Bollywoord Stars and Television – iDubba tries to find out the real winners

It’s a unique relationship, sometimes Sweet and then sour 😉 Don’t worry we are not talking about any link-up between actors. This relationship is about Bollywood Stars and Television. You might agree that Bollywood stars have given a helping hand to the TV industry in widening its horizons. But at the end of the day Television has been a major platform that the Bollywood Stars are using, some are successful while some have failed at the Box… oops… TV Office 😉 Television was considered as an second innings for the actors and was considered to be the home for retired actors only. But times have changed. Many of the super hit, upcoming actors and actresses have joined that bandwagon and have taken up television shows.

iDubba is on a journey to find out the stars that have been successful / not so successful on television :

– Television will be incomplete if we don’t talk about Amitabh Bachchan 🙂 He made his debut on television in 2000 with Kaun Banega Crorepati. Since then, every show he has graced has turned out to be a super hit. Those shows include Kaun Banega Crorepati, Kaun Banega Crorepati Dvitiya, Bigg Boss Season 3, KBC season 4 and 5

– Talking about KBC, who can forget Shah Rukh Khan 🙂 But he had made his TV Debut way long back in 1988 with “Fauji“. He went on to appear in other television serial, such as Aziz Mirza’s Circus in 1989, which depicted the life of circus performers. And then there was no looking back, the television star was a movie star. But his real calling in television came when Amitabh Bachchan stepped down from KBC in 2007 and SRK took over. The initial TRPs of SRK’s KBC were promising but interest slowly started dipping. Then came the show Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain? Well again, initial TRPs of the show were promising but the show and it never managed to go past its first season. King Khan did manage to return to hosting a reality TV with Zor Ka Jhatka but did not impress much

– Done with one Khan… Now lets get back to Mr Dabangg 🙂 Salman Khan did make his TV debut in 2008 with Dus Ka Dum. As they say if Salman is hosting a reality TV show, it’s bound to garner high TRPs. And this was true for both the shows – Dus Ka Dum and Bigg Boss Season 4

– Now its time to focus our attention on the Dancing King of Bollywood 🙂 Yes you guessed it right – Hrithik Roshan. He made his TV debut with Just Dance in 2011. Soon after this was announced, there were reports in the media about Hrithik signing on for a sum of Rs 2 crore per episode. Since then, the show’s opened to moderate success.

– Time for some action 🙂 Yes we have Mr Khiladi next in line. Yes Akshay Kumar did make his TV Debut 2008 with Khatron Ke Khiladi. He went on to host the 2nd season of Khatron Ke Khiladi too. Reportedly, the TRPs of both seasons were fantastic. However he was absent in the 3rd season as Priyanka Chopra was the new host. But soon the TRP’s were not in favor of Miss Chopra and hence Akshay had to return in the 4th Season of Khatron Ke Khiladi. Well he did not stop there and was soon present in every household ie Kitchen 🙂 Yes he hosted the first Masterchef of India, a show based on cooking. His Master Chef India show did receive moderate success

– And finally this post cannot be complete without talking about Mr Perfectionist 🙂 Mr Aamir Khan. He is all set to make his Television Debut with the show “Satyamev JayateThe Truth Alone Prevails“. The talk show will tell stories of real people across India” You can read more about his show over here  – Will “Satyamev Jayate” bring about change in the Indian Television scenario?

If you note carefully, there would be around 10 or 12 well-known actors doing shows on TV in one year. And most Bollywood actors come as either anchors or judges. So there is a good presence of our Bollywood stars on Television. Do let us know which is your favorite star that you would like to see on Television. and also it would be interesting to know if you think that this is a healthy trend.

Happy Viewing 🙂

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Will “Satyamev Jayate” bring about change in the Indian Television scenario?

No doubt there have been no dearth of Reality Shows on Indian Television, but is the Indian Audience ready for another Reality Show?  Well, let me rephrase the previous sentence. Is the Indian Television Audience ready for THE show “Satyamev Jayate”? Off lately you might have witnessed the promos of this new show on Star Plus. The show marking the television debut of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan titled ‘Satyamev Jayate’. The show promises to be very different from anything that you have ever seen on India television. In the exclusive promotional trailer, Aamir talks about how he wants everyone to watch ‘Satyamev Jayate’ with their hearts and eyes open.

But the real question is – Will “Satyamev Jayate“, bring about change in the Indian Television scenario? Television now days have been really popular and unpopular for the kind of shows that are aired on various channels. Some have good content while some just have lot of noise around it. Daily Soaps have been somewhat replaced by a number of reality shows. But still you might feel that something is missing. That real connect with the audience is missing, those emotions, those feelings are missing.

There are ‘just’ shows and there are shows that have the ability to change the way to watch television. I am sure that both the generations can somewhat relate to these two shows on television, Ramayan (for the earlier generation) and KBC (for the recent generation). Well, we are not trying to compare both the shows, but the point is that these two shows did change the way we watched television. Both the shows did connect with the audience, and touched their hearts, got them to tears and also made them smile. This new show “Satyamev Jayate” does also promises to do the same, but in a different way. So what is this show all about?

Satyamev Jayate is a talk show, and not just another talk show. The guests on the show would talk about the most difficult times in their lives, and talk about issues, the Real Issues. The channel offering seems to be a breath of genuine fresh air, as the show sets out to reveal the India that lives in villages and only sometimes breaks out in the form of a headline. The Live TV audiences will be moved by the issues tackled on the show.

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.

Through truth the divine path is spread out by which

the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,

reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides

Do send in your views and thoughts about this new show. Will “Satyamev Jayate“, bring about change in the Indian Television scenario?

Happy Viewing.

What makes a reality show work?

With so many “Reality” shows in today’s time (both nationally & abroad) it’s very important to understand why and how a reality show clicks. There have been so many mega-successful shows in US/UK and their counterparts in India (and so many flops) that it is necessary to learn what works and what doesn’t. In this post we try to analyze deeply as to what are the different elements of a reality show and what should be taken care of while creating a new reality show.

Almost all of the reality shows in India or elsewhere are localized versions of already popular US or UK shows. Here are some of the shows which have worked (in India) and some which haven’t. We’ll then analyze all the aspects to understand what it takes to make a successful Reality Show:

  • Mega-successful shows-
    • Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who wants to be a millionaire)
    • Indian Idol (American Idol)
    • Dance India Dance (So you think you can dance)
    • Bigg Boss (Big Brother)
  • Successful Shows-
    • Fear Factor India (Fear Factor)
    • Jhalak Dikhla ja (Dancing with the stars)
    • Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
    • Boogie Woogie
    • Masterchef India (Masterchef US/Australia)
  • Flops-
    • Zor Ka Jhatka (Wipeout)
    • India’s Minute to Win it (Minute to Win it)
    • Survivor India

Contestants: No doubt contestants are single biggest asset of a reality show. Wrong selection of contestants can make or break the entire show. Contestants can be broadly categorized as- “Common man” and “Celebrities”. Depending upon the format of show creative team may decide to have common man or celebrities or a mix of both as contestants. For pure talent based shows like KBC, Dance India Dance, Indian Idol etc it’s  imperative to have common people as main contestants otherwise it looks too dramatic and unreal (remember how we feel when a celebrity wins 50 lacs in a KBC episode?). Celebrities as contestants work very well for reality shows in which drama quotient needs to be high. Questions have been raised about such reality shows being truly “real” but now audience have kind of understood that reality shows involve either good “editing” or good “drama” to look exciting on TV. Some such shows are Bigg Boss, Survivor India, Zor Ka Jhatka. Example of shows having combination of both “common man” and “celebrities” as contestants include Fear Factor (India) and Jhalak Dikhlaja.

Drama: Television is all about drama and not having any drama in a reality show is a sure shot way to kill it. An emotional story can become an important part of show’s success. KBC is known for creating dramatic situations based on a contestant’s profile or based on the question “What would you do if you win a Crore?“. Shows like Bigg Boss rely too much on drama which is demanded by its format. “Zor Ka Jhatka” couldn’t impress audience even with Shahrukh Khan because it lacked both good contestants and drama quotient. If you actually see original “Wipeout” it’s one hell of a funny show and it does it without SRK type host.

Host: Even though host is 3rd most important thing it indeed plays an important part in taking the show to next level i.e. from success to mega-success (like Amitabh in case of KBC), Khatron Ke Khiladi (with Akshay Kumar as host) or from utter failure to moderate success (Dus Ka Dum could have bombed badly if Salman wasn’t there). But in case a show lacks above 2 important characteristics chances of it failing increases- SRK could never save Zor Ka Jhatka and even KBC with SRK couldn’t attract audience as much as Big B. My tip: Get a host with good sense of humor or with lot of character- Raghu/Rajiv and Rannvijay are known for their tough/macho characters and they don’t need Akshay Kumar.

Plot: Borrowed or not, plot does play an important part in a reality show’s success. How? Well first thing is it identifies your target audience. KBC had a national appeal, Roadies & Bigg Boss have youth appeal, Dance India Dance is liked by a specific set of audience and so is Masterchef. Plot helps a production house lay its marketing plan and execute it. Beware! If top 3 things are not in place, plot will never help you win your audience.

Editing: Editing is an important part of any reality show, specially of those shows in which cameras roll continuously. In my opinion India’s Minute to Win it suffers from really bad editing as against its US counterpart. Dance India Dance is edited very well despite it being a talent reality show. There is always a connection between the contestants, Mithun da and 3 judges (Remo, Terence and Gita). Good editing is evident from a show which keeps you glued during the program, bad editing gives you enough reasons to switch 🙂

Connection: Well this is second last part of “what it takes to create a good reality show” but trust me, unless your audience feel “connected” with your show, you CAN NOT make it work. Connection happens if you get all of the above things “just” right for your show. There is no formula for this, it just happens!

Audience: Audience may include either studio audience or audience watching at home or both. In KBC, studio audience is well trained before shoot- they are told when to clap, how much to clap, when to laugh, who sits in front, who sits in background, what should be your facial expressions.. everything! It’s like a controlled backdrop scenario which is very important taking into consideration the plot of the show. In case of shows like Minute to Win it studio audience is supposed to be very energetic (which sadly doesn’t happen in Indian version). In talent based shows like DID or Indian Idol studio audience makes singing or dancing more enjoyable by clapping and dancing along with the contestants. Shows like Wipeout expect audience sitting at home to be their real audience and the host directly tries to talk to that audience. Audience is important because it makes or breaks your show- understand your audience!

These are the key elements of a reality show, there are many other like sound, camera, direction which are important but they are common to all TV shows.

Do you think there are other important aspects? Please comment..

Face the Reality!!

Today’s blog is not about Bigg Boss, Roadies or any other reality tv show in India. It is about the level to which show makers and promoters can stoop to, so as to gain TRPs (Television Rating Points) and see their shows’ gaining top position. Today’s front page news of Hindustan Times’ supplement paper “HT City” took me by shock when I read-

A contestant was raped on a reality show by another contestant while she was apparently asleep and this was shown on live television. The night cameras of the show Big Brother (Brazilian version) covered the entire episode where Model Daniel Echaniz forced himself on Monique Amin who had passed out after having alcohol in a party. When Amin was asked next day about the incident she had almost no clue what happened.

Back home in India all reality show makers have condemned this act and have given statements like “the rules are much stricter on our show”, “we don’t allow alcohol on our show to avoid any such happening” and many other. But the question is still the same. How far can these reality shows go to gain so called ‘TRPs”. Bigg Boss Season 5 that recently ended depicted a lot of violence between the contestants even though it was not in physical form too much. Other shows like Roadies and Splitsvilla on MTV are ill-famous that the contestants who are aggressive, violent or abusive are given a chance above other contestants who want to participate in the show.

The problem with today’s reality shows is that it is ok for the producers to show anything until you get under the knife of censor board or other active bodies that control the content show on television. We can easily see loud and violent behavior, nudity, crime and many other negative aspects of our society on television mostly through these reality shows.

Also are we as audience getting too easy as to what our younger generation especially kids watch on television? Can we let them watch a male hurling demeaning accusation on a female’s character? Can you let your kids watch violence to the most inappropriate level? Is there a shortage of freely available porn on internet that we need to see a female getting raped on live television?

Let me ask you a bigger question instead- Do you think even in Indian reality shows incidents like this might have happened but producers might not have guts to telecast them yet? Do you think this incident will make TV producers bolder?

Film Promotions on Television : Is it a healthy trend??

Yes… off late this has been a common trend in Indian Television Industry. Every other week we see film promotions on various shows, be it Reality Shows, Dance or Musical shows. So where is this trend going? Sonam & Neel Nitin makes an appearance in (Bigg Boss season 4) recently to promote Players, Imran and Katrina seen in India’s Got Talent (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan), Shahid and Sonam seen cheering the contestants of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs (Mausam) and many more… the list is endless. Every now and then film stars are seen dancing, singing and judging various reality shows.

Earlier these celebs use to make guest appearances in some of the reality shows stating it to be one of the special episodes and now the audience is wise enough to understand that this guest appearance is just to promote one of their flicks releasing on Friday. I often wonder why do these Big banners needs this kind of promotion, answer to this is attract the mass. TV and especially REALITY Show is one Medium which reaches out to every household in India. Adds and celeb interviews are common these days and it limits the viewers age group..I mean how many viewers above 40 would actually sit and watch celebs interview after all!! I am pretty sure every household follows one reality show at least or at least one daily soap so why not capture their attention and promote the movie to all age group. Television shows are huge hits in India and now it’s serving to be a gold mine for film promotions as well.

How does channel producer react to this new trend…well it’s a win-win situation for the both the parties, both get mileage out of this. Appearance of a movie star adds more color and spark to the show, increase their TRP too. It’s also a treat for the audience to have their favorite actor making appearance on various shows making them tune to a show which earlier they might not be following.

I personally feel that these promotions have gone overboard when the entire crew makes appearance on every possible show. There has to be a connect between the movie script and how it is presented in the reality show. The manner films are being promoted today kills the essence of promotion of films as well the show. We the audience feel cheated when we are forced to see a celebrity enter our favorite show every other week! Somehow the link of the television show is broken and the smooth flow is not seen. The focus shifts from finding the best Talent (Singer, dancer or any other talent) to the stars who go on and on about their films.

So viewers what’s your take on this?? Do you feel cheated as well or do you enjoy the weekly promotions of every possible movie!!………  Looking forward to your views on this topic……

MTV: Music or Masala Television

You might scratch your head and start thinking why am I referring MTV as Masala Television. Well the following post is about finding out the real truth. After reading this you may also come to a conclusion whether MTV is a Music Channel or it has turned out to be Masala Television over years.

It was not long ago say some 9-10 yrs back when viewers used to wait to see what’s new in the list..New Album, hot album, Best songs… in a way they wanted to see the latest Music Labels, their reviews and responses. Top most Singers had their music launch aired in MTV, there were shows explicitly telecasting interviews with the Singers and rappers. TV was geared more towards music and music appreciation, The concept of VJ’s was made popular by MTV as this channel was about MUSIC 24/7!!  The VJ’s of early 90’s had good knowledge of music, a unique style of their own and undoubtedly a great  sense of humor too.I am sure that none of you must have forgotten VJ’s like Malaika Arora, Maria Goretti , Shenaz Treasurywala, Mini Mathur and a few others. No doubt that Cyrus Broacha and Nikhil Chinnappa are still holding the fort but the charm that the previous VJ’s had, is not present there anymore. . MTV is now being hosted as a television show with VJs who have very little to do with knowledge in music and music videos.

You might have this question..Does MTV has series of reality shows!!! You might be surprised, but the answer is YES. The biggest ammunition that MTV has is “Roadies”. It was started way back in 2003, and currently 8 seasons are over. No doubt that Roadies is very popular and has many ardent followers, but the channel is trying to replicate this success in every other show. Every second show is now a Reality show. They are trying to get the youth hooked on to its channel by shows like MTV Stuntmania a biking stunt show hosted by famous stunts director Allan Amin and MTV Splitsvilla A dating reality show.

This channel which once used to be solely a music channel has turned in endless race of reality shows, In 1998, we had about 19 hours of music programming. 2008 saw an average of just three hours of music videos per day on MTV, with the rest of the day devoted to reality shows. . Is this a conscious effort made by MTV or has it lost its audience??? Is this the reason for MTV to drop “Music Television” from its corporate logo too in 2010?

If i ask you, which is the channel you prefer for watching Songs,  MTV will certainly not be your 1st choice. Some might say, 9XM , B4U Music, and the latest one Sony PIX. You might say that I have missed on one more important Music Channel, ie Channel V. Well, they too are slowly but steadily moving on the path of MTV. Only time will say if MTV was right moving its focus on Reality Shows and slowly taking Music off their menu. What are you views on this topic?

Discuss this over Twitter – @idubba

How India’s Got Talent’s final episode ruined the whole season?

Reality television busted the dullness of Indian television few years ago with its attention-grabbing scripts and out-of-the box ideas. The prime time shows still rule the TRPs however reality shows have been successful in creating a niche for themselves. These reality shows are based on themes such as talent hunt, celebrity based shows, game shows and many more but they all have one thing in common – they either place ordinary people in extra-ordinary situations or celebrities in real-life situations and then let viewers enjoy the masala flavor.

IGT finals with shahrukh

Now the question is – Are these Reality Shows truly real? If you think this is a controversial question, well we have made our point. The credibility and realism of these shows are forever arguable. But we do have more than enough examples to prove that most of the time these reality shows are “STAGED” and “SCRIPTED” to the core. We are living in a time where people don’t mind putting their personal life in public to make a quick buck and viewers get excited as they get their daily dose of cheap fun in the name of “reality”.

Let’s look at what happened at the recent grand finale of India’s Got Talent aired on Colors:

  • The whole episode of finale was “sold” to a movie that was being released soon -Ra.One (yes, SRK starrer).
  • All final performances had something or other to do with Ra.One, although these         performances were not accounted for voting.
  • The special guest was Shahrukh Khan, who of course was there to promote Ra.One
  • He gave away autographed posters/standees, G.One toys etc to the contestants during   the show.
  • Though the show promoters or Shahrukh didn’t promote Ra.one overtly (by beating their chests), but still it was very evident.
  • SRK was promoting the brand SRK itself, alongside (as usual).

All the above mentioned highlights gave the grand finale a kick and (so called) perfect entertainment. But somehow I felt the show lost it’s originality and charm and everything looked like a paid gimmick.

This was the trendsetter in India’s Reality TV, with an entire episode sold to Ra.One for promotions.

Now contrary to above we also have few shows that still haven’t lost their touch and share of “reality”. I personally followed the complete season of MasterChef India last time and it was indeed a great pleasure to watch it. The rationale is effortless – the show kept itself away from any kind of controversies and cheap publicity gimmicks. The show’s simple yet appealing concept kept the interest in it. The winner of last season Pankaj Bhadouria now hosts her own show “Chef Pankaj ka Zayka” on Star Plus. Yes, agreed having a star (Akhsay Kumar) might have helped to gain TRPs initially but the second season which will be on air by next week has dropped Akshay and roped in world’s famous India based Chef Vikas Khanna.

Although you can argue about the “type” of content of both the reality shows but important thing to note here is that soul of a reality show should remain intact. Otherwise it looks fake and disoriented. Do you guys feel the same?