By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Genelia D'Souza have thronged the small screen of late, but TV actors say they don't feel threatened by their presence as actors of daily soaps have a different appeal.
Ronit Roy, who plays the male lead in NDTV Imagine's show "Bandini", says small screen actors have no need to feel threatened by the presence of Bollywood actors.
"There are only a handful of shows where actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan come. So there is really no reason why we should feel threatened. In fact, it's a matter of pride for us," Ronit Roy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"One point to be noted is that there is no overlapping between TV actors and Bollywood actors on the small screen. They have separate shows, we have separate shows with different audiences. It's silly to think we have any competition with them. I think the presence of Bollywood on TV gives more brand value to small screen actors," he added.
Big B is hosting Colors' reality show "Bigg Boss 3", while Rani Mukerji is one of the judges on Sony TV's "Dance Premier League" and Genelia D'Souza is hosting UTV Bindass' "Big Switch".
Some well-known singers from the Hindi film industry such as Himesh Reshammiya, Mika Singh, Mohit Chauhan, Shaan and Shankar Mahadevan will soon be seen on STAR Plus' new show "Music Ka Muqabla".
Akshay was the host of "Khatron Ke Khiladi" and Farah Khan recently wrapped up chat show "Tere Mere Beach Mein".
Even though most of these shows come on prime time, TV actors are not bothered.
"Every actor has his or her own space. The medium of television is huge and there is room for everyone. So no one should be insecure," said actress Aamna Shariff, who became popular for her role as Kashish in Ekta Kapoor's "Kahiin To Hoga".
"I understand that TV actors don't have an aura as huge as that of Amitabh, Salman and Shah Rukh, but still they have no reason to get threatened. They do their job well," she added.
TV actor-producer J.D. Majethia, best known for comedy shows like "Khichdi" and "Baa Bahu Aur Baby", stressed that no matter how many Bollywood stars come to the small screen, they can never take away the charm of daily soap actors.
"Most Bollywood actors who come on TV shows, come as either anchors or judges, which is a different ball game altogether. They can't come in TV soaps which form the majority of content. The economies of shows with film stars are different," Majethia told IANS.
"When reality shows get one well-known Bollywood star on board, 50 percent of their publicity is done. And when the person is powerful enough like Karan Johar, Salman Khan or Amitabh Bachchan -- they even bring their friends on the show, which adds more power and visibility," he explained.
Shailja Kejriwal, executive vice president (Content), NDTV Imagine, agrees.
"Bollywood stars definitely have a mystique around them, but that doesn't mean it threatens the existence of TV actors. Bollywood actors and TV actors have their unique and distinct identity," she said.
Majethia pointed out how there weren't any Bollywood stars on the tube around 15 years ago and there is a sudden upsurge in their presence on the medium.
"The TV industry was not so competitive 15 years back, but ever since so many shows and channels have been launched, competition has increased. And to outdo each other, they have started bringing one big ticket star for a brief period.
"If you note carefully, there won't be more than 10 or 12 well-known actors doing shows on TV in one year," he said.
But he admits that Bollywood stars have given a helping hand to the TV industry in widening its horizons.
"Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar, Amitabh, Shah Rukh and all those who have done some TV show have added immensely to the grandeur of the medium. The small screen started becoming big once they came in. But TV actors will always remain, nothing will affect them," he stated.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])