It’s been six weeks into the New Year. Mallika Sherawat made a shaky small screen debut with Chak Dhoom Dhoom 2. Within a few weeks, she was shown the door. Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta will make their debuts on TV with Just Dance on and Guinness World Record: Ab Todega India, as judge and host. Last year, over a dozen actors made their debut or made a comeback to the small screen. Up next: Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt: they've both been approached.
TV is the new battleground for Bollywood. Clearly, the war for stardom, popularity and eyeballs seems to have shifted base from the box-office to the TAM Office, which records viewership ratings of all TV shows.
As it turns out, Shah Rukh Khan’s latest reality show Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout couldn’t shake Amitabh Bachchan from his No.1 position on that numbers’ game. The first week ratings for Khan’s show came out this Wednesday. The actor in fact appears trailing at the No 7 spot among films-stars, taking into account first week ratings of each of the other actors' reality shows.
Bachchan’s show, Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 had opened on October 11 last year with 6.2 points and an average of 5.3 points in the first week, followed closely by Madhuri Dixit, who had recorded an opening rating of 5.6 points, with Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4, averaging 4.9 in the first week.
Priyanka Chopra, by that logic, stands at No. 3 with Khatron Ke Khiladi 3, which had an opening of 5.5 TRP, with an average of 4.4 in the first week. Next in line are Abhishek Bachchan’s National Bingo Night with 5.1 points; Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 4 with 4.8 points opening, and average of 3.2 points over the next six days; and Mithun Chakraborthy whose DID Doubles netted 4.8 points in the first week.
The ratings of Zor Ka Jhatka, 2.6 for the first episode and 2.8 for the first week, puts SRK right above Akshay Kumar’s MasterChef India that opened with 2.6 points in the first episode, and averaged 2.2 in the first week.
Bachchan, on his part, says he doesn’t understand TRPs: “I know that the channels compete for them and it’s their way of mapping competition. As for me, I feel humbled when the audience likes my work. I think KBC is not about me. It’s more about a common man and his dreams. Their presence makes the show what it is.”
Of course, these ratings are merely indicative of a star’s popularity, and a lot depends on the quality of the said shows. But that would be true for films and their more prominently touted first weekend box-office collections as well.
And the TRPs are...
Kaun Banega Crorepati
Opening episode ratings: 6.2 points
Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 4
Opening episode: 5.6
Khatron Ke Khiladi 3
Opening episode: 5.5
National Bingo Night
Opening episode: 5.1
Bigg Boss 4
Opening episode: 4.8
Opening episode: 4.8
Shah Rukh Khan
Zor Ka Jhatka—Total Wipeout
Opening episode: 2.6