Joined: 10 November 2004
Celebs in reel life
Almost similar to what Brett Lee and Navjot Singh Sidhu did in the same show recently, Bollywood star Abhishek
Bachchan sprung up out of nowhere and exclaimed, "Oh Kareena, tumne phir se jhooth bola? Ab to zaroor phasegi."
Bachchan Jr's portion was obviously not a part of the screenplay.
Then the channel and production house went a step ahead and roped in superstar Shah Rukh Khan to say a word or two to lead protagonist Kareena. Prem (Shahrukh, namesake of SRK, who plays a radio jockey and Kareena's friend) organises a meeting between Kareena (Kulraj Kaur who plays the title role) and SRK, scenes that were shot in Dubai where the star was present for a channel event.
Now, ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been asked to appear in Saibaba - yet another Zee show. Saibaba which went on air from September 2004 is produced by sports promoter, hotelier, film producer Aushim Khetrapal.
Khetrapal refuses to acknowledge that Sachin has been consciously roped in. "It's a small thing really. The show is based on a much bigger concept than a celebrity. It's a reality based show anyway."
"Sachin is a strong devotee of Saibaba. I know for a fact that he has had a brush with Saibaba. That's why, just like anubody else, he will participate in the proceedings. Like we have other people talking about miracles attributed to Saibaba, Sachin too will narrate a similar account."
Similarly, Optimystix's Rajeev Vyas whose Indian Idol on Sony had Juhi Chawla last week, defends, "Juhi was an an added attraction. 'Indian Idol' has worked on its own steam."
Roping in celebrities has been a regular feature on Sony too. Remember the various personalities who made flash appearances in Jassi...?
Saif Ali Khan made a guest appearance in the role of his film character Karan Kapoor from Hum Tum in Jassi...Sunil Lulla, executive Vice President, Sony, had said, This was not our idea. The producers of Hum Tum approached us."
But celebrity guest appearances is something Sony specialises in. And Jassi... has been its favoured vehicle. It saw Shefali Zariwala performing Kaanta Laga..., Mandira Bedi playing herself, Negar Khan with a song from Shaadi Ka Laddoo.
Sony's other middle class drama Ye Meri Life Hai had a one-hour special which featured a remix dance performance by Sanober Kabir of Meri beri ke ber and the Boogie Woogie team.
The ratings for the Jassi... one-hour specials had shot up considerably. More importantly, on those days, they even beat Balaji Telefilms' Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii.
Remember popular director Karan Johar appeared on the first episode of Ye Meri...? The channel officials had said, "That was a natural part of the story. The heroine, Pooja is studying to be a film director, and her icon is Johar. So he lends value to her dream."
Whatever, the fact of the matter lies in the questions listed below:
Wasn't roping in Karan Johar a strategy to flag off with some Bollywood glitter?
Before the decision to rope in Juhi Chawla and Preity Zinta was taken, hadn't the ratings on Indian Idol slipped a bit? Optimystix's Vyas chips in with an explanation, "Yes. But that happens with every show."
Has competition with Star Plus driven Sony to cross promos and special appearances?
Isn't Zee desperate for a success? Isn't it a fact that Nimbus' Kareena, Kareena hasn't lived up to the expectations? How long can it piggyback on the success of Astitva- Ek Prem Kahani which has won only critical acclaim?
Don't these special appearances provide a boost? Aren't they a source of gratification for the loyal viewers at least? Doesn't it come as a pleasant surprise for them- and helps the channel to attract new viewers as well.
Above all, aren't these appearances done to corner media attention if not the viewership ratings?
The answer to all these questions is the same three letter word 'YES'. Need we say more!
Joined: 19 December 2004
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