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Superstars on TV

Bollywood made its presence felt on TV in more than 10 shows this year, either as judges or as hosts. Their entry sometimes changed the fortunes of a channel and at other times failed to make impact. Here’s a look at who came, saw and conquered

tv Updated: Dec 27, 2010 14:50 IST
Rachana Dubey

Year 2010 has been a busy year for Bollywood denizens in a lot of ways. Apart from shining on the big screen, over a dozen celebrities made small screen appearances (not cameos) that lasted months, through various big-ticket reality shows on leading channels. We even exported two names to the small screen on foreign shores: Anil Kapoor in 24 and Irrfan Khan in In Treatment.

Back home, big and small stars took the tube by storm. Some of them, like Amitabh Bachchan, changed the fortune of the channel their show went on to. And some of them, like Rani Mukherji, failed to puff up the ratings.

Salman KhanAccording to most channel heads, heads of programming and marketing, it has always been a ‘profitable’ deal to bring in a top star to host or judge a reality show. Ashvini Yardi of Colors, the channel that has had Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, and Salman Khan host shows for them, says, "Content is of prime importance. But a big name somewhere brings in a lot of reassurance, and promise that the audience will tune in."

Ajit Thakur, business head and executive vice president, Sony Entertainment, saw his channel jump almost a hundred points with Amitabh Bachchan reappearing on Kaun Banega Crorepati. “It’s a pleasure to have had Mr Bachchan host the show for us. And when we opened with the biggest TRPs of the year, which we sustained through the three-month run, it was a dream come true.”

There were little surprise packets like Rakhi Sawant whose show opened on a Saturday night at 10 pm and still averaged 2 points, almost in the same bracket as Akshay Kumar (MasterChef) and Salman Khan’s (Bigg Boss) episodes on the same evening.

TV has invested easily over Rs 1,000 crore altogether, across the spectrum on celebrity hosted reality shows. Top celebrity hosts charge anything between Rs 1.5 to 3 crore for an episode. The production cost of each episode of a reality show ranges between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1.5 crore, while the channels spend Rs 10 to 20 crore to promote a big-ticket show. On an average, investments range between Rs 80 and 170 crore. Returns are between Rs 50 and 90 crore approximately.

Channels still don’t bat an eyelid. They’re brining in more names next year: Hrithik Roshan and Mallika Sherawat to begin with.

Madhuri Dixit
Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa 4, Sony Entertainment
Ratings: Opening 5.6, This week’s ratings not available
High points: Madhuri Dixit and a host of others gave a groovy start to the show two weeks ago, with only one elimination so far.

Amitabh Bachchan
Kaun Banega Crorepati 4, Sony Entertainment
Ratings: Opening 6.2, Closing 3.7
High points: Only one crorepati who is a housewife, one crorepati who lost the winning amount, celebrity episodes with sport stars, TV and movie stars, and a finale with Jai-Veeru of Sholay made for the highlights of the season. That coupled with the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa by Bachchan, at the beginning of each episode, made it a sure winner.

Salman Khan
Bigg Boss 4, Colors
Ratings: Opening 4.8, Last week 4.1
High points: Salman Khan’s Dabangg attitude, Pamela Anderson, Dolly Bindra’s crass fights and abuses and several social and legal hiccups in the 96-day run. Two weeks to go before the show ends on what has been its biggest season yet.

Priyanka Chopra
Khatron Ke Khiladi 3, Colors
Ratings: Opening 5.5, Closing 2
High points: Chopra performed some daring stunts but unfortunately, couldn’t hide her own apprehensions and fears over mind and body games. It broke TRP records when it opened, making it the most watched show till then. But sadly, the show couldn’t
sustain the ratings for long.

Abhishek Bachchan
National Bingo Night, Colors
Ratings: Opening 5.1, Closing 2.5
High points: Amitabh Bachchan flagged off son’s debut with a cracker episode. Bachchan Jr was lively and tried to be really entertaining and fun. But somehow, it didn’t click with the viewers. Poised for a comeback? We’ll see.

Rani Mukherji
Dance Premier League, Sony Entertainment
Ratings: Opening 2 Closing 1
High points: The star judge danced a couple of times, the format was an original, based loosely on cricket’s Indian Premier League and had a team of NRIs as well. Good dancing and lot of fun.

Shilpa Shetty
Zara Nachke Dikha, Star Plus
Ratings: Opening 2.7, Closing 2.3
High points: Shetty played a charming host, performed a gorgeous mujra paying tribute to all the dancing queens of Bollywood in the finale. Plus, she went boo-hoo every time there was a moment.

Akshay Kumar
Masterchef India, Star Plus
Ratings: Opening 2.6, Last ratings 2.7
High points: Akshay Kumar’s histrionics, one-liners and star-yet-non-star presence, tasty dishes, cooking classes after every episode and truckloads of kitchen tips.

Arshad Warsi
Zara Nachke Dikha, Star Plus
Ratings: Opening 2.7, Closing 2.3
High points: Warsi proved he’s not lost touch with dancing. His dance with wife Maria in the finale put wagging tongues to rest.

Karan Johar
Koffee With Karan 3, Star World
Ratings: Opening 0.9 Last ratings 0.7

Lift Kara De, Sony Entertainment
Ratings: Opening 1.3, Closing 0
High points: His chat-athon with Bollywood bigwigs was the common thread between the two shows, but that’s it. One is a hit and the other, well, struggled and closed, with no news of a second season.

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