Supplying talent to tinsel town presently seems to be the way for channels. If Sahara announces a 'Mr & Miss Bollywood', Star quickly follows with 'Indian Superstar' and the action grows. Apart from common features, like auditions, screening and Bollywood, another interesting aspect to note in both shows is the role of Percept D' Mark.
To put things into perspective, let's look at these talent hunts more closely. Mr and Miss Bollywood and Indian Superstar signify an active association of both channels with Indian film industry. Both shows aim at producing talent for Indian movies and the search is nationwide. Both shows follow the routine of calling entries, auditioning, screenplays and then finally zeroing in their respective superstars. Both channels will put their short listed artists in acting training periods and such workshops.
Where Indian Super Stars looks for six potential actors and will produce a movie with these finalists, Mr & Miss Bollywood will go for 30, of which six will be used for films and 24 for Indian television! Both channels will share contracts with their finds and consecutively manage their careers as well. Sahara's Mr & Miss Bollywood will kick off mid-March and Indian Superstar, mid-April. Needless to say, both will cater to similar TGs and present prime television properties as well. And if these similarities were not enough, both channels rely on Percept D' Mark for managing their respective events, or such is the market belief.
Delving on the final point some more, for Sahara, the entire event from beginning to final stage that is creative content plus logistics is managed by Percept D' Mark. For Star however, while the creative content will be the channel's, as per Percept D' Mark's CEO and ED, Sanjay Lal, the production and logistics supply is Percept's.
Says he, "For Sahara, we take care of the complete responsibility but in the case of Star, it is just logistic support. In any case, these properties are very different." Throwing more light on the difference, he explains that while Sahara is a more on-ground project, Star is more of an on-air property, the latter being a fact that was voiced by Star, COO, Sameer Nair in a briefing, "We are a TV company and we are looking at this property in that light. Making a movie is only gratification; Indian Superstar will prove to be a very big TV property."
Apart from this, in Sahara the front-end activity is more on-ground, "We find the talent and then the role," explains Lal, "In Star however, the script will be ready and then we will look for talent. In Sahara, we will not air the journey of zeroing in on the actors. Only the final finds will be aired, which is not the case in Star, where everything will be shown."
So we do have differences between the properties too. The point however, is that do these differences mean different objectives for the both the shows as well? Does Sahara concede that mere showcasing of the final episodes might prove fruitful for the channel? Throwing more light on this point, Alan Mans, President, Films, Percept D' Mark says, "We have not decided yet whether we will show the selection episodes. Maybe we will take the interesting ones and air that." Again, isn't that what the audience would be interested in? Won't those be the episodes that would generate TRPs?
Sahara's Mr & Miss Bollywood is at a stage where things are more concrete for the channel. On the other hand for Star, quite a lot is in the pipeline. Details like the director and the script that would actually drive the hunt are still to be finalised. Definitely quite a lot of work on both channels and Percept D' Mark is at the helm of both.
If one might think that the situation means conflicts of interests, considering both shows are based on quite similar formats and will air in more or less the same time brackets, well there is more. Nair denies Percept's involvement with Indian Superstar in any such capacity. He states, "Since Percept D' Mark is doing Mr and Miss Bollywood, therefore they obviously will not be involved in production, logistics or event management of Indian Superstar."
Looks like, more has to be yet cleared with Indian Superstar than just director and script. It is worth a watch how things shape between Percept D' Mark and Star or may be Percept D' Mark and Sahara, considering everyone wants to work with the leader. Meanwhile, Mr & Miss Bollywood, by virtue of its nature, would prove competition for Star, despite the massive viewership difference of both channels.