Big bucks for top TV stars!

By HT

New Delhi, May 24 -- Actor Ram Kapoor's recent statement that he earns much more money from TV than films, has brought the focus on the increasing remuneration of top TV stars.

While the biggies such as Ram Kapoor and Ronit Roy charge close to ' 2 lakh per episode they shoot, others like Toral Rasputra from Balika Vadhu and Divyanka Tripathi from Ye Hai Mohabbatein, make close to ' 12-15 lakh a month.

Industry sources say that even newcomers in popular TV soaps are getting ' 3000-7000 per day. While mostly it is the production house that pays the artists, but in case of very popular names and their hefty fee, the channel also pays a part of the money.

"Channels don't mind paying a big actor as their presence helps TRPs," says a source from one of the leading channels.

Producer Sudhir Sharma, who has produced shows such as 12/24 Karol Bagh, says that audiences relate to known faces on TV, which is why producers cast popular actors. "The ratings of a show don't depend on any one actor. However, big names are relatable and this connect helps." he says.

CINTAA (Cine And TV Artistes Association) introduced a MOU recently which divided actors into slabs, based on their present remuneration. A fixed increment is given to them every year based on the slab which they are in. "This works in favour of producers as well as actors. This has made it more structured," adds Sharma.

Actor Shashank Vyas, who makes ' 15-20 lakh per month for his role in Balika Vadhu, justifies the remuneration. "Bombay is an expensive place to stay. I am expected to work for 17 hours a day and I cannot afford to fall sick or take holidays for family functions. So, the money I demand is worth it."