Bollywood Celebs: Hello, television!

By HT

Mumbai, June 23 -- In 2010, when Amitabh Bachchan announced that he would be hosting Kaun Banega Crorepati, many felt it was the wrong move for a star of his stature. Bachchan did the show anyway, and the rest, like they say, is history.

KBC helped Bachchan overcome a rough period in his career, and he hasn't looked back since. Families were hooked from the word go, and Bachchan continues to be the face of the show (the one season he did not host did not do well). Bachchan had set a trend. He managed to shatter the notion that Bollywood actors look down upon television.

In the years that followed, TV saw several A-list stars play host and reality show judges. Now, it's time for a new trend, for Bollywood actors to actually act on TV. And it took another star to set the ball rolling. Anil Kapoor's Indian adaptation of 24 got everyone talking. And as he gears up for season two, other film stars are following the path. Bachchan is ready for his TV acting debut at the grand, ripe age of 71, with Yudh. And it's not just him. Wife Jaya Bachchan is ready with a show of her own, tentatively titled Vasundhara.

The likes of Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nawazuddin Siddiqui (both in Yudh) are also gearing up for their TV debuts, while we saw Richa Chadda in Kapoor's 24. There's even a rumour about Kajol being keen to do a fiction show. Even actors who took a break from films are now on TV - Poonam Dhillon, Padmini Kolhapure, Anita Raj, to name a few, with Bhagyshree being the latest on the list. In the west, of course, the phenomenon is far from new. Oscarwinner Kevin Spacey does the super-hit TV show, House of Cards. This year's winner, Matthew McConaughey, got as many accolades for his TV show, True Detective. The age of rubber-bandlike family soaps may be far from over. But we might just be seeing the dawn of a new era in Indian television.

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