The lure of the small screen

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

It’s all about visibility today. Check out the presence of Bollywood stars on the small screen.

If one starts at the very beginning, it was the craving for visibility and reach, that made many Bollywood stars flock to the small screen. And, TV is credited for serving as a launch pad for some of the biggest actors that Bollywood can boast of.

And, this year, it’s not just hosting or judging shows but also starring in TV series. Recently, we saw many Bollywood actors making their foray into TV shows or making a comeback on the small screen as they seem to have realized its potential and reach.

Here’s checking out who made their presence felt.

Firstly, against much speculation, Salman Khan returned as the host of controversial reality show ‘Bigg Boss’. And, megastar Amitabh Bachchan made a comeback to ‘the hot seat’ with the seventh season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Actor Anil Kapoor also made a successful television debut with fiction thriller series ‘24’. Last year, along with Kapoor we saw a number of Bollywood actors make their debut on TV — Shilpa Shirodkar, Ruslaan Mumtaz and Rahul Dev. Also, veteran actor Poonam Dhillon made her comeback to the small screen in a daily soap, ‘Ek Nayi Pehchaan’.

The Naach Queen actress Madhuri Dixit, judged the dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ along with filmmaker Karan Johar and choreographer-director Remo D’Souza. And, betting big on Bollywood is the Life OK channel, which seems to be opting for film stars in the fiction space. They have roped in Sonali Bendre for a fiction show ‘Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh’ with Apoorva Agnihotri, produced by Balaji Telefilms — all set to premiere very soon.

Bollywood actress, Amrita Rao is the new entrant. “Amrita must have realized that her film career is going nowhere … she had even admitted that some of her projects had not materialized too,” a source told Absolute India. The latest news is that Rao will now be making her small screen debut with an Ekta Kapoor production. The serial will air on Life OK and Rohit Roy is expected to play the male lead.

If we look back, ShahRukh Khan is remembered for his charming role in ‘Fauji’. Vidya Balan as the bespectacled sister in ‘Hum Paanch’ had made an impact, for sure before she embarked onto Bollywood.

Amitabh Bachchan started a trend in 2000 that every actor wanted to emulate — just like he had triggered off the ‘angry young man’ roles back in the ‘70s. Big B was the first A-list Bollywood actor to enter the world of TV with a bang, with the first season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC). People had advised against taking this risk, but he did … and the rest is history!

But, these Bollywood-flavored shows had their ups and downs. Till now, ‘24’ starring Anil Kapoor was a hit on television. But Yudh, which was Amitabh Bachchan’s fiction debut, sank. “With the popularity of the series, Anil Kapoor raised the bar for film actors trying to make their way into the small screen. Bollywood actors Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Rahul Khanna and Richa Chadda also had cameos in the show.

It seems most Bollywood stars today are more than happy to judge or anchor a show on the small screen. Thanks to the fat paychecks they take home with each episode! Whether it’s acting or judging or anchoring, TV shows have become so attractive today, that Bollywood celebs don’t mind giving filmi roles thumbs down. So, it’s thumbs up to driving a hard bargain!


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