After a run of almost 12 years, Zee TV has decided it's time for the channel to give its oldest running family entertainer a break. Antakshari will soon see its season finale to make a come back in its fresh look after a period of four to six months.
Speaking about the show, Ashwini Yardi, Head, Programming, Zee TV, said, "Antakshari has worked very well for us and in essence has contributed to the Zee brand, which exudes family viewing. The show has been very close to us and 12-year long stint is not a small deal, especially for Indian television. In that sense, the show has given the channel what was expected of it and more."
Yardi said that the show will make a come back in a changed look but the essence of Antakshari will remain in the show. While it is expected the longest running host of the show, Annu Kapoor, who outlived all his female co-hosts, will not be back, the channel is still contemplating on the lines of the making the show more dynamic and contemporary. She said, "Antakshari has formed a loyal base for itself over these years and this break will make them and additional viewers more curios about what we come back with."
Antakshari, which moved from 'Close-Up Antakshari' to 'Sansui Antakshari' was one of the most spoken about shows in its initial days. For television in India, Antakshari introduced format programming to the Indian viewer, even before international formats were brought in the country.
Over the years, the popularity of the show remained but the success was seen diminishing with the fall in numbers bringing it to the 1 plus bracket. However, in a period when Zee has induced changes in its content to revive the channel, this move of giving this 'old hand' a break is an interesting one.
The finale episode saw Annu Kapoor with Pallavi Joshi and former hosts Durga Jasraj, Richa Sharma and Rajeshwari taking the evening forward. The other names that participated in the episode were music stars like Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala, Babul Supriyo, Baba Sehgal with television stars like Varun Badola and Rohit Roy.