Aamir Khan and a show with a difference
What: Superstar Aamir Khan made his TV debut — with a difference. With his chat show Satyamev Jayate, he put reality back into TV, highlighting issues like female foeticide, child sexual abuse, medical malpractice and honour killings. The 13-episode show, well-received by viewers, also made TV history for being aired simultaneously on eight channels of the Star network, dubbed in several languages, as well as on the national broadcaster, Doordarshan. “I worked on the show for two years and it was an enriching experience. I did it because I am a sensitive man because of my upbringing,” Aamir had said, when the show ended.
What’s next: “Satyamev Jayate 2 is in its research phase and we’ll start shooting after I am done with Dhoom:3 and P.K.,” says Aamir.
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon hero Barun Sobti poses for the camera.
Simulcasts on Doordarshan
What: When Aamir Khan approached Doordarshan to simulcast his show Satyamev Jayate so he could utilise DD’s reach in the interiors of the country, he started quite a trend. The national broadcaster began simulcasting other shows from other channels as well, including MTV’s Coke Studio, Zee TV’s Ramayan and the Colors reality show, Sur-Kshetra. Director general of Doordarshan, Tripurari Sharan, told us, “It makes sense to bring in selective software to the channel as most of our audiences don’t have satellite connections. We don’t want to deprive our audiences of good content. It also makes good business sense.”
What’s next: Doordarshan says that other simulcasts are in the pipeline and will be announced soon.
Ram Kapoor, Sakshi Tanwar get intimate
What: On television, usually meant for a family audience, intimacy isn’t very explicit, it has always relied on age-old symbolism to get the point across. But this year, producer Ekta Kapoor took a bold step in her hit show Bade Achhe Lagte Hain (BALH). Actors Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar dropped the symbolism and (briefly) did a lovemaking scene. The intimacy got mixed reactions from viewers and didn’t boost the TRPs much — which was the goal. Manuj Aggarwal, former CEO, Balaji Telefilms, said, “Ekta thought a proper kiss would be an appropriate expression of love. It would have been a letdown to portray the intimacy in a fictitious manner.”
What’s next: Many other shows now do elaborate suhaag raat scenes.
Barun Sobti quits, so channel shuts show
What: When actor Barun Sobti decided he wanted a break and quit the popular Star Plus show, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon, fans were outraged by the thought of another actor playing Barun’s role, or even the introduction of a new character. They protested so vociferously that Star Plus was forced to end the show altogether and run tickers explaining that they had tried convincing Barun to stay on, but to no avail. This was the first time in the history of Indian television that the audience truly called the shots. On the last day of his shoot, Barun had said, “I thank my fans for all their love and support.”
What’s next: Barun will promote his debut film, Main Aur Mr Right, and, in April, shoot for his next with director Mitali Ghosh.
Anil Kapoor’s TV debut with international show 24
What: When film actor Anil Kapoor bought the rights to remake the international fiction show 24 for Indian television, he created history — this is the first time a fiction show is being remade for India. And he’s also acting in it — again a first for a film star who’s still popular on the big screen. The show will air on Colors, will be directed by Abhinay Deo and written by Rensil D’Silva. When he announced the show, Anil had said, “I am not nervous about doing television because I know what it entails. The exposure is massive and films can’t give you that. It will be a game changer.”
What’s next: The show will air in mid 2013; Abhinay is currently casting for the characters for the first season.