Sridevi in Malini Iyer
Produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by ace director Satish Kaushik, Malini Iyer (Sahara One, 2004-2005) was a game changer in its time. Not only did it boast of an interesting storyline and phenomenal acting by the cast, but it also had the legendary Sridevi Kapoor playing the title role of Malini Iyer. The story revolved around Malini Iyer, a Tamil Brahmin, who married a Punjabi, Pankaj Sabharwal (Mahesh Thakur), and how she adjusts into the family. The conflict between the two diametrically opposite cultures was what led to a lot of comical moments in the show, as the Punjabis tried to adjust to their Tamilian daughter in law.
Raveena Tandon in Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam
Bimal Mitra's critically acclaimed novel Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam has been adapted time and again, but the most recent adaptation was that of the late Rituparno Ghosh's maiden television venture, Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam (Sahara One, 2004). Starring the exceptional Raveena Tandon as Choti Bahu, the protagonist, the show boasted of a talented star cast including Ayub Khan as Chote Babu, Mauli Ganguly as Jaba and Rajesh Shrinagarpure as Bhootnath. The show was extensively shot in real locations in Kolkata, and went on to become extremely popular with the audience.
Hema Malini in Kamini Damini
When the Dreamgirl of Bollywood forayed into television, a number of hearts stopped beating and mouths were left agape as they were mesmerized by her all over again in a new medium. BR Chopra's Kamini Damini (Sahara One, 2005) was loosely based on the popular movie Seeta Aur Geeta, which coincidentally also starred Hema Malini in the lead role of the twin sisters Seeta and Geeta. The show was an instant success with the audience, and it went on to rake in extremely high ratings during its air time.
Karisma Kapoor in Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny
Anurag Kashyap forayed into the entertainment industry with the show Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny (Sahara One, 2003-2004). The show was a multistarrer in its time, with Karisma Kapoor essaying the dual role of the protagonists Devyani and Avni, supported by talented actors including Jugal Hansraj, Arbaaz Khan, Arshad Warsi and Sanjay Kapoor. The gripping storyline, crisp editing and the presence of popular Bollywood actors in a fictional show fetched this thriller-drama extremely high ratings, and it went on to run for slightly more than a year.
Anil Kapoor in 24
Based on the popular American political thriller of the same name, 24 (Colors, 2013) was well lauded by critics and audiences alike. The combination of popular Bollywood actors, such as Anil Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi and Richa Chaddha, and the invigorating plot only served to increase the popularity of the show. The show has since ended, but is slated to come back with a second season in the near future.
Amitabh Bachchan in Yudh
The latest Bollywood star to foray into the world of Television shows is none other than the Shahenshah of Bollywood himself, Amitabh Bachchan. Bachchan recently made his fictional television debut with the psychological thriller Yudh (Sony, 2014). Said to be one of the most expensive Indian television shows ever made, Yudh has been creatively headed by Anurag Kashyap, which marks his return to television after his stint with Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny. Despite boasting of a stellar starcast including Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sarika, Anurag Kashyap, Nawazuddin Siddique and Kay Kay Menon, the show seems to have met with a rather lukewarm response. Given that it is a short show with a limited number of episodes, it is only fair to wait and see how it fares at the end.
Aside from the aforementioned stars and their shows, there have been many actors who've made appearances in television shows. Everyone knows how Shahrukh Khan and Vidya Balan Kapoor began their careers from television (Fauji and Hum Paanch, respectively), while veteran actress Kirron Kher was seen in Prratima, and will soon be seen in the upcoming show Kitni Girhain Baaki Hain on Zee TV's new channel Zindagi. Former Femina Miss India Poonam Dhillon has shifted to showcasing her talent on television, and currently plays the lead role in the ongoing Sony serial Ek Nayi Pehchan.
The gap between the small screen and big screen seems to have diminished over the years, with mainstream Bollywood stars foraying into television. It won't be very long when the gap would have disappeared in itself, and the two industries, instead of running parallel to one another, will be running synonymously. However, we're not done! Stay tuned for a second part to this article, where we'll be covering the Bollywood actors who've made their mark in reality shows! In the meantime, let us know your favorite show starring a mainstream Bollywood star by commenting below!
Author: Ritchelle C.
Editor/s: Aishwariya S., Komal P. and Gunia K.
Graphics: Shikha A.
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