New Delhi, Feb. 7 -- We saw Anil Kapoor make his TV debut with the fiction series 24 last year. Now, get ready to watch not only Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, but also the likes of Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chadda and many others, showing off their histrionics on television.
While there are rumours about Kajol being interested in Rensil D'Silva's TV show, we will also see directors Ashutosh Gowariker and Mahesh Bhatt helming projects on the tube. Let's not forget Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, and Salman Khan returning to host their respective shows.
Content vs stars
TV producer Siddharth P Malhotra says, "More than being about film stars making appearances on TV, this year will be about good content. The telly audience is very different from film viewers. That's why shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum, Saathiya, Yeh Rishta etc do well. With the actors making an entry into television, the challenge will be to provide progressive content which also appeals to the urban audience."
Salman, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and many others took TV seriously and lent the medium certain respect and credibility. But today, everyone wants a share of the TV pie. Producer Rajan Shahi says, "Not just actors but producers, writers and directors, too are keen on working on TV projects. Earlier, there was a perception that film celebrities looked down upon TV. But over the years, this has changed thanks to stars like Amitabh Bachchan taking the medium seriously. But a star's image will not help a show as TV is all about characters."
Big stars on board, means big bucks. Not only does the budget of the show rise, but the fee that the actor charges too is quite high. At about ' 1.2 crore an episode, the total cost of Bigg Boss 7 was ' 110-'115 crore. Kaun Banega Crorepati cost ' 50 crore, 24 cost ' 75-'80 crore.
Sources claim that a 10-second ad slot on Bigg Boss was sold for ' 2-2.5 lakh. Siddharth says, "For a show like 24, the cost per episode was around ' 1-'1.5 crores while of a regular show it's usually in the range of ' 8 to ' 12 lakhs. To recover that kind of money you need the show to perform well."
However, all said and done, there seems to be room for both finite fiction and daily soaps to co-exist on TV today, giving audiences a variety to choose from.