Newsmakers of the small screen: 2016

By HT

Mumbai, Dec. 31 -- News and celebrities are synonymous with each other. And every year, some people are talked about more than others. We take a look at TV personalities who were the talk of the town in 2016 for reasons both professional and personal.

KAPIL SHARMA

Comedian-actor Kapil Sharma proved that he is the king of comedy in 2016. After quitting his popular show, Comedy Nights with Kapil, he launched a new show titled The Kapil Sharma Show on a rival channel, and delivered a big hit once again. He also made headlines with his angry tweet to PM Narendra Modi, which stated that though he pays '15 crore in tax, he was apparently asked to pay '5 lakh as bribe to a Mumbai municipal corporation official to get approval for an office in the city. Kapil was also ranked seventh on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2016, climbing from number 27 a year ago. But this time he was in the top ten, as he earned more than many Bollywood stars.

KRUSHNA ABHISHEK

Comedian-actor Krushna Abhishek rubbed actors Tannishtha Chatterjee and John Abraham the wrong way when he made jokes at their expense on his comedy show, Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza, causing the movie actors to storm off the sets of the show. Tannishtha was shocked to hear racist comments about her skin tone being passed off as jokes on the show, while John was upset when his acting skills became a butt of the jokes. Krushna defended himself saying the show's format was a "roast", and the guests knew that well in advance, but he apologised for hurting people's sentiments.

SHILPA SHINDE

Actor Shilpa Shinde's unceremonious exit from hit comedy TV show, Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai, made headlines. A number of allegations such as Shilpa's unprofessional behaviour on the sets and that she was demanding more money, flew back and forth for more than a month between producer Binaifer Kohli and the actor. Eventually, she was replaced with Shubhangi Atre. Shilpa, who was popular in her role of Angoori Bhabhi, then decided to file a lawsuit claiming Binaifer was mentally torturing her. Binaifer, in turn, filed a complaint against Shilpa with the Cine and TV Artistes Association (CINTAA).

PRATYUSHA BANERJEE

TV actor Pratyusha Banerjee committed suicide in April, sending the television industry into shock. The Balika Vadhu actor was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her home. Her boyfriend, Rahul Raj Singh, was booked for abetment of suicide, but he was released on bail. The case is pending in court. There were many rumours regarding the cause of her suicide, ranging from an abortion and lack of work to a rocky relationship with Rahul. Murkier details about her life made her death even more mysterious.

DIVYANKA TRIPATHI

While many TV celebrities tied the knot in 2016, actor Divyanka Tripathi's wedding to actor Vivek Dahiya in July went viral. The wedding was the talk of the town since the date was announced, with fans following every detail. The hyped nuptial was trending for days, much to Divyanka's surprise. Photos of the sangeet ceremony, the mehendi, the wedding and the reception were trending for over a week and had social media in a tizzy.

RISE OF REALITY

Reality TV shows came to the fore in 2016. While we had the usual celebrity-based reality shows, the dance-based and singing-based ones shone brighter. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, The Voice 2 and The Voice Kids presented exceptional singing talent from across India, while So You Think You Can Dance, Super Dancer and the second season of Dance Plus brought hardcore dance to TV.

SUPERNATURAL SHOWS

When witches, devils and demonic entities entered television shows in 2015, many thought it would be a passing fad. But as audiences lapped up plots that included dayans, chudails, nagins and shaitaans, it proved supernatural themes were here to stay.

We saw Simar from Sasural Simar Ka turn into a housefly, which spawned numerous memes mocking the plot. Ekta Kapoor's Mona Singh-starrer, Kavach, entailed a spirit possessing a human body, while her other show Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum had a rock star, Karan Kundra, turn into a tiger three months into the show.

Later, as if that wasn't enough, the show incorporated a devil as well.

Adhuri Kahaani Humari featured Rashami Desai as an evil witch and a nagin at the same time. Brahmarakshas - Jaag Utha Shaitaan is about a Brahmarakshas (demon) that preys on brides. The antagonist was played by Parag Tyagi, and later his on-screen wife, Kishwer Merchant, turns into a bramrakshas too.

The lead of the show, Krystle D'Souza, fights both through the course of the plot. Meanwhile, the second season of Mouni Roystarrer Naagin started off with good ratings, and just like the previous season, is based on a vengeful snake.