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Bollywood actors making big on small screen

Trade experts say Amitabh Bachchan is the most popular Bollywood star on the small screen; Salman makes the most money per day. Over the years, top actors made their debuts on the tube as either hosts or judges.

tv Updated: Jul 07, 2012 00:41 IST
Rachana Dubey
Amitabh-Bachchan-at-the-launch-of-the-movie-Ishq-in-Paris-produced-by-actress-Preity-Zinta-UNI
Amitabh-Bachchan-at-the-launch-of-the-movie-Ishq-in-Paris-produced-by-actress-Preity-Zinta-UNI

Just as he did with his angry young man roles and his bell-bottoms back in the ’70s, Amitabh Bachchan started a trend in the year 2000 that every actor wanted to emulate. The Big B was the first A-list Bollywood actor to enter the world of television in a big way with the first season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC).

Over the years, top actors made their debuts on the tube as either hosts or judges. Today, the number is a staggering 32 (actors and filmmakers). And in the last two years, more than 15 actors have jumped on to the bandwagon.

With the stars driving up TRPs, the money they’re paid has also grown exponentially. According to trade estimates, Salman Khan is the highest-paid Bollywood actor on the tube. He is rumoured to make a sweet Rs 3.25 crore for a day’s shoot for season six of Bigg Boss.

Aamir Khan comes a close second, followed by Shah Rukh, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt. Trendsetter Amitabh Bachchan, meanwhile, has catapulted himself to a whole different league — he’s signed three seasons of KBC for a whopping Rs 100 crores.

So what’s led to the barrage of stars on the tube and the astronomical pay packets? Trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Today, there are many channels and concepts that stars want to associate themselves with. There’s big money to earn and massive visibility promised. Actors charge between Rs 1 crore to Rs 3.5 crore a day. TV channels get their glamour quotient in return. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!”

Bollywood actor Salman Khan

Film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh says the line between the big and small screen has diminished. “Everyone has realised the small screen’s reach. Over the next few years, every actor will want to be part of a show that opens with the highest TRP.”



Siddhartha Basu of production house Big Synergy, who has worked with nearly every big Bollywood actor, says, “Big B is the most popular Bollywood figure on TV. Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh have also done well, but Amitji is in a league of his own.”



Money wise


Aamir Khan: Satyamev Jayate: Rs 3 crore a day


Madhuri Dixit: Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 5: Rs 45 lakh -Rs 50 lakh a day


Amitabh Bachchan: Bulk deal for KBC (seasons five, six and seven): Rs 100 crore


Here’s what other top star hosts/judges were paid


Salman Khan: Bigg Boss season six: Rs 3.25 crore a day


Shah Rukh Khan: Total Wipeout: Zor Ka Jhatka: Rs 2 crore a day


Hrithik Roshan: Just Dance: Rs 2 crore a day


Akshay Kumar: Khatron Ke Khiladi season four: Rs 1.5 crore a day


Sanjay Dutt: Bigg Boss season five: Rs 1 crore a day


Preity Zinta: GWR: Ab India Todega: Rs 35 lakh a day


Priyanka Chopra: Khatron Ke Khiladi season three: Rs 45 lakh-Rs 50 lakh a day

* All figures are trade estimates