Can Ajith & Vijay revive the TRPs?
Ajith - Vijay  

While it is raining stars in national television, who are said to be skyrocketing TRP (Television Rating Points) rates, down South the television scene seems rather mega-sitcom-ish and reality show ridden. And an overdose of both, at that. Big B revolutionalized the television ratings in the otherwise Saas-Bahu saga with his Kaun Banega Crorepathi. His charm and panache did the trick and what the show did to Star TV's stature needs no explanation. Viewership rates went through the roof and Star snatched the television empire from Zee network sooner.

The era of Bollywood frequenting the tube started thereafter in a grand scale and we see more of Shahrukh and Salman on TV than on the big screen these days. Let alone reality shows, Shahrukh has modeled for products ranging from salt to satellite dishes and everything in between, giving professional models a run for their jobs. Although Shahrukh’s class teacher act for Paanchvi Pass on Star TV couldn’t render the same magic that his Crorepathi did, Salman Khan’s Dus Ka Dhum is making waves owing to

his nonchalant ways of making the guests relax while hurling questions at them. Latest in line is Akshay Kumar, who, true to his daredevil image, is hosting the Indianized version of the Fear Factor show on the recently launched Colors TV.

While this is the scene up North, Southern television is screaming for want of attention from creative heads. Not to mention, Kollywood star power has never paid much attention to television. Point in fact; there are actors who still consider going on air in television as harmful to their mainstream big screen image. This could be the same reason why celebrity endorsements have never been in fashion in Tamil TV. Exceptions being Surya, Ajith, and Vikram.

The closest thing ever frontline Kollywood stars did to get on TV was giving interviews on national holidays and festival time. And of course, on celebrity talk shows, that are a relatively new concept to Tamil television.

Of the few, Kushboo is the successful host of the television show Jackpot that still airs on TV. Few years ago, Sarath hosted the Tamil version of the Crorepathi show that was received with lukewarm response. That apart, many a Kollywood stars are part of the judges panel in those dance-based reality shows – most significantly, Namitha and Mumtaz.

The television channels only seem interested in competing for broadcast rights of every single movie being produced. Although the crores spent on buying such rights are worth every paisa, novel concepts for newer television formats, including game shows and talk shows that make use of the Kollywood star power, will have a telling impact on the TRP ratings.

For instance, Vikram hosting a reality-stunt show or Surya hosting a fitness based reality show will be sure shot hits. Or how about Ajith hosting a regionalized version of Das Ka Dhum and Vijay Paanchvi Paas? If only the producers care enough to look around for a brainwave, getting up close with our Kollywood stars in our own living room could become a reality soon.

By Prathap.

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