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Old 04-19-2011, 06:22 PM
uasw274661 uasw274661 is offline
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Default TOP 10 TV Stunt Shows of the year

At the launch of Colors’s fourth season of Khatron Ke Khiladi the petite Smita Bansal (better known as Anandi’s soft-spoken saas in Balika Vadhu) nervously giggled about her participation in the show. The media present also seemed to be a little worried for Smita’s wellbeing among the other seemingly tough nuts. But the actress soon quelled doubts as she told an anxious journo, “I might look timid but I am all for adventure. I have this crazy, adventurous, fun streak in me.’ While, we will soon get to see this other side of her, more and more TV stars are eager to go all out and participate in such shows. That channels and producers are fishing out the best possible international stunt show formats to desi small screens also underlines the fact that stunts are in, the genre of adventure shows is here to stay at least till the next big thing arrives in our drawing rooms.

So naturally then, KKK 4 which has host Akshay Kumar returning, is believed to have upped its ‘danger/fear’ quotient by several notches and full of torchaar (you could read it as ‘torture’). Meanwhile, rumours suggest the beefy John Abraham, who’s had a lacklustre innings at the box-office is ready to flex his biceps for his TV debut. He might be hosting the desi version of Survivor, sources say. Ajay Devgn and Arjun Rampal are also in the running.

Then there are reports about Sunny Deol – whose career has had a fresh lease of life with the success of Yamla Pagla Deewana – and Sanjay Dutt showing interest in hosting a stunt show tentatively titled Jaanbaaz.

These may be top film actors vying for their place on the small screen as hosts of stunt/adventure shows. But there are many TV actors who are going out on a limb to participate in stunt or adventure shows. The small screen stars are going all out to shed their ‘screen image’ and bring out their rough and tough side in these shows promising dare-devilry.

At least three of the top GECs are currently working on launching a stunt show. Whilst Colors and Star Plus are working on desi versions of international stunt shows, Zee is developing a homegrown format. In the days to come all these channels are going to be spending a huge amount in firming up their non-fiction programming. In fact, stunt shows require a lot of pre-prod as they not only involve working on the formats, but also putting the safety and insurance measures in place, not to forget taking care of star egos and tantrums. A casting director who’s done some of the biggest reality shows says it’s often the men who throw tantrums and have a defeatist attitude while the women are tougher and are positive about going all out to prove their mettle.

Meanwhile, here’s a brief going back to the time when stunt-based and adventure shows were new to the Indian screens. Indians love their bit of action and on-the-edge excitement. It was way back in 2005 that Sony aired Endemol’s Fear Factor India. Hosted by Mukul Dev the show offered a grand prize of Rs 10 million. Known actors took part in this one. Though the show did not generate the expected ratings it paved the way for others to follow. MTV aired Stunt Mania, which is currently running a fresh season. The channel also has its other big property titled Roadies 8 and that it has survived for eight long years speaks of its immense popularity especially among the youth. Sure, it doesn’t require participants to perform stunts but there is a big amount of some fearless action and loads of edgy stuff.

Stunt shows have always attracted actors (especially those looking for an image change or those who have had their fill of playing weepy/ uni-dimensional characters) and models (who seem to be made-to-order for these stunts, what with their long legs and lithe frames) as they offer a chance to move out of their comfort zone and push their limits. In fact it is also a good opportunity for many such out of work actors to not only get back into limelight but also make some good money. Not to forget a paid foreign holiday! Interestingly, Colors choosing Priyanka Chopra to host their last edition with macho male participants also broke the myth that only men could host these shows!
Or when Shah Rukh Khan decided to get out of the hot seat and traded his paanchvi pass kiddie team with a bunch of losers in his last TV outing, Wipeout – Zor Ka Jhatka. The show met with a lukewarm response but that hasn’t stopped from the channel honchos claiming to kick-start another season. Interestingly, Kushal Punjabi who won the show is a veteran of sorts of these adrenaline-pumping enterprises. He has won all the stunt shows he has participated in beginning with a show called Paisa Bhari Padega on Sony!

Little wonder then, channels are now falling over each other to bring the latest stunt show to your drawing rooms. And in a bid to attract viewers they are leaving no stone unturned in signing the biggest names in the film and TV business. And stars too know that this genre may be the next big thing on TV as they queue up to sign them. As for the viewers, it can provide a great watch to those who are looking away from song and dance reality shows. And if their favourite Bollywood star is hosting it, then it’s like the proverbial icing on the cake. Besides, winners of these shows do get newer shows and other opportunities to cash in on their success. For instance, when Nethra Raghuraman won the first edition of Khatron Ke Khiladi, Nat Geo lapped her up immediately to host Flight Of The Hawkz, which got a good opening.

So it’s adventure shows that are currently enjoying their place in the television sun as both the big names of Bollywood and Tellywood gear up to have their share of the pie.

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