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MTV’s hunting for a rock band
MTV is in search of a desi rock band and has launched Kurkure Desi Beats Rock On. The judges will be singer Kailash Kher and Ram Sampath, music composer behind some of the most popular songs, albums and jingles and Nikhil Chinappa, a DJ and music producer. The grand prize includes an album deal with T-Series, a music video produced by MTV, a mega-concert besides a state-of-the-art instrument set. Competitions are based on performance, skill and the ‘Desipann Quotient’ (D.Q.) as the contestants compete as individuals and bands every week.

New season of Man Vs Wild
Discovery Channel has announced a new season of its No. 1 series Man Vs Wild hosted by adventurer and survival expert Bear Grylls. In each episode, Grylls immerses himself in some of the most hostile environments and terrains on earth. Demonstrating survival skills through conditions unimaginable to the average man, Grylls uses his training and adventurous techniques, including navigating dangerous jungles, climbing out of scaling waterfalls, battling snakes, scavenging and eating raw insects and fish. Aired on every Tuesday at 9 pm, the show has been the channel’s No. 1 series for the last two years. Shot entirely in high-definition, the new episodes take Grylls to the terrifying jungles of Belize. He faces some of the harshest conditions on Earth as he parachutes into the frigid Siberian Tundra, braves the raging waterfalls of the Dominican Republic, traverses his way through the remote wilderness of the Oregon, journeys through the dry sands of the Sahara and to the torturous swamp of Indonesia.

Dekh India Dekh is now Comedy Circus
Dekh India Dekh on Sony TV has changed its format starting July 4. The show had popular television actors enacting gags as different characters like Akbar and Birbal played by Rajesh Kumar and Rajiv Nigam; Havaldar Kadam and Havaldar Kaale played by Ali Asghar and VIP. Now it has gone back to being good old Comedy Circus. Shekhar Suman, who earlier hosted the show, is now back to judging it along with Archana Puran Singh. Shweta Gulati takes on the role of the new host.

One-hour specials, the new trend
With competition heating up and TRPs being the name of the game, channels have discovered a new way of breaking the viewing pattern and luring viewers to their shows. Every once in a while, a half-hour daily show is made into a one-hour special for no rhyme and reason. And it is working too. Earlier, one-hour special episodes were aired whenever there was a high-point in the serial or it had reached some milestone like completion of 500 or more episodes. Last week Zee’s Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo aired a one-hour special, NDTV Imagine’s Jyoti and Bandini had one-hour shows sometime ago and soon Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on STAR Plus will extend its time to an hour. In the past, Bidaai too has had its one hour run. J. D. Majethia, whose Shree has had a one-hour special sometime back, says that this helps bring in new viewers for the show. “After Shree, which is aired at 10.30 pm, viewers go on another show on another channel but if it continues for an hour they will sit back to watch it. That way, the viewing pattern will break and at times even new viewers will come in,” he says. No wonder, it’s become the norm now.

Anandi to join acting classes
Balika Vadhu’s child artiste Avika Gor has started taking steps towards perfection. Making her film debut in Morning Walk, the movie which is going to hit the theatres on July 10 and has her playing granddaughter to Anupam Kher and Sharmila Tagore. The 12-year-old is very delighted about the movie and says “Maine bahut enjoy kiya, especially Anupam uncle ke saath.” In-between shots, he would tell her how to change the dialogues without changing its meaning, how to bring about perfection in facial expressions etc. which helped her. And now she is all set to join his academy to learn the finer nuances of acting.

Puneesh wins Sarkaar Ki Duniya
After spending four difficult months on the lonely island at Sarkaar Ki Duniya, the rich businessman Puneesh Sharma has been declared the winner. This lucky boy from Delhi defeated 17 odd contestants and won a whopping Rs 1 crore. The competition was tough as all the finalists had proved their mettle by successfully accomplishing seemingly-impossible tasks given to them by Sarkaar. There were equal chances of someone else becoming the winner as all the four finalists Ali, Sanju, Puneesh and Rashid were equally-strong and popular but as destined, Puneesh Sharma snatched away the final prize and others were just left with memories of this lifetime experience. “This had to happen,” says an ecstatic Puneesh. “My audience knows what I stand for and over the months they’ve seen the way I performed, played and behaved.”

Badshah bhai on 9XM
Viewers of 9XM are aware of the animated characters Bheegi Billi, Bade Chote and Betel Nuts who are quite popular. Now the channel is adding another character Badshah Bhai, a huge fan of Shah Rukh Khan. He believes he too is a huge superstar like his idol - King Khan and thinks that Bheegi Billi is the biggest loser. Badshah Bhai loves the singing style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and tries to sing the popular Bollywood songs in his own peculiar style. The Betel Nuts in their spare time are Badshah Bhai’s backing band.

Tabassum’s Sher and Baba’s Bakri
Baba Saigal and Tabassum have hit it off really well with each other, though one belongs to the older generation and the other is a desi rapper they share a unique chemistry. Tabassum is popular for her spontaneous sher-o-shaayari and jokes. Says Baba, “Since I cannot match up to her sher-o-shaayari , I have a bakri for her.” Ae meri baby Tabassum baby, Lagti ho tum chubby chubby, Apno se to roj milti ho tum, Humse bhi mila karo kabhi kabhi…”

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