Sunday, November 16, 2003

Turning into a travelling show!

Sabse Alag goes the punchline of SAB TV, but the question is ó how is it sabse alag? The channel keeps saying itís different but it just canít walk its talk.

Suman on Carry on Shekhar
Suman on Carry on Shekhar: Another talkathon

Now in a bid to boost viewership it has recalled Shekhar Suman for Carry On Shekhar Mondays to Thursdays at 10 p.m. But once again its back to the beaten track as the show is nothing but an extension of Movers and Shakers on Sony.

The only alag thing about the show is that itís being served fresh and is being aired the same day it is shot. 

The channel is hoping Shekhar will carry the viewers with him. And the star has hired a battery of humour writers to give a freshness to the show.

The concept of the original Movers and Shakers on Sony was adapted by Zee as Simply Shekhar and now it has shifted to Sab TV as Carry On Shekhar. The star is candid when he says, "It has become a Ďtravelling showí ó going from one channel to another!"


Thapar on Hard Talk India: Talking tough
Thapar on Hard Talk India: Talking tough

Itís hard to beat an original. Think about Hard Talk and the first image that strikes your mind is that of Tim Sebestian the host who loves grilling the sweat out of people.

Now BBC World has given the show an Indian twist with Hard Talk India. The new series is being aired every Fridays at 10 p.m. Presenter Karan Thapar talks tough with well-known faces ó mostly politicians.

The guests have included people like L.K. Advani, George Fernandes, Sharad Pawar, Yashwant Sinha, Jaipal Reddy and more who face Karanís fire.

Given the heady mix of politics and Karanís acerbic style of anchoring, the show should have been riveting. But the trouble is Thapar also hosts Face to Face on the same channel which is a sugary celebrity show. So itís all-smiles on one show and breathing fire in the next. A trick mirror effect indeed!

ĎVí are on a song

Channel (V) largely perceived as a shadow of big brother MTV, has upset the music cart. It has emerged as the channel of choice for Gen-E. According to TAM Media Research data over four weeks in September and October, it is way ahead of its rivals.

Media observers are not surprised at the development and credit programmes like Popstars 2, Panga and Goddess that hold appeal for the youth. Says head honcho, Amar K. Deb, "We are planning many more big-ticket shows in the coming months."

In the period, the channelís eyeball share rose to 37 percent as compared to MTVís 31 per cent, B4Uís 17 per cent and Zee Music came in last at 15 per cent. MTV saw a steep decline from 39 per cent in last week of August to 29 per cent in first week of September.

Channel (V) gained immensely from Popstar 2 as a staggering 5.8 million viewers tuned in to the simulcast of the inaugural episode. Though the development of the Popstars has come at an exorbitant cost, the channel is on a song as the results start rolling in.

One at a time

He calls himself the great gambler. And he has reasons for adopting the sobriquet. After a much appreciated TV debut with Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat Rajiv Khandelwal did what no newcomer usually dares to do. He nixed all offers and went into a self-imposed hibernation saying that he was not interested in run-of-the-mill roles.

Nothing exciting came his way for almost a year but Rajiv was determined to wait for the right role. And then, his gamble paid off when he was offered Kahin to Hoga.

Not that Rajiv was unemployed all that time. During his hibernation he did ads for products like Gilbeys Green Label, LML, Videocon Refrigerator and more before Kahin To Hoga came along. "I play a complex character and I have to put all my energies in this assignment. So I donít want to take on anything new."

Once the serial is over would he again take a break? "Not a break but Iíll wait fopr a quality role to come my way on TV or in films," says Rajiv clearly impressed by the one-film-at-a-time motto of Aamir Khan whom he understandably idolises.

Connecting people

How do people live in different parts of the globe, what are their lifestyles, their cultures and traditions? Though we know a lot there are places that are beyond our imagination.

People And Places, a National Geographic Channel series aired every Tuesday at 9 p.m. showcases various cultures of the world. On November 18 the show takes a trip to Chennai not on a cycle rickshaw or an elephant but in an Ambassador ó the car that drove India for almost half a century.

In the episode $100 Taxi Ride, Chennai taxi driver Mohan takes viewers on a ride through the bylanes of the city that was called Madras till a few years ago.

The journey through the Hindu temples and snake charmers ends in a stress-busting lesson in meditation. If you like travel shows this is a ride you wonít want to miss.

ó Mukesh Khosla