colors to host the last episode on January 24.
Nayak stressed on the mutual and equal exclusivity of both shows saying, "film stars do integration for movies and want to be on non-fiction shows that rate well. We would encourage stars to appear on both shows." He said that the real problem started when Sharma's 'insecurity or those of people around him' began gaining ground. "His managers started panicking when in terms of ratings, 'Bachao... ' started doing well and better than 'Comedy Nights With Kapil' in some episodes. And instead of working with our creative team and finding ways to reinvent and make the show ratings better, they kept living in denial and started casting aspersions on the channel."
Nayak also said that it was a tough decision for the channel to let go, but business was required to be conducted in an ethical manner, and he (Nayak) was answerable to his organisation at the end of the day. "He is extremely talented, probably one of the best in this genre. We never asked him to go. He was not happy with us and implied that we couldn't have another comedy show on the channel. That was unacceptable to us. He chose to walk out. He is a nice guy being misled, I guess, by others around him for their own survival. I am very fond of him and feel really sad to see him go," said Nayak.
The CEO concluded saying it was Sharma who had issues with the company and not the other way around. He also revealed that Sharma and him had wished each other on special occasions, and he would be happy to work with Sharma in the future again.
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