TV too small for big stars?


Mumbai, May 27 -- In the last two years, as many as 32 actors and film-makers have made their TV debut as show hosts or judges. But the trend already seems to be fading. Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan are still seen on the tube, but top names like Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akthar, Preity Zinta and many others seem to have quit reality shows for good.

Others - like Madhuri Dixit, Karan Johar and Shilpa Shetty - continue to be regulars on TV.    

Budget issues

An industry insider says, "There aren't many reality shows on air as fiction is ruling now... and there's a quality revaluation happening in order to gauge which stars to cast."    

Pointing out the benefits of a film celebrity on TV, quiz show producer Siddhartha Basu says, "What a star brings to the table, in a very crowded field, is not only sampling, but a certain level of buy-ins from sponsors... So it's not just ratings, but also funding that a film star's association helps to bring in."    Pick the best fit    With top stars charging    ' 1.5-'4 crore per episode, the difference between investments and returns can be huge. As a result, the fate of the show hinges entirely on the ratings, and having Bollywood presence doesn't always ensure success. Some names that have failed to deliver in this regard are Mallika Sherawat (The Bachelorette) and Shah Rukh Khan (Zor Ka Jhatka).    

Deepak Dhar, the head of a leading TV production house, says, "Today, ratings are a factor, but performances have to be above par too. One should approach a star only if the format suits them."    

Star angle    

Shilpa Shetty, who judges Nach Baliye, adds, "To be part of a show, there has to be an amalgamation of certain prerequisites - from money and scheduling to an interesting format and ratings... this is why, even though I am offered many shows, I only choose franchises that have a combination of all the factors."