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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Anjali of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai enters Television

“Aapko koi bhi ladki mil sakti hain”, said a small girl to Salman Khan in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai which changed the whole climax of the film. Remember Anjali, who played the cute little talkative daughter of Shahrukh in the movie?

If not then, here is your chance to see her on small screen. After leaving a mark in Bollywood as a child artist Sana Saeed is all set to take a further step in her career. She will now be seen playing a role in Sony Entertainment television’s new serial, Ratna's Sinha's “Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na”. Sana reveals about her new role in an exclusive interview with our Telly Buzz reporter.

Sana will play the role of the protagonist Aastha’s younger sister. What kind of a role is it? “I play the role of the youngest sister of the family who is physically challenged and confined to a wheel chair. I will be very supportive to Aastha. I can’t reveal more on my character right now”, says the charming new face of Television. Everyone started recognizing you after Kuch Kuch Hota hai. How has life treated you after that? “Life after KKHH has been very good. I did a couple of shows and ads but I had to drop everything after some time because I wanted to concentrate on my studies”.

So, why then did you take up this role? “The production team has been very kind to me. They have agreed to schedule my shoots in such a way so they don't coincide with my class timings. Moreover my role is for a short period of time and hence I took up the role", says Sana. What are your future plans? “Haven’t really decided if I want to stick to acting or take up advertising. Will finish with my studies first and then decide”.

Sana’s naughty and lively character of Anjali was appreciated by all. Will she get the same appreciation through this serial? The Telly Buzz team wishes this gorgeous girl the very best of luck...

A Sweet talk With dashing Joydeep of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu

Manav Vij, the dashing Joydeep of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi talks about his on and off track in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and much more..

How is the story track going to be from now?

When your family is put in a situation where there is no money, when the people who are so used to big jewellery, multiple cars find it difficult to even get money to eat, one can expect major conflicts in the show.

The show has not been focusing on the younger generation for a while, how are the young actors coping up with such kind of situation?

See, the story is about a big family. You cannot show many tracks going on at once. I agree that for a while the story has been focusing on just Tulsi mayya, but then eventually, the spot light will hit every character, but in the long run. It’s like a cycle; Bhoomi and Joydeep’s track was shown for a while, and then they changed focus. With such a huge star cast, such things are bound to happen.

Talking about Bhoomi and Joydeep track, how are things going to go on their front?

Well, Joydeep is going to be shown as the caring one here. He has always been positive and down to earth, and now he will stand up for his family. Joydeep has been poor all his life, he is used to living the normal life, since he was an adopted son. He was always very kind and humble, its only when Tulsi Mayya encouraged him, did he go for a make over to prove to everyone that he’s not a nerd. And regarding the track, well, you just have to watch it, as I believe this is the best written track so far as its Ba and Tulsi Mayya who have to take care of the family, so the story will focus on them. And yes, Bhoomi and Joydeep will slowly get feelings towards each other.

How has your journey been as Joydeep, from a nerd to the business tycoon to again being the boy next door?

In life, struggle is very important. See, in a family canvas, everyone is important. In my family, my parents, my brother, me and my dog are all important, but there are days when the dog gets his lime light, and there are days when he’s treated just like a stray dog. The same thing happens here; in a family we are all there, but only at certain intervals do we get the lime light. The basic insecurity comes, which is quite natural if someone is done with his or her track, and its quite human to feel so. Talking about the creative aspect to it, well, Joydeep was a self created character, and he has gone thru many phases of life, like his make over, and was appreciated. There is more drama to his character, about how he supports his family. So watch it!

Any other projects?

I am doing Kasturi as of now, I am like a writer’s pen, where ever he writes me, I’ll go. I am playing an inspector in Kasturi and let’s see how it goes.

With Joydeep’s character, you’ve played different shades, so do you believe you’re creatively satisfied?

I don’t believe that I am an actor. I am a small town guy. My house is just a few miles away from Pakistan, and I was a doctor before I jumped to acting. Thus, I have no knowledge of acting what so ever. I rate my self as negative 50, and I guess after being around for 5 years in the industry, with Bhagat Singh, Kyunki and other Telugu and Punjabi films, I have come down to being known and now want to get ahead. I am a greedy guy, I just want to achieve more. (laughs)

How did you hop over from being a doctor to being an actor?

I have no answer to that honestly, it just happened. For me, my work is important, whatever it may be. I wanted to do Psychology, I did that, and then acting. Who doesn’t want to act standing next to the great Amitabh Bachchan? (laughs)

Lastly, a message for your fans?

I don’t believe I have any. But would certainly like everyone to look forward to the Kyunki track.

Sumeet Raghavan now a part of NDTV Say Shaava Shaava

Sumeet Raghavan a known face on Indian Television got his most recognition through the serial Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. Now he is one of the contestants in the reality show Say Shaava Shaava being aired on NDTV Imagine. He had always felt that if he had not been an actor today then he would have been a singer. Do we then accept that he is a trained singer? “No I am not a trained singer but yes, I have a little knowledge of singing. But many of my friends on this show are really good singers like Apurva, Narayani, and Mouni,” Sumeet clarifies.

How does he feel being a part of a singing show? “It's a nice experience being a part of such a unique show and working with a new channel. I am enjoying a lot. I am singing from quite sometime but never took it as a profession. I used to sing in Marathi but this the first time I am experimenting on Hindi songs. Through the show I also get a chance to meet with many of my colleagues whom I had never worked with as an actor, but now get to share the same platform for singing,” says the actor cum singer. The show has a unique voting pattern whereby one that gets eliminated, gets a chance to save any one of the contestants. Sumeet feels this voting pattern can be shocking. “I would say that the voting pattern here is shocking and also the USP of this show. Juhi was among the top three contestants and she got out of the show and when Aman saved Manish it was bit shocking. So it is a sort of warning given to everyone that anything is possible on this show,” was his candid reply.

With such a voting pattern there was always a chance of getting unfair results. “I don't know about all that. I entered into the show with one condition that I would not appeal for any vote like other reality shows. I don't like to plead for votes. I came into this contest just because I was told that only the bottom two has to appeal for the vote and I have that confidence that I will never be in bottom two,” was Sumeet’s confidant reply. For him the show is more of a fun so he does not look at others as competitors. “I am not taking this show as a competition I just came here to play a plain game. I know that I am performing and giving my best shot till now.” And what would he say about the judges? “They are esteemed people and when I came to know that they were judging I was bit shocked. They both are not singers but have strong knowledge of music,” explains Sumeet.

This actor is already giving out some of the best performances on the show and is getting accolades too from the judges. We wish him the best and hope that he does not fall victim of this new voting pattern so that his fans get a treat of his singing for many more days to come.

Juhi Parmar back thro’ Wild Card in Say Shaava Shaava

NDTV Imagine’s Say Shaava Shaava enters its final phase, and tonight’s episode will see the comeback of Juhi Parmar into the competition, thro’ Wild Card. The battle is now on between the Top 4 – Sumeet Raghavan, Apurva Agnitohtri, Divyanka Tripathi and Juhi Parmar.

All said and done, tonight’s episode will be a treat for all music lovers as Shekar of the famous Vishal-Shekar fame makes a special appearance on the sets of Shaava. The ace music director’s presence spells magic on Sumeet Raghavan as he gives a mind-blowing performance on the number ‘Tu Hai Aasmaan Main’, which gets praised by one and all, including Shekar.

The audience is in for a shocker at the end of the episode, as Juhi after making a comeback thro’ Wild Card finds herself yet again in the Danger Zone, courtesy an ordinary performance, along with the gorgeous Divyanka Tripathi.

Will Juhi make it to the Top 3 and prove to be a Dark Horse in the contest? Or will Divyanka manage to score over her yet again and mark her place in the Top 3? Catch all the excitement in NDTV Imagine's Say Shaava Shaava..

Ankur Nayyar replaces Ujjwal Rana In Ghar Ek Sapna

Ujjwal Rana, Samman of Ghar Ek Sapna has decided to call it quits due to creative differences between him and the producer. He is being replaced by Ankur Nayyar(seen in Kasauti Zindagi Kay and Left Right Left).

Although Ujjwal Rana is leaving the show by choice he is quite disappointed about leaving as he says, “I made the decision of leaving the serial with a very heavy heart. I had come to love the role I was playing and the audience had accepted me as Samman. For an actor there is nothing more than appreciation. I will definitely miss working in Ghar Ek Sapna but sometimes difficult decisions need to be made as an actor.” If Ujjwal was so comfortable with the role what prompted the decision for him to quit? Ujjwal says, “I was quite satisfied with the role as well as the script when the show started as the character was quite strong. But as time went by, few changes were made to the script changing the storyline completely. I wasn’t entirely happy with this change and voiced my opinion to the director but nothing was done about it. Hence I decided to quit the show.”

And is Ujjwal happy about Ankur replacing him? Does he think Ankur will do justice to the role of Samman? “It isn’t my place to comment on another actor’s ability and how the other person will portray a particular role. It was the production house’s decision to take me and now Ankur to play Samman.” says Ujjwal.

Ankur Nayyar confirms the news saying,“Yes I am replacing Ujjwal Rana in Ghar Ek Sapna. The audience will see me playing the character of Samman henceforth.” So does that mean there will be a change in the character too? “No”, says Ankur, “The character will not change. It’s only a replacement. The only difference will be the way in which the role will be essayed. Ujjwal performed differently, so will I and I will try and do justice to the role.

Ujjwal Rana had been playing the role of Samman for quite some time and the audience had accepted his persona, so will Ankur have a problem getting the viewers' appreciation for filling into shoes of Ujjwal? “It is challenging to replace someone whom the audience is familiar with for such a long time but the production house has the confidence that I can pull it off. And I think life is full of challenges and that we have to face as they come”, replies Ankur.

So let's hope Ankur Nayyar will enthrall the audience just as Ujjwal Rana did as Samman!!!

Parvati on a crossroad again - Will she choose Karm over Dharm?

Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki on Star Plus is heading for a new twist in the story. As the present story line focusses on Parvati's dilemma – To support her ideologies or to support her blood, the Lady of the Agarwal family decides to opt for 'Karm' over her 'Dharm'..

With a tough task of exposing the real face of Chhotu before her, Parvati joins hands with Ashu and tries to instigate Chhotu by making him do all kiddies stuff. On the other hand, Parvati gets to know that the brain behind Chotu's deeds is Sasha and stages an encounter with the Bad man yet again.. In a battle of words, Sasha taunts Parvati that for all the reasons she had hated him, he had made sure that he makes her grand child just like him. An uphill task for Parvati indeed as Chhotu possesses all the habits that Parvati hates to see. Will Sasha be made to eat his own words? Will Parvati support her belief or her own blood?

In this struggle, Parvati gets a confidante in the form of Shivangi's dadi Rishika, who stands by her and promises to help her in bringing out the truth of Chhotu before all.

Will Chhotu get exposed? Will Parvati's struggle be fruitful? Let's leave it to time and see what really happens.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prankster Shayantani replaces Aastha Chaudhary

It’s raining pranks on Champion Chaalbaaz No.1 and even the celebs are cashing on big time. After Narayani Shastri and Usha Uthup, it was the turn of Shayantani Ghosh to turn into a prankster. At the receiving end was debutant actor Aastha Chaudhary, the lead protagonist of Sony’s new show Babul ka Aangann Chootey Na.

Here’s how the prank unfolded. Unimpressed by her performance, director Maqbool Khan lashed out at Aastha leaving the girl in tears. Few minutes later, Shayantani walks in to the sets and tells Aastha that she’s being replaced by her for the show. The loss of her job was too hard to take and Aastha sobbed inconsolably. Worse, the 22-year-old didn’t stop crying even after the ice was broken.

What’s surprising about this prank is that Shayantani had never met Aastha before. So, what prompted her to play a prank on an unknown person? Shayantani says, “We aren’t friends and it’s the first time that I got to know her. Actually, I got a call from the production house of Champion Chaalbaaz No.1 and they wanted me to be part of a prank. Upon my arrival there, I told her that people are not happy with her acting so I’ll be replacing her. Poor girl, she just didn’t stop crying. I really felt bad for her.”

The victim Aastha says, “As a young actor, that’s the worst feeling anyone could go through – being sacked even before your first show is on air. Earlier, I was stunned by my director’s behaviour, who normally is a very calm person. He tore the script and threw it on my face. I broke down at that moment. It only got worse when Shayantani stepped in. To add insult to injury, no one came to console me.”

Catch this prank in the upcoming episode to be aired on 19 Jan.

Arjun Punj will never return to TV

Arjun who rose to fame with Sanjeevani is busy with building his Bollywood career. Currently he is doing Kumar Mangat’s 123 where he plays the lead. The actor who started his acting career with television feels that now there is less scope of him returning to the small screen.

“123 is almost done. The film is ready and will be released in April. Besides that I also have 2 to 3 big banner offers in my kitty. I’ll be playing the lead in those films too. I’m content with the kind of work I have and want to continue in Bollywood. I don’t see my self coming back to television,” says Arjun.

Arjun believes that television stars do not get proper recognition on the big screen. “That’s the reason I was not seen on television after Saathi Re. I sat at home without doing any work. In this year I met so many people and then finally got Kumarji’s film. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot to prove my talent and today it has given me the sweet fruit,” he says.

The film also has Upen Patel, Tushaar Kapoor, Sameera Reddy and Esha Deol.

At a time when big screen actors are resurrecting their careers via the small screen, Arjun is vowing never to return. Hope he doesn’t have to eat his words

Karan Mehra in Star One’s Pari Hoon Main

HarKaran Mehra who was last seen in Viruddh has already bagged a new show. Now he’ll be seen in Star One’s Pari Hoon Main. He’ll be essaying the role of an assistant director and is excited about the show.

“I love my character in the show. I’ve never played this kind of role in my career and my character’s name is also Karan,” says Karan.

Elaborating further on his character he says, “Karan is a very nervous kind of person as he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. At the same time he carries on well with his duties. There is a twist in the tale when his friend tries to take his place as chief assistance director. This is a very realistic concept and something that’s not me. Thus I will have get imaginative before I give my shot.”

Pari Hoon Main is a story of Nikki and Pari. There is a double role. In this show Nikki is from a small town who dreams to become big in the film industry whereas Pari is a filmstar. The story takes a twist when Pari steps in to take Nikki’s place,” explains Karan.

Happiness comes in various forms…and for Karan a good role gives him bliss

Pulkit quits Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhii Bahu Thi

Pulkit Samrat who became a star in fortnight and stole the hearts of million girls with his onscreen character Lakshay Virani in Balaji's Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhii Bahu Thi has decided to quit the serial after essaying the role for one and a half year. Not only this Pulkit who was earlier supposed to participate in NDTV Imagine's music based reality show Say Shava Shava, is no longer doing the show.

Pulkit had quit Kyunkii.. last Saturday and is on a break right now. He confirms, "I had quit the sow five days back and I am on a break enjoying myself. I think I have done justice to my role and now I have realised that my character had reached the point of stagnation so the decision to quit." But did it affect his relationship with his mentor and Balaji's honcho Ekta Kapoor? Pulkit replies, "No, I had conveyed my decision to Ekta and it was an amicable decision. My personal equation with her has not changed."

Pulkit is now looking for the greener pastures and scanning offers both from television and Bollywood. Pulkit reveals, "There are some offers from Bollywood but I still have to zero down on a good one. As far as television goes I am getting offers but I am taking my time. I am just waiting for a more substantial role especially after doing Kyunkii..."

A new face is going to replace Pulkit as Lakshay on the show and the search is on. Pulkit says, "The production house is looking for a replacement and the search is on." Pulkit is no mood to return back on the show at the moment even after his break ends.

Talking about NDTV Imagine's Say Shava Shava, Pulkit feels that it is better to drop the idea than to trouble the production house later with the issues. Pulkit says, "It was not confirmed as the talks were on. I can't be a part of the show as I can't give the required dates in the end of the January month. But I loved the concept of the show. There were some other things as well behind me quitting the show which I can't reveal. I also did not want to give trouble to the production house and the channel later so I decided to drop the idea."

Well as Pulkit takes a break we just hope the news does not break hearts of the million girls in love with him.

'Books and Music make me feel better' - Jhanvi Cheddha

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about acting and dancing.

So how do you work on your passions?

Acting is my profession. I am not a trained dancer, but I enjoy dancing with my friends as we all love to dance. Sometimes if I am alone I just play music and dance by myself.

Other than acting and dancing, what else do you love to do?

I like to read books and watch films. I also love to cook and eat. I love to experiment with different dishes when time permits.

So what kind of books do you enjoy reading?

To read is my passion, so it can be anything ranging from magazines to novels.

What is the latest book you have read?

Currently I am engrossed in reading a novel Snow by Orhan Pamuk.

What’s your idea of relaxation?

Sleeping. I sleep whenever I want to relax and release all my stress.

So any other stress buster?

Listening to music is another great way of releasing my stress.

What do you do in your leisure time?

Well, actors don’t get a lot of free time but all the free time I get, I spend it with my friends and family.

Do you do Yoga?

Not really. I just do meditation and Pranayam.

According to you, what is the best in Yoga?

The breathing Exercises. I make it a point to do them regularly as it helps me a lot.

Raja Ki Ayeegi Baraat- A Cindrella Story

STAR Plus, India’s leading General Entertainment Channel is set to give its viewers a daily dose of spice and heartiness with a simple girl’s tale of big dreams ‘Raja Ki Ayeegi Baraat’, starting Monday, 21 January at 8 p.m. This weekday serial will air every Monday to Thursday. It’s the first time ever that STAR Plus has taken the initiative to showcase huge palatial sets, vintage cars, horse races… thus creating a complete royal setting and offering the viewers a visual treat. Sunrise Telefilms will mark its first production venture with the primetime offering ‘Raja Ki Ayeegi Baraat’.

Intending to create an interesting mix of programming for the weekday prime time band, this will be STAR Plus’s attempt to showcase a never before shown fiction drama on the lines of the ever popular fairytale ‘Cinderella’. ‘Raja Ki Ayeegi Baraat’ is a story of Rani, a young girl from the village whose only dream is to make her family proud and happy. She is an innocent, shy and a very simple girl. Rani is very good in her studies and always tops in her class. Her mother has been the breadwinner of the family after Rani’s father passes away. Rani has a younger brother and a dadi who are very loving and dote on her.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Good Morning Zindagi on 9XM

The team of Good Morning Zindagi planned a surprise party for the show’s hosts as it is Gurdeep Kohli’s Birthday and Shakti Anand’s Wedding Anniversary on the 30th of Jan. It was a pleasant surprise for both the stars as it was something that was completely unexpected. As Gurdeep says, “It was a very pleasant surprise and a very special experience to celebrate my birthday on the sets.” Shakti also shares the same sentiment as he says, “It was really wonderful. The team of GMZ is like my second family and it felt amazing, celebrating the occasion with them.”

Gurdeep adds “It feels nice when you celebrate such a special occasion with such special people. And it has been a great experience for me working on the sets of Good Morning Zindagi” So what made Gurdeep choose anchoring? She claims, “I have always wanted to anchor and I was just waiting for the right opportunity. I got that when GMZ came my way and I have been doing fiction for the last six years. So right now, anchoring is like a breath of fresh air for me.” Shakti, on the other hand is used to the job of anchoring as he says, “It feels great working here since it is something different and an actor has to be versatile in his career. And for me, it is all about acting whether you are doing a daily soap or a chat show”

While Shakti has plans to celebrate his anniversary with friends and family outstation, Gurdeep aims to tone it down a bit as she says, “I have asked my director to pack me up early and I will be celebrating it with a few friends at home. Hopefully Arjun will be home early too and then we will celebrate together.” Shakti says, “Oh we will have a blast. If I am not working the next day, then we will probably go to Lonavala to spend the night at a friend's farmhouse. If not, we will celebrate it at home. For me, its all about being with your close ones on this special occasion which I aim to do."

Seema Kapoor in Bidai

Seema Kapoor came to fame with serials like Kurukshetra, Hum Saath Aath Hai and Hasratein. Now, after a hiatus the talented actress is back to televison in Rajan Shahi's “Sapna Babul Ka Bidaai” where she will play a very pivotal character of Vasundhara Rajvansh.

Vasundhara Rajvansh will be a woman of very strong character who holds her own dignity. She’s very graceful but maintains her distance with everybody, yet she has a lot in her which she doesn’t emote out. “The role will start on this note and as the story goes further, the role is going to get more and more intense,” says Seema when inquired about the role. Throwing more light on her character, Seema says, “I would not say it’s a negative role. Rajan doesn’t believe imposing negativity on purpose. We are going to build a mystery about this character. She is going to be a very intriguing kind of a person and there’s going to be lot of mystery built around her.” What made this versatile actress take up this role? She replies laughingly, “Till date every one took me always in serials so that they could get the best where emoting is concerned. And frankly I really get tired going to the sets and delivering endless lines and emoting. Here atleast there’s lot of controlled kind of performance. There won’t be too much of shouting and emoting. It will all be in a very subtle note.”

Seema as Vasundhara Rajvansh is going to make her entry into the show on 16th Jan. We are sure this talented and versatile actress would be delivering the viewers another high profile role. A role which is quite different from what she has done earlier, and we are confident she is surely going to do full justice even this time round.

Alka Yagnik on SVOI Chote Ustad

As the show takes a more serious turn with seven nanhe stars singing away to glory in the race to become Amul's Star Voice of India Chhote Ustad

, the show sees more stars and celebrities gracing the sets and wanting to meet these singing prodigies.

This Saturday, the viewers are in for a treat as Alka Yagnik takes her seat as a celebrity judge in the Retro Raat which celebrates the golden period of Indian music and pays tribute to the legendary Kishore Kumar, Rafi , Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsale, Manna De and many more who have become immortal with their everlasting music.

To keep up to the mood of the evening, the judges and the little kids were dressed colourfully with bell-bottoms and bumble-bee glasses; like the stars from 70s and 80s. And it didn't stop at this; Abhaas and Kunal Ganjawala went into the Sholay trance and did the Jai-Veeru act while Shreya Ghoshal, usually known for her soberness, quickly image changed into Basanti and mimed Hema malini. Also Yaadon ki Baraat was recreated as Abhaas, Kunal Ganjawala and Pritam did a small parody on the title song. Truly the mood was retro!

Amongst all this fun, Alka Yagnik referred to Shaan and Abhijeet whose presence was missed on the Star Voice of India sets. "Coming on Star Voice of India Chhote Ustad is like coming to my home ground. I had judged the first season of Star voice of India and coming back here is like coming back to my family. I am missing Shaan, Abhijeet here", she said.

Anvesha, Prakriti, Jayant, Vyom, Sonia, Aishwarya, Areeb rocked the stage as they sang one melodious songs after another leaving everybody nostalgic with the musical and titillating number from 70s and 80s. While all the kids performed their songs par excellence, Alka yagnik who was completely floored by Aishwarya's singing, promptly removed her gold chain and gave it to Aishwarya. "In fact, I rang up Gajendra Singh to say that Aishwarya is an excellent singers and I am looking forward to hearing her in person", said Alka Yagnik on this emotional moment. She was also happy with fact that girls are finally recognized unlike earlier when she was judging the show. Also she congratulated the Chhote Ustad team for giving this platform to young kids who are the future of the music industry.

Stay tuned for more excitement and music on Amul STAR Voice of India – CHHOTE USTAAD, Fri & Sat, Jan 18 & 19 at 10 p.m. only on STAR Plus!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

'Kaho Na Yaar Hai' starting January 18.

Star Plus is set to enthrall its viewers with a new celebrity game show 'Kaho Na Yaar Hai' starting January 18.

The programme, which will be aired on Fridays, is the first reality show where celebrities and their best friends will indulge in funny, mischievous and interesting games and thereby undertake the true test of friendship. The participating teams will comprise of a main celebrity and his or her two friends. Sprucing up the weekend segment, the show is set to replace the popular celebrity dance competition ''Nach Baliye 3''.

Speaking to reporters here, Star Plus Senior Creative Director Programming Anupama Mandloi said, ''Kaho Na Yaar Hai is a show which celebrates friendship in the craziest of ways. The show is an entertaining mix of warmth, fun, madness, camaraderie, revelation and sheer high spirits.'' 'Kaho Na Yaar Hai' will witness participation from celebrities such as Sajid Khan, Dia Mirza, Mallika Sherawat, Sonu Nigam, Ronit Roy and Gautami Kapoor. The show will be anchored by the well known actor-turned-anchor Karan Patel.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sadia Siddhiqui In Sapna Baabul ka...Bidaai

Sapna Baabul ka...Bidaai reaches an ultimate high as it records a high TRP of 5.4 last week, and has even surpassed the ratings of the ever popular K serial KyunKi Saaa Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi....

And now in an interesting turn of events, a twist is shown in the life of the the main protagonist Ragini , played by Parul Chauhan, as she learns to dance and joins a dancing institute run by the new entry Sadia Siddhiqui. Sadia was last seen in Saat Phere and is seen on television after a long break.

Speaking about her role she says, “The character I play is Arunima, a kathak dancer. And I am a trained kathak dancer, so it was not very difficult for me to essay the role. I was able to showcase my talent of dancing through this role. She adds further, “I become a driving force in Ragini’s life. After the break up of her wedding Ragini begins to underestimate herself all the more. But I discover her dancing skills and get her to join the dancing institute. Later I convince to even participate in a dance competition.”

So is the role going to be a cameo? Sadia replies, “As of now I really have no idea of the length of the show. I took up the show at short notice because of my previous acquaintance with the director Rajan Shahi.”

On her future plans, Sadia says, “Right now I have no other projects in television. I am working in a few Bollywood movies but I cannot disclose any details right now.”

Big Boss will return in April

The controversial SET reality show Big Boss will return in April. And guess what, the anchor is none other than the first season participant and well known Bhojpuri film icon Ravi Kissen.

"I am quite happy to be re associated with this Endemol Production. Big Boss has given me name and fame. I had been part of film world for the last 19 years, (Army, Kudrat, Udhar Ki Zindagi ) but yet, hardly anybody outside UP and Bihar recognized me. But today, the whole nation knows Ravi Kissen", claims the new anchor.

Remind him of his days locked in the Karjat house and Ravi similes, "It was tough, but I was the only one who did not play tricks. If you remember I was always myself.” He refused to give more info on Season 2 contestants, saying that you will come to know in few days.

Beside Big Boss, Kissen is also launching a reality chat show with film stars soon, as part of his production company. “I am also doing a couple of big Hindi films as well. Notable among them would be Mahadev with Govinda”, he says.

This vegetarian actor who was last seen in Sahara Filmy's Bath Room Singer, recently pledged Rs. 25000 to PETA. "I have always cared for animal’s and hope to spread the same message in UP and Bihar”, he ended

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kumkum And Saarthi Come Together

STAR Plus is all set once again to give its viewers a reason to celebrate. The shows Kumkum Saarthi will be seen in a cross over episode with the entire cast celebrating success together. This 2 hour special episode will be telecasted on the 11th of January. The high point in Kumkum will be unfolded where the suspense of Antara's murderer will be revealed, whereas Zalak Thakkar the main lead protagonist of Saarthi will be getting married to Gurpreet Singh and which will be shot on a lavish scale.

Sachin Deo is directing the crossover episode and producer Asit Modi of Saarthi is giving personal attention to all aspects to make the episode look grander in every way. There will be exclusive performances by Roshni Chopra, Hussain and Juhi Parmar of Kumkum, Yash Tonk and Pallavi Subash of Karam Apna Apna and Vishal Singh-Kanchi Kaul of Bhabhi.The dance performances have been cohreographed by Seemaa Desai and Pappu Khanna.

But that's not all… There are much more suprises stored for the day. This will include a stunning performance by the two sisters of Bidaai – Ragini & Sadhna.

This cross over episode will also be remembered for the fire accident that took place recently, as a result of which the production house had to bear the loss of rich and grandeour costumes getting destroyed. Hats off to Producer Asit Modi who managed to put up the grand set all over again after the tragic accident..

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Meri Awaaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni Going Off Air

As Star gets ready to launch a new daily soap Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat, starting January 21st, the news in the grapevine is that its serial Meri Awaaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni is going off air very soon.

Meri Awaaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni is an emotional and musical story about how a small town girl and an aspiring singer moves to the city to make it big in the music industry. Circumstances bring her to Mumbai city in search of a job and it is here that she meets the man of her dreams. But little does she realize that on the road to fame, fate has something else in store for her.

The serial had started out on a unique and different track but as it went on, it riveted to the same old love-story drama. Not only did the track of the serial change, but the production team also decided to include some new faces in the serial to bring up the dropping TRPs.. Unfortunately it appeared to make no difference, as the soap is now all geared up for a closure within the next few weeks.

Kaho Na Yaar Hai New reality show on Star Plus

Kaho Na Yaar Hai, the to-be-launched reality show on Star Plus will focus on the theme ‘Friendship’ and will bring together two celebrities in every episode, and present the viewers with the ultimate treat of getting to know their celebrities more closely. In the midst of long-drawn reality shows with the usual dose of drama and entertainment, Kaho Na Yaar Hai, which is an adaptation of the popular game show, ‘Friends Forever’, comes as a breath of fresh air, and will enthrall the viewers with the best of big fun studio entertainment.

Talking about the game show, Sanjiv Sharma, Executive Chairman and CEO of Optimystix, says, “This game show will provide ultimate entertainment to the viewers as well as the celebrities involved, wherein the viewers will know more about their celebrities, while the celebrities paired will have a fun-riot sharing all their secrets on screen. The biggest plus of this show is that, this will bring together two celebrity friends who will go thro’ a series of chit-chats, games and various other on screen activities, and even share their best of hidden secrets, to give the audience a measure of their friendship.”

This reality show, to be hosted by Karan Patel will be a 13 episode affair, and big names from all walks of life, starting from television, to media, to sportsmen, to film personalities will be called to be a part of the fascinating game show.

Talking about the Jodis in line, the Big B of Small Screen, Ronit Roy has been paired with Gautami Kapoor, his on screen Tulsi for the reality show, and this is what the star had to say about the game show. Says Ronit, “I had a fabulous time on sets; I have already shot my part with Gautami, and it is a nice and enjoyable show”.

As the countdown to this ‘friendly’ game show begins, let us recollect the nicest of anecdotes shared with our friends and set the mood for the ultimate fun-riot…

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Who killed Antara ? - Kumkum

The suspense and drama in Star Plus afternoon soap, Kumkum Ek Pyaara Sa Bandhan is getting bigger with every passing episode. As the viewers bite their nails to know more into the murder of an unknown gangster lying dead in the backyard of Wadhwa house, more dark secrets get revealed that put to stake the pride of the respectful Wadhwa family.

As Inspector Revathy, played by Sonia Kapoor tries to zero in on the killer, more skeletons come stumbling out of the closet. Just when it looks like the killer is caught, another murder happens, and this time, Antara is found dead. Says Sonia Kapoor, "As the mystery thickens, Inspector Revathy spots Dhruv's handkerchief, and gets convinced that it is Dhruv and Sia who have plotted to kill Antara, as they have a huge motive and can unite after Antara's death." Here starts a battle and a tough hurdle ahead, for Sumit and Kumkum, as they set to prove their son Dhruv and daughter-in-law Sia, as innocent.

Their search to find the real killer eventually leads them to the Goenka family of Saarrthi, and they believe that they will get a lead to the murder mystery, in the ongoing marriage of Bhoomi(Zalak Thakkar) and Rudr(Gurpreet Singh).

Gautami Kapoor Visits the Chawl

Recently Tulsi aka Gautami Kapoor and Baa(played by veteran Sudha Shivpuri) visited a chawl in the suburbs of Mumbai to get a feel of things to come in the story track..

When asked how the whole experience was, Gautami says, “It is truly a unique experience. We spent quality time with the people out here who have always been our loyal viewers. The afternoon was spent talking to the residents and distributing gifts among them. I was truly touched by their overwhelming response.”

Baa and Gautami who were thronged by media and the localites looked very comfortable handling the crowd. Talking about the extensive research planned by Ekta, ahead of Viraanis' entry into chawl, Gautami said, “The Kyunki team was planning to make a trip to Ahmedabad in order to learn to adapt to their new lifestyle, but was unable to do so as everyone was pre-occupied with New Year celebrations. But we definitely have plans of making the trip in the near future.”

Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii successfully completed 1500 episodes

Yet another milestone accomplished for Ekta Kapoor, as her second longest running show, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii successfully completed 1500 episodes on January 2nd; and what’s more, the serial is still going strong, with the various twists and turns offered to the audience on a platter.

The entire unit of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii got together to celebrate this phenomenal achievement and relive the memorable moments of being a part of the serial that started seven years and 3 months ago.

Anupama Mandloi, Senior Creative Director, Star Plus talks of the remarkable journey and quotes, “The serial has created history with its saga of Parvati and Om. The fact that Kahaani is still running is in itself, a sign of how deeply entrenched the characters are among the viewers”.
The pillar of the serial, Sakshi Tanwar says, “It feels great to reach this mark, and believe me, we aren’t even half way where we wish to be. I spend most of my time with my on screen family, and a seven year long association with them has been truly amazing.”

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Recap of 2007 Television

Even a decade ago, no one could have thought of writing an annual sum-up article on the television industry, which was limited to a Doordarshan and the odd Zee TV and Star World. Not only was acting in television industry considered to be the last resort of a wannabe star, but also like an old-age home for ageing, almost-retired stars.

Today not only are reams of newsprint used to let everyone know about the goings-on in the industry, you even have television production companies listed on the bourses. The year 2007 only contributed to making the position of the television industry stronger in India. New channels were launched, senior executives were poached from competitor channels and innumerable makeovers and transformations happened.

Here's a recap of what happened in the big world of the small screen.

The Return of Reality Shows:

If there was one phenomenon that marked the television world in India in 2007, it was the return of the reality shows with a bang. 2006 saw a steady decline in the interest in reality shows, main reason being the winners getting lost in the crowds. Though the Big Boss drama did manage to generate some interest, it was not enough to overtake the serials.

That is what Sa Re Ga Ma Pa managed to do in 2007. So much was the interest generated in this reality show that the audience preferred watching it over Kyun Ki…a serial that has been on top of the TRP charts for the last six years! But what was different in this year's shows that helped it overcome 'epics' like Kyun Ki? Nothing - except the fact that there was an overdose of them. If Zee had Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Star came up with Voice of India, not to forget Indian Idol from Sony, which meant, even if you wanted to watch something else, you had little option but to lend your attention to these shows. Plus, there is also no denying the fact that the quality of singing improved amongst the contestants, thereby leading to more interest.

Last, but definitely not the least, the cell phone companies and other sponsors also let loose their purse strings to ensure enough publicity and media hype over the contestants. With the Chhote Ustaads also in play now, very soon you will see parents wanting their kids to become singers akin to the craze of becoming cricketers today!

The unnatural death of serials:

Not every year sees so many mega serials being launched on television. The first half of 2007 saw a plethora of serials being launched, only to be taken off air within a few months. In an age when any serial worth its salt completes 1000 episodes, a run for a few months is nothing short of a mega-flop.

Take Kulvadhu for instance. Launched amidst a lot of hype and hoopla and armed with biggies like Milind Gunanji, Kitu Gidwani, Kulvadhu was Anuj Saxena's (Maverik Productions) first television venture. But it died an unnatural death due to low TRPs. Same was the story for Rishton Ki Dor, Kabhi To Nazar Milao, Durgesh Nandini, Aisa Desh Hain Mera, Resham Dankh, Twinkle Beauty Parlour, Jeete Hain Jiske Liye – all of them launched with an army of promotional salvos, but failed when it came to standing the test of time. A weak script was the culprit in most of the cases. The Indian television audience, it seems, is tired of the run-of-the-mill family dramas and want something different.

Guess it's time television producers, like their Bollywood counterparts, need to get more creative and think out better storylines. They need to look at a Naya Office Office or Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby to hit the bulls eye.

New channels on the block:

If you thought, the traffic jam on air was limited to metropolitan airports, think again! The satellite situation is no better. And a large part of the blame can be attributed to the geometric progression at which television channels are growing.

The year 2007 saw channels like 9x, Bindaas, Zee Next and NDTV Imagine as the big ticket launches. While the general entertainment channel 9X (promoted by ex-STAR head honcho Peter Mukherjea's wife Indrani Mukherjea) is the latest kid to hit the block, all the others are specialized channels with a niche market. With so many channels aiming at various niche markets, one wonders whether the consolidation movement going on in the other industries (airlines, pharma etc) will start raising its head here as well. The year also saw many head honchos of television channels changing sides for greener prospects. Balaji creative whizkid Sandeep Sickand left Ekta Kapoor to join Sony, only to quit after few months. Sameer Nair, COO of Star TV India put in his papers to move on to greener pastures. Ditto for Peter Mukherjea, the man responsible for the stupendous success of Star channels in the subcontinent.

Mega Makevers:

What was unimaginable for the last six years happened in 2007 – the iconic Tulsi (played by Smriti Irani) changed! After a thorough search, and equally rampant rumours, Gautami Gadgil (better known as Ram Kapoor's wife till recently) replaced Smriti, who (officially!) went on a break only to form her own production house and act in newer serials. While, Kyunki's popularity did not nose-dive, it did come down from the numero uno position it was retaining for more than half a decade.

If this was not enough, Balaji also replaced Cezanne Khan (as Anurag Basu) in its prime time serial Kasauti Zindagi Ki with Balaji loyal and Kyun Ki star Hiten Tejwani. With Hiten's popularity as Karan skyrocketing every day, acceptance in his new role was much smoother than Gautami Gadgil's. Kasauti also saw another replacement in the form of Vikas Sethi, replacing Manoj Bohra, who shot to fame with his role of Prem in the same serial.

But why suddenly so many changes in the cast? And why are people like Smriti Irani and Manoj Bohra who were comfortable in their roles and have cemented their positions opt to move ahead? Reasons vary from fights with producers to the quest for making it bigger. While Irani quit Kyunki due to a combination of both factors, Bohra quit purely because of a tiff with the producer. Ditto for Cezzanne Khan, who had infamous on and off set fights with Shweta Tiwari (Prerna).

Shows which are doing well in recent times are Chhoona Hai Aasmaan, Dill Mil Gayye, Mere Apne and ofcourse the reality shows. So what are we looking forward to in the year to come? More competition to Balaji, definitely, now that Smriti Irani's production house is providing serials to the newly-launched 9X. Also, with NDTV's foray into the entertainment world, Star and Times would be facing more competition. But whatever happens, the winner in all cases is the viewer!

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