"Q: Do you watch Indian television? What are the shows that you enjoy?"
By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 9 - Amitabh Bachchan is gearing up for his first fiction show on television. He says that if the show will have the potential for a second season, he will find time to accommodate it.

Whether the serial has the potential to stretch itself out, is for the makers to decide. If there is potential, we shall certainly give it due consideration. And if the due consideration fructifies, time shall be found to accommodate it, he said.

Going live on Sony from July 14, the finite series could be a 20-episode project or 40 episodes.

'Yudh' shall, depending on the channel broadcast decisions, be on for 20 one-hour episodes or 40 half-hour episodes, said Big B.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Your first fiction serial Yudh starts telecast. How was the experience of shooting on television and how was it different from shooting for feature films?

A: Apart from the fact that we shoot for television, I would imagine the technique and the creativity relate entirely to film. Because 'Yudh' from its very inception has been designed to be one that shall be finite in nature, a beginning a middle and an end, it was perhaps comfortable to know which direction we were going and not be making an attempt to keep the serial alive endlessly.

Q: How different was it shooting a serial as compared with feature films?

A: There was the liberty of time in compiling a story or an incident or a scene. Cinema is restricted to three hours. 'Yudh' shall, depending on the channel broadcast decisions, be on for 20 one-hour episodes or 40 half-hour episodes. As a performer this gave us a wider band width in getting greatly more involved in the character and having the convenience of time to execute it.

Q: You are paired with Sarika in Yudh. You have earlier done a film with her that never got released. How is the experience of working with her?

A: The one with Sarika, that has not been released is with UTV and they have not given us an indication as yet on its release, despite the fact that it has been in a state of readiness for some years now. But, with Sarika, this is not the only film that we have worked together in. There have been at least three. She is an accomplished artist, a national award winner and a joy to work with.

Q: And what about the rest of the Yudh cast? Do you feel that the acting talent on television equals its large screen counterpart?

A: By asking this you seem to unjustifiably indicate that those that perform for television are lesser in talent! With due respect, may I just state that a larger screen does not necessarily validate a larger performance. Television may have been sized down technically, but the performers on it should never be looked upon as being lesser.

Look at it this way. Haven't performers from TV gone on to films with similar talent and excelled? And has not the reversal been equally constructive and acceptable? The cast of Yudh, hand picked by the creative team, headed by Anurag Kashyap, generally associated with the larger screen, are all are exceptionally talented artists. It has been a learning experience for me to be in their company and their ability.

Q: Do you think the serial has the potential to stretch itself out for another season? If so, where would you find the time to accommodate it?

A: Whether the serial has the potential to stretch itself out is for the makers to decide. If there is potential, we shall certainly give it due consideration. And if the due consideration fructifies, time shall be found to accommodate it.

Q: Do you watch Indian television? What are the shows that you enjoy?

A: Yes I do. News, sports and some of the reality shows, the serials, all find an audience in me.


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