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Small screen becomes bigger!

Big moolah and fame draw celebs from the film and fashion world to the small screen, notes Bhawna Gera.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 13:43 IST

Things are finally brightening up for the Indian television industry, as big names in the film and fashion world are keen on making their presence felt on the idiot box. Television is no longer Bollywood’s poor cousin, as everyone has realised the mass appeal as well as the market potential of the small screen.

Fashion designer Manish Malhotra is the latest to join the band wagon, as he will give a makeover to small screen’s favourite bahu, Parvati, of Kahanii Ghar Ghar Ki.

Manish joins the club of Nikhil and Shantanu (Kaun Banega Crorepati), Satya Paul (Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi), Ritu Kumar (Yeh Meri Life Hai and Kavvyanjali) and Vikram Phadnis (Zee Cine Star Ki Khoj), who have already tried this medium.

The Bollywood list includes the likes of directors Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Kunal Kohli and singers Sonu Nigam and Himesh Reshammiya, who have now become household names, thanks to the popularity of reality TV in India.

Out of the box: What took television so long to attract their attraction? Says designer Ritu Kumar, “Television industry is becoming more and more focused. Everything from clothes to the overall look of the show is now considered important, which was not the case in the days of Doordarshan.”                 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali played a judge on one of the TV reality shows.

Agrees director Kunal Kohli, “There’s really some big money involved in television and everyone has realised that.” Kunal thinks that his appearance on Nach Baliye has added to his popularity. “Of course, with TV you can relate to your fans in a huge way,” he says. In Ismail Darbar’s case, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa worked wonders, “I did music for hits like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas, but nobody knew me. After this show, everyone recognises me. That’s the magic of television.”

Future perfect: So, is TV at par with films? Kohli says, “Money wise, yes. If you look at the turnover of Balaji, it’s more than that of Yashraj Films. As far as its popularity is concerned, television is sure catching up, but it will take time to beat the popularity of Hindi films.” Ismail too feels the same. “The way things are going on, I’m hopeful and confident that one day television will get its due.” And so do we!

E-mail author:bgera@hindustantimes.com