Neha Maheshwri Bhagat (BOMBAY TIMES; February 28, 2013)
Actress Pratyusha Banerjee, who became a household name as the grownup Anandi of Balika Vadhu, is no longer part of the show. Actress Toral Rasputra is likely to step into her rather big shoes from March 4.
Sources say that the production house and the channel were unhappy with the actress for the last few months because of her diva-ish behaviour.
Says a source, “Pratyusha had become too big for her shoes and it was getting difficult to work with her. A daily soap needs actors to be very accomodating.” However, the actress insists she has quit the show for personal reasons. “Apart from my own health issues, my mother had an eye operation recently and I had to tend to her. Because of all this, I wasn’t able to give enough time to the show. Also, I want to move on and the production house and I decided to part ways amicably.”
So, does she have Bollywood on her mind? “No, it will take at least a year for that. I will take a short break and return after a month-and-a-half. I don’t think I will have to wait for long to get good work.”
Prashant Bhatt, Weekday Programming head Colors, says, “The show is progressing towards focusing on Shiv-Anandi’s married life. We need to have hectic shooting schedules at this stage and Pratyusha has been unable to commit the required time. So, we mutually agreed to part ways. We understand her perspective and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”
Sonali Joshi More >
TV industry cries foul over political intervention in reality-based shows after episodes featuring Delhi gang-rape and Om Prakash Chautala’s recruitment scam were blacked out
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; February 26, 2013)
Popular television series Crime Patrol, that reconstructs high profile cases, has been asked by the Delhi High Court to withdraw two episodes based on former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay, who are serving a jail sentence after conviction in a recruitment scam. Advocate Rajiv Nayyar, appearing for Chautala, asked the court to direct the channel to postpone the telecast till the pending petition seeking suspension of their sentence is decided by another bench.
This is the second such instance in two months that the producer was asked to black out content, the first being two episodes based on the Delhi gang rape incident, which followed an intervention by the I& B Ministry.
An alarmed TV industry now sees a bigger and sinister political design behind the move. It is being held that there is a very real threat of the general entertainment channels losing their right to expression. Not to mention the financial setback suffered due to the last – minute cancellations.
Vipul D Shah of Optimystix, the producers of Crime Patrol said, “Well, the broadcasters (Sony) have been supportive about compensating me, but I don’t know if I’ll get to air the episodes at all. All I can say is this is reflective of the sad fate of reality More >
After 7 years, FIR to see a generation leap
Neha Maheshwri Bhagat (BOMBAY TIMES; February 9, 2013)
After seven years, popular serial FIR will see a change. Kavita Kaushik, who has been playing Inspector Chandramukhi Chautala, will no longer be on the show. There will be a generation leap with a new cop coming in as Chandramukhi’s daughter.
Sources say Chitrashi Rawat, best known as one of the Chak De! India girls, will in all likelihood be finalised soon. Apart from Kavita, Aamir Ali and Kiku Sharda will also not be part of the time leap. The production house is hunting for Kiku’s replacement.
What prompted the change? Says the source, “After seven years, they felt it was time for a change. Also, Kavita is doing another show on the same channel, where she plays a character which is just the opposite of Chautala.” Producer Binaifer Kohli, however, did not revert to our SMS.
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; February 7, 2013)
Television actress Rupali Ganguly, who keeps her personal life away from the prying eyes of media, has surprised everyone with her marriage. She quietly tied the knot with businessman Ashvin Verma on Wednesday. “It was a very low-key affair. The mehndi ceremony took place Tuesday night,” a source said.
The marriage took place at Seven Bunglows, Andheri. Rupali had invited only close friends and relatives. When contacted, her close friend, TV actor, Vishal Singh, confirmed the news.
The actress, who is currently playing Pinky in Parvarrish – Kuchh Khattee Kuchh Meethi, has not been coming to the sets for shooting. She has taken a 15-day leave from the show. Rupali is known for playing Dr. Simran Chopra in Sanjivani and Monisha Sarabhai in Sarabhai VS Sarabhai. She also participated in the first season of reality show Bigg Boss in 2006.
Neha Maheshwri Bhagat (BOMBAY TIMES; February 5, 2013)
What’s the connection between culinary skills and cosmetic jobs? Ask Gizele Thakral, whose lips are a subject of speculation these days. The model, currently seen in reality show Welcome: Baazi Mehmaan-Nawaazi Ki, has become a butt of jokes by her cocontestants, who believe she has undergone a lip job. One contestant even said her childhood pics were manipulated. In short, Gizele’s lips have attracted more attention than the food she cooked on the show. When we asked the model Gizele for her side of the story, she says, “Most African-Americans have big lips. My mom has thick lips and I have got mine from her. Just because fuller lips are a rage now, people think I have gone under the knife to acquire it.” About her co-contestants’ accusation, she says, “My childhood pictures prove that I was born with luscious lips. The claims about my pictures being manipulated are baseless.”
The two actors, who played brother-sister in the historical show Shobha Somnath Ki, tied the knot on Friday in Kolkata
Neha Maheshwri Bhagat (BOMBAY TIMES; February 3, 2013)
TV actress Resshmi Ghosh had almost packed her bags and would have returned to Kolkata if it wasn’t for actor Siddharth Vasudev, who was last seen in Amrit Manthan. They acted together in Shobha Somnath Ki — in which they played brother and sister — and befriended each other in 2011. Contrary to what people may see as a hasty decision, the couple has had a courtship of a year before they tied the knot on February 1. Says Resshmi, “Siddharth is a private person, hence I decided not to talk about our relationship in the media. I had almost decided to leave Mumbai and shift back to Kolkata, when I received the offer to play a part in Shobha Somnath Ki. I met Siddharth during the show and we became friends. After that, I left for Sydney to shoot for a movie and we started interacting on a social networking site. It was in January 2012, he confessed his love and a month later, he proposed marriage to me in a rather filmy way to which I immediately agreed.”
Talking about her wedding, the actress says, “I always wanted a traditional Bengali wedding and Siddharth and his family supported me. Since he is a Kashmiri Pandit, we did incorporate some elements of his culture by beating dhols and bursting crackers. It was funny and cute to see him recite mantras in Bengali. Our engagement took place two days More >
10-year-old’s dialogues on TV show raises eyebrows
Neha Maheshwri Bhagat (BOMBAY TIMES; January 25, 2013)
Erotic dialogues and intimate scenes are not new on television anymore. But a 10-year-old mouthing dialogues like ‘Ye sharirik sambandh kya hota hai?’ and ‘Meri maa tabhi theek ho sakti hai jab unke saath sharirik sambandh hoga’ is raising quite a few eyebrows.
Shruti Bhist, who plays seven-year-old Indu in Hitler Didi, doesn’t even understand the meaning of these terms, as told by her mother. According to the track, she overhears the family doctor say that Indira (Rati Pandey) will become normal only if her husband (Rishi Kumar, played by Sumit Vats) establishes ‘sharirik sambandh’ with her. Producer Ila Bedi Datta says, “I don’t understand what this brouhaha is all about. Little Indu overhears this word and asks her father what that means. This triggers the track of Rishi committing to consummate his relationship with Indira, irking Zara to no end.”
Shruti’s mother Kusum says, “Shruti cannot even pronounce the word and asks me the meaning of it. I have told her not to discuss it with anyone. Kids also watch the show and it might affect them too. I brought it up with both the channel and the production house. They told me that the script demands it and requested me to look at it with a positive perspective.”
Neha Maheshwri Bhagat (BOMBAY TIMES; January 22, 2013)
Deepshikha Nagpal has quit Sony Entertainment Television’s Hongey Judaa Na Hum. She put in her papers on December 14 and completed the notice period on January 14. But the production house has now requested the actress to extend her stay by a month. According to sources, Deepshikha was not happy with her track and there was also some tension simmering between her and Aamna Shariff, the protagonist of the show. Says a source, “The two play mother and daughter, but the fact is that they look like sisters. Aamna was not happy with her makeup person and had got Deepshika’s makeup man to do the job. But when both of them are shooting together, it delays the schedule. Aamna once reached late and started getting her makeup done. This left Deepshikha, who arrived first, with no choice but to wait for her turn. Finally, the shoot was delayed by almost four hours.”
When BT contacted Deepshikha about her decision to leave the show, she said, “Yes, I am quitting, but I don’t want to go into the details. I want to quit on a happy note and wish them well.” Aamna didn’t revert to our text message.
Akash Wadhwa (BOMBAY TIMES; January 20, 2013)
Alot of money might be riding on the veterans in the television industry, but the irony is that none of the highest paid actors on TV today are able to give a Television Rating Point (TRP) boost to their shows. Whether it is Ram Kapoor in Bade Achhe Laggte Hain (BALH) or Rashami Desai’s much-hyped re-entry in Uttaran, the serials with some of the most popular names of Indian television are struggling to maintain viewership. “While this may come as a surprise to many, the insiders in the industry always knew that this would happen sooner than later,” says producer Saurabh Tewari.
Even Ram Kapoor, who was a hit with viewers, and reportedly commanded a pay package of 80,000 per day, has not been able to sustain the TRPs of his show. “TV channels tried working with old faces and new stories, but it didn’t work for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s the script that rules, not the faces,” says producer Bhairavi Raichura. Director Ravindra Gautam, adds, “TV stars are a myth, there can’t be stars on TV. Agar aisa hota toh khali veterans ko le lene se hi shows chal jaate.”
Apparently, working with the stalwarts of the industry comes with its share of woes. “Content is compromised because they don’t give more than 15 days in a month to a show,” says Saurabh.
Actor Samir Soni says, “What has really happened with shows having veterans from the TV industry is that content has taken a backseat. Director aake bolta hai, ‘please pull the More >
Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 13, 2012)
After spending about 14 weeks in the Bigg Boss house, television actress Urvashi Dholakia – who shot to fame after her portrayal of the vampish Komolika in Kasauti Zindagii Kay – emerged the winner of the show’s sixth season, bagging a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh.
Designer Imam Siddiqui was the runner up (right).
An exultant Urvashi said, “I had decided to be myself on the show. I wasn’t acting and that worked in my favour. I remained calm, restrained and non-abusive, I’m glad I was appreciated for that.”
“This was my first appearance on any reality or game show, and I won. Yes, the prize money matters, but at the moment I am feeling an elation that goes way beyond money,” said the single parent of twin boys, who has also dabbled in stand-up comedy. “My sons are with me right now, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see them after so many weeks. My world is complete.”
The closely-contested season’s finale had three other participants — designer Imam Siddiqui, model Niketan Madhok and model-actress Sana Khan — vying for the top spot. The show, which kicked-off on October 7 last year, had 19 contestants from different fields ranging from politics to television. This season included personalities like cricketer-commentator turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, celebrity hair stylist Sapna Bhavnani and cartoonist and activist Aseem Trivedi.
The reality show, which started 6 years ago, involves contestants staying in a house cut off More >