CID's ACP Pradyuman suffers heart attack; actor Shivaji Satam becomes target of death hoax
In an interview he gave to The Times of India in June 2015, Shivaji Satam — better known as ACP Pradyuman of the long-running crime fiction TV show CID — talked about where he felt the series was headed.
The show had completed 17 years at the the time of the interview; did Satam foresee it continuing for another decade? What did he see in his character ACP Pradyuman's future?
"I see another 10 years for the show," Satam replied. "As for me, I don't want any promotion. I just want to retire as an ACP."
A little over a year-and-a-half after he gave that interview, fans of CID — which first aired in January 1998 and is considered the longest-running Indian TV show — were in a tizzy.
From 16 December 2016 onwards, rumours that the show was going to go off air, and that the doughty ACP Pradyuman would meet his end, started to do the rounds.
Reports stated that the episode to be aired on the night of 26 December would showcase this development, and that ACP Pradyuman would die — not at the hands of an exceptionally crafty foe — but after having suffered a heart attack.
The news spread like wildfire, and some confused reporting ensured that fans believed it was Satam, and not his onscreen alter-ego, ACP Pradyuman, who had died.
While the dismay reached epic proportions, Satam himself — thoroughly vexed by now with the incessant phone calls inquiring after his health, and checking up on whether or not he was alive (clue: he answered the phone himself, so...) — was calmly tweeting out wholly unrelated news items. He did retweet a link to one of his interviews with Tellychakkar, in which he proclaimed that he was very much alive and well, thank you. He did not comment on the development in CID, and whether or not ACP Pradyuman would be continuing in it.
"The rumour caused lot of trauma to people who know me. I got to know of it when my son told me," he told Tellychakkar.
Coming back to the TV show, and his cop persona, some reports have said that commerce may have been at the heart of 'killing off' the show's figurehead. (There was a CID — Special Bureau spin-off fronted by Anup Soni; it did not enjoy the same longevity as the original, running only from 2004-06.) It seems that Satam's sizable fee was beginning to pall on the producers, who decided to do away with his character.
At the time of publishing this piece, there was no word from the CID team on the fate of ACP Pradyuman's character.
When Firstpost contributor Seema Sinha reached out to CID's director BP Singh for a comment, he claimed, "I also read it, am not aware about it. Ask the channel."
CID had several highs — at one point of time, (in 1998-99, Ashutosh Gowarikar was part of its cast; in November 2004, the show entered the Limca Book of Records and Guinness Book of World Records for filming an entire episode in a single shot of 111 minutes without a cut) — and in January 2017, it would have completed 19 years.
Satam had previously said of playing ACP Pradyuman for a decade: "I have always thought of Sean Connery as James Bond. It's always a compliment for an actor when he is known by the part he has played."
It's a strange twist then, that the fate of his character has now been confused with Satam's own.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2016 10:15:59 IST
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.