There was a time when Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai was synonymous with Akshara and Naitik. Now 7.5 years after its premiere, the original faces of the show–Hina Khan and Karan Mehra–are nowhere in the picture, yet the show is creating magic like never before. The average urban impressions of the show (according to BARC India) for the past 5 weeks is 7 million, which is a huge number (Week 13: 6.6 million, Week 12: 7.2 million, Week 10: 6.7 million, Week 9: 7.1 million). The show has been managing a place in Top 3 since a couple of weeks now.
Yeh Rishta… that premiered in January 2009 on Star Plus, captured the imagination of the viewers instantly. The show revolved around Akshara and Naitik, who fell in love over the period of time after their wedding, as theirs was an arranged marriage. The focus shifted to their kids–Naira and Naksh only recently, after a generation leap. It is said that Akshara avoided ageing on the screen for the longest time. And when she did eventually, she opted out of the show soon after. YRKKH fans couldn’t have imagined the show without Akshara, but interestingly the show’s ratings got a boost post the character’s death.
Between September 2016-November 2016, the 9-week ratings of the show averaged 4.9 million impressions, according to BARC India. (Week 45: 4697, Week 44: 4494, Week 43: 5069, Week 42: 5244, Week 41: 5509, Week 40: 4848, Week 39: 4353, Week 38: 4704, Week 37: 5213). Akshara’s death track around December revived the show’s ratings for a while, but the best was yet to come.
Post Akshara’s death, the makers focussed on the love story of the new generation (Naira and Kartik) and the ratings started to soar, till it started averaging 7 million.
And this is why the makers should not stop experimenting.