The phrase two to tango is being taken rather seriously by the television industry. The success of Star One’s Nach Baliye has had a ripple effect, with everyone suddenly wanting to focus on stars and their spouses as a package.
Reality rules: First up was another reality show by MTV. The recently introduced MTV Ishq Deewane deals with the lives of celebrity couples, most of them from TV.
“Whatever is important to the viewers is important to us. You cannot go wrong with romance in this country and when it deals with their favourite celebs, it couldn’t get any better,” says Ashish Patil, VP and GM, creative and content, MTV Networks India.
Better than gossip Television stars now attract almost as much attention as big screen actors. Couples are often written about in the media. Seeing them together on the small screen is what many want.
“Everyone wants to know about the personal lives of actors. Seeing them with their spouses on TV is like gossip in a different form,” explains Apurva Agnihotri, whose wife Shilpa Saklani is also a television actor.
Cashing in soap-makers have been quick to capitalise on this. Married couple Hiten and Gauri Tejwani were a successful pair in soaps like Kutumb and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
Producer Ekta Kapoor also capitalised on their magic with Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai where their entry on the show was timed together. Actors Kirti Gaekwad and Sharad Kelkar had a successful stint in Zee’s Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka.
People wanted to see more of them and this bagged Kirti a small role opposite Sharad in Saath Phere too.
Not just married couples result in high TRPs. Aamna Sharif was recently seen participating in Sony’s Deal Ya No Deal, which is hosted by Rajeev Khandelwal, who is rumoured to be her boyfriend.
“There is a lot of speculation about our relationship. When Aamna appeared on the show, it added a lot of spice.
The move was prompted by the decision to give viewers some fun before the show finally went off air,” says Rajeev. Other viewer-hooking antics have included proposals of marriage on screen.
Actor Arjun Punj proposed to colleague Gurdeep Kohli on MTV Ishq Deewane recently.
Win-win situation Attaining celebrity as a couple could also be a chain reaction of sorts. For some participants of Nach Baliye, their chemistry during the show made them a prized catch. Says Apurva, “My wife Shilpa and I were flooded with offers to do shows together once Nach Baliye went off air.” Jassi…’s makers brought the pair together for the last leg of the show, where Shilpa played a small role.
Some couples have even managed to turn endorsers like film stars Kajol and Ajay Devgan. Television actors Varun and Rajeshwari Badola appeared in an ad for Fena detergent powder and the two will soon be seen in a new UTV serial for Star One called Arranged Marriage.
Couples who haven’t quite been ‘packaged’ yet, hope that they will.
“It is a luxury to work on the same show. We get to spend more time together,” says Varun.
Mansi Joshi Roy, who is Rohit Roy’s better half, is hoping that the TV industry will want to bring her and hubby together for another show, post Nach Baliye. Bollywood has already given them an opportunity in this regard. “We are part of the ensemble cast of Sanjay Gupta’s Alibaug,” says Mansi.