Redefining celebrity: The era of diversified talent in Indian television

Indian television has witnessed the ascent of four notable superstars: Shekhar Suman, Amar Upadhyay, Aman Verma and Ram Kapoor, who have left a lasting impact on the industry. Despite their success, the absence of new big superstars on Indian television raises questions about the current scenario.

The industry’s evolution, changing audience preferences, and the emergence of digital platforms have influenced the dynamics of stardom on television.

Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar, who has handled PR activities for all the four iconic television superstars, sheds light on this phenomenon. He attributes the lack of new big superstars on Indian television to a shift in content consumption patterns.

He emphasizes the growing competition from digital platforms, which offer diverse content and attract both viewers and talent. “This shift has decentralized stardom, introduced organized chaos with comedy shows and reality shows, and even allowed for a broader range of non-actors to gain recognition across various platforms,” says Bhagwagar.

“The changing nature of television programming, with a focus on reality shows, web series and streaming services, has also impacted the traditional star-making process on Indian television,” adds the PR specialist.

Dale Bhagwagar, termed the ‘Father of Bollywood PR’ for establishing the first Bollywood PR agency in India in the 90s and bringing organization and structure to the entertainment PR industry, branded Shekhar Suman as the ‘First Superstar of Indian Television’ in the late nineties and early 2000s.

He remarks that the television industry’s emphasis on short-term projects and the influx of new talent seeking opportunities in different mediums have contributed to the diversification of talent pools, making it challenging for individuals to attain the same level of widespread fame as the earlier television superstars.

Thus, as we see, the evolution of the entertainment industry, coupled with the changing preferences of audiences and the rise of digital platforms, has reshaped the concept of stardom on Indian television.

While Shekhar Suman, Amar Upadhyay, Aman Verma and Ram Kapoor remain iconic figures, the current landscape reflects a more diverse and competitive environment where new stars emerge across various platforms, marking a shift in the traditional hierarchy of television superstars.

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