A strong rumour doing the rounds is that Star’s two new posh shows ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and ‘Koffee with Karan’ will follow Karan Johar and Samir Nair into NDTV’s soon-to-be-launched entertainment channel.
“How can that be? My relationship with STAR during the first season of ‘Koffee…’ has been fantastic. At the same time my association with NDTV is my future on television. Let’s see how it goes. I don’t want to jump the gun and make plans for the future. ‘Koffee with Karan’ is a STAR brand-show,” says Karan currently in Dubai promoting ‘Koffee…’
As for Sameer Nair’s move into NDTV. “Pranoy Roy who’s the man behind NDTV is a great visionary. I’m proud to be part of NDTV. As for Samir, he’s a tremendously intelligent man. He has proven himself time and again in the world of television. And I’m sure he’ll be a winner in whatever he does.”
Fatigued, he brightens as he watches his closest friend Shah Rukh on the first episode of the new ‘KBC’. “I haven’t been on the set to watch him shoot. But I did his clothes on ‘KBC’. I just hope my ‘Koffee…’ matches up to the high standards set by Shah Rukh. We’ve put in our best. This time around I’m far more relaxed with the format. I’m hoping I’m less worried with my guests. I’m no longer a debutant.”
Karan sees 2007 as one of his busiest years. “Not just busy but also a very different year. Because television gets priority.”
Does he like his new role as a TV tycoon? “Television is the future. Anyone in the visual media is advised to take the plunge. I’m happy to have my talk show on one channel and the privilege of making software for another channel. I was lucky to get the opportunity to get into TV ahead of my colleagues. And that NDTV, a channel I really respect, considered me good enough for their entertainment channel is really flattering for me. Because at the end of the day, I۪m not a TV person. I’m a filmmaker.”
He singles out Shah Rukh as the pioneer on television. “Even before he became a superstar in the movies he was a well-known name on television. So he’s come a full circle. Shah Rukh is an entertainer and a warm, emotional human being. That combination will succeed tremendously in ‘KBC’. I’ve seen how he interacts with all his loyal fans. Shah Rukh is very confident on television. As for me I want to entertain on both television and in cinema. I’m full of ideas.”
Would he make feature films for television? “Whatever they want me to do on NDTV I’ll do for them. But tele-films? Nooooo! I don’t think so. The two mediums are totally exclusive. Television is for talk shows, game shows etc. I’ll make feature films only for the big screen. I’ll make software for NDTV. With Shah Rukh doing television that sense of television being cinema’s poor cousin is gone. If you ask me, my brand value has tripled after my talk show on television. More people want to see my films because they see me on television. It’s a communication medium of instant gratification. I love it. But cinema is my first love. I’ve enough time to take care of both mediums. As a filmmaker, I’ve my own directorial venture this year. Then there’s my associate Tarun’s film and an animation film. There’s lots of room for television. I’ve learnt one thing from my father. Never put your feet up. How can they be up? They should always be on the ground for walking. There’s always time to do more.”