Bollywood bait on TV reality shows


By Hindustan Times

Every season, a fresh group of Bollywood celebrities come to television to judge or host reality shows. Vivek Oberoi, Tusshar Kapoor and Neha Dhupia are the latest to make the journey from Bollywood to TV as judges. Many others have come before them, but very few have made a lasting impression, or been able to generate record-breaking TRPs.

Of course, the exceptions are Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan. These two superstars have delivered consistently with their respective shows Kaun Banega Crorepati and Bigg Boss.

Perhaps the reason other stars haven’t been able to crack the code is because they think of TV as a stepping stone. It’s easy money, as reality shows last three months at the most; it’s also less taxing on their schedules, as they need to shoot one or two days a week.

Having a Bollywood star on a TV show used to be a unique selling point years ago. Now, with almost everyone having appeared on the small screen, it isn’t a surprise anymore. Besides, the charisma and screen presence of a certain actor and his/her ability to connect with the audience is a big factor. Jumping from one show to the other is also counterproductive.

Sonali Bendre, Farah Khan, Maiaika Arora Khan are personalities who are frequently seen on TV, but the viewer associates with them for their individuality rather than the reality show they feature in.

In fact, very few actors have been able to become the face of a show. Can you imagine KBC without Amitabh, or Bigg Boss without Salman?

With many faces repeated on different reality shows, what’s interesting then is seeing well-known stars you don’t get to see much of otherwise. So, seeing an impressive Madhuri Dixit in Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa, which she has been doing for two seasons in a row, or a Juhi Chawla who hasn’t been seen much TV, or waiting for Sridevi or Rekha to debut on TV, is exciting.

At the end of the day, film stars are in demand on TV only if they generate curiosity and guarantee that a certain loyal fan base will tune in regardless of the show.