Not Smriti, Sakshi...fresh faces woo audiences on TV now

By Madhuri Juneja

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) For almost a decade, the television world remained synonymous with women actors like Smriti Irani, Sakshi Tanwar and Shweta Tiwari. But a slew of new shows and channels have introduced fresh faces that seem to be winning many hearts too.

While STAR Plus has an array of new leading ladies as protagonists like 16-year-old Shivshakti Sachdeva in "Sabki Laadli Bebo" and Hina Khan on "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai", relatively new players like NDTV Imagine and Colors have also launched new talent through their shows "Bandini", "Jyoti" and "Balika Vadhu".

According to Hina, who plays Akshara in "Yeh Rishta Kya...", this trend is because each channel wanted to break the monotony in content on the small screen and become more appealing to the younger generation.

"Young and new faces are being given preference today (on television). This is because people want to reach out to the young generation as well," Hina told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"It's also happening because people are now tired of the 'saas-bahu' soaps. The audience is quite reluctant to watch post-marriage drama...they want something fresh and exciting," she added.

The new brigade of stars also include young actors like 11-year-old Avika Gor, who has become a household name after featuring as child bride Anandi in "Balika Vadhu".

And 17-year-old Aasiya Kazi, who plays wife to a much elder man in NDTV Imagine's "Bandini", is also lapping up compliments for her acting skills.

"I think new faces have relatively more potential than older ones. They have a spark and passion to prove their mettle. They work harder to prove themselves...,"," said Aasiya.

"It took me three years to be where I'm, but I'm finally happy to be working in 'Bandini' at such a young age," she added.

Kritika Kamra, who essays the role of Arohi in "Kitani Mohabbat Hai", echoed similar sentiments.

"New actors are easier to mould when it comes to work because they are raw and natural. Getting them into a character is not a tough task. In fact, my team tells me that I'm good because I'm natural at acting," said Kamra, who shifted base to Mumbai from Delhi to pursue her acting career.

"For example, it will be very difficult for audiences to watch Smriti Irani in a character other than Tulsi Virani because they (old actors) have already established a kind of image on TV...and if at all they (actors) do, it becomes too hard for viewers to accept them into new roles," she added.

Apart from actresses, new actors in lead roles have also thronged the small screen.

Karan Kundra, Kritika's co-star, said: "It is not easy to displace senior artists, but audiences are tired of them and are happy to see new faces."

According to Sarwar Ahuja, who is a part of NDTV Imagine's show "Jyoti", says global recession forced producers to opt for new faces.

"Recession has hit the TV industry and so directors are going for new faces rather than the expensive old ones. New faces are more economical. Also, with several channels, it becomes hard for senior actors to be able to give time to multiple serials," said Ahuja.

The other young actresses who have made a mark on the small screen within a short time span are Anjali Abrol of "Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat" fame and Sneha Wagh of NDTV Imagine's "Jyoti" among others.

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