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Why reality TV shows are more lucrative than Bollywood

Thanks to the obscene amount of money that reality shows are offering, many seem to prefer them over films. A recent case in point is Upen Patel...

According to a recent report, the television industry has been consistently clocking a year-on-year growth of about 15 per cent, luring advertisers to pour money into the general entertainment channels. At the same time, networks are pulling out all stops, splurging big money on the star cast, elaborate sets, and stunning locations. And reality shows being the darling of small screen audience, remuneration of those involved in them can make your jaws drop.

While participating in dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, television actress Drashti Dhami (left) was paid R2 lakh on a weekly basis. The amount consistently went up as she ensured her survival on the show
While participating in dance reality show 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa', television actress Drashti Dhami (left) was paid Rs 2 lakh on a weekly basis. The amount consistently went up as she ensured her survival on the show

Buzz is that Upen Patel and Karishma Tanna, who "fell in love" during Bigg Boss' last season, have been offered a big, fat pay cheque to take part in the upcoming season of celebrity dance show Nach Baliye — Rs 2 crore for five episodes. With changes in the format this time round, the show requires participating couples to not only flaunt their dancing skills, but also stay together until elimination.

An offer made to Upen Patel and Karishma Tanna to take part in Nach Baliye
An offer made to Upen Patel and Karishma Tanna to take part in 'Nach Baliye 7'. Rs 2 crore for five episodes

Drashti Dhami
Weekly earnings of Drashti Dhami on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa's previous seasons. Rs 2 lakh

It is said that Upen was apparently getting Rs 1.25 crore to do a film, apparently a Sunny Deol production, but opted out of it when the 'Nach Baliye' offer came his way. Upen's manager confirms that he gave up the film offer to be a part of the reality show.

Rs 4-15 lakh The range of money that Nach Baliye participants are getting this year as per their popularity

Siddharth Shukla
Weekly earnings of Siddharth Shukla on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa's previous seasons. Rs 2 lakh

Costly affair
This year, 'Nach Baliye' will be made on a bumper budget with Ekta Kapoor taking on the production reins. The contestants are said to be getting anywhere between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 15 lakh a week depending on their popularity. "For example, Payal Rohtagi and her wrestler beau Sangram Singh, who are also participating in the show, are paid lesser, say, around Rs 2 lakh or so per week. As far as dance reality shows are concerned, popular faces like Pratyusha Bannerjee, Siddharth Shukla and Drashti Dhami earned Rs 2 lakh on a weekly basis. Even when doing TV soaps, some of them sign a contract with reality show makers for a fixed R2 lakh a month and that amount constantly soars till they are eliminated," a source says.

Pratyusha Banerjee
Weekly earnings of Pratyusha Banerjee on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa's previous seasons. Rs 2 lakh

Star value
Bollywood celebrities and sports personalities like Navjot Singh Sidhu get a bigger paycheque to appear on reality shows as judges or special guests — around Rs 8 to 10 lakh per week or for two episodes. On the other hand, singers, models and starlets, who also not as sellable as their B-Town counterparts, also earn a decent amount of money.

Shweta Tiwari
What Shweta Tiwari earned per week on 'Bigg Boss'. Rs 6 lakh

What Navjot Singh Sidhu is paid for a week on reality TV
What Navjot Singh Sidhu is paid for a week on reality TV. Rs 8-10 lakh

"Ravi Kissan got approximately Rs 1 lakh a few years ago when he took part in 'Bigg Boss' while Shweta Tiwari was paid nearly Rs 6 lakh per week as she has a huge fan following," says a source, adding that Tanishaa Mukerji made Rs 30-35,000 a day on the same show and the amount increased week after week. Some well known TV hosts such as Hussain Kuwajerwala pocket around Rs 1 lakh a week.

Ravi Kissen’s weekly payment on Bigg Boss
Ravi Kissen's weekly payment on Bigg Boss. Rs 1 lakh

Tanishaa Mukerji’s daily earnings on Bigg Boss
Tanishaa Mukerji's daily earnings on Bigg Boss. Rs 35,000

For shows like 'Khatron Ke Khiladi', hosts normally sign a two-show deal with channels. A stand-up comic like Bharti Singh was offered Rs 15-20,000 for hosting each episode of India's Got Talent as well as taking part in dance reality show, 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' on the same entertainment channel.

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1 Comments

  • Rajiv20-Apr-2015

    Reality shows pay lump-sum monies. Who wouldn't like that? Moreover we have scheming PR's like Dale Bhagwagar who propel actors like Shilpa Shetty in Big Brother and many unknown names of Bigg Boss, and turn them into celebs overnight with media hype. So when these names get money as well as fame, they opt for reality shows to achieve instant recognition through PR.

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