Bollywood’s ‘bee-line’ to the idiot box is getting longer. Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani are the latest to climb on to the lucrative and rewarding TV bandwagon. After Aamir Khan Productions, it is the turn of Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. to enter the gold mine of TV content development and production with an untitled mega game show for family audiences. The other details of the show are still under wraps.
Farhan is not new to TV. Zoya and he had once apprenticed with Adi Pocha, the ad filmmaker and producer of the first daily TV soap opera ‘Shanti’ and game shows like ‘Saanp Aur Sidhi’ in the nineties. The TV boom was just starting then and the phenomenon of Ekta Kapoor had not yet hit the small screen.
|FARHAN AKHTAR and RITESH SIDHWANI|
The producer-duo, who own one of the most successful film banners, has been working with a team of writers for nearly six months now to develop a family game show that will educate as well as entertain. They call it an ‘edutainment’ show. Being smart businessmen, both of them realize the importance of TV, which is bigger than cinema in terms of money. It is also a much safer bet than films with regular and assured income.
Since the mandatory digitization of the cable delivery platform is underway, the TV channels are also looking for content with definitive branding and are keen to rope in big Bollywood names to firm up there programming.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)