Action galore on small screen!

New Delhi: With shows like "Fear Factor" and "Dadagiri" promising to take adrenalin-pumping stunts, gruelling tasks and nail-biting drama to another level, the small screen will be abuzz with action adventure this year. While the forthcoming season of "Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi" on Colors will have Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra adding glamour to the show along with 13 cricketers, the new season of "Dadagiri" - "D3 Commando Force: Dadagiri against Terrorism" - on UTV Bindass will see the use of real weapons, tactics and discipline of military units for its contestants. Superstar Priyanka says these shows are "hugely appealing" to her and the audience enjoys them as well. "I've always been the adventurous sort, loving the adrenalin rush of trying out something new and exciting like sky diving, bungee jumping and the like. I love the fact that the show challenges participants to push the boundaries of their minds and to face their biggest fears," Priyanka told IANS over e-mail. "And, very importantly, it's hugely entertaining for the viewer as well, keeping you on the edge of your seat. I'm really looking forward to getting started on the show," she added. The year started with STAR Plus bringing on its unique reality show "Mahayatra". A religious adventure show, it required participants to go through physically taxing tasks to fulfil their parents' dream of visiting the four major Hindu religious centres - Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka and Badrinath. Now international action channel AXN will also be showcasing an adventure show - "Wipeout Australia", starting Wednesday, in which contestants go through obstacle courses in a bid to win $50,000 as prize money. The popularity of action-adventure reality shows has been heading north in the past few years in India, ever since MTV "Roadies" became popular with the country's youth. According to Nikhil Gandhi, business head, UTV Bindass, the genre is flourishing on television as "action has become an accepted content for Indian audience". "Action shows are absolutely on the rise in India. It is a part of accepted content in India and has been an integral part of Bollywood films. But it has taken the small screen to tap its potential," Gandhi told IANS over phone from Mumbai. "The Indian audience connects to action and adventure in a large way irrespective of any age or profile and so, now they want even more," he added. Both shows are promising bigger and better stunts, with "Dadagiri" changing its format, and "Khatron Ke Khiladi" roping in Indian as well as international cricket players this season. "With this season of 'Dadagiri', we are aiming to take reality shows to another level and adventure reality to a zone never attempted before on the small screen. It's like a commando training camp where the physical as well as mental strength of the contestants will be put to test and the excitement will keep the audience on the edge of their seats," he added. Priyanka guarantees that her show is on a par with international shows of the genre. "The stunts on 'Khatron Ke Khiladi' have been on a par with international shows. Endemol (production house) has an international team of stunt experts that puts together the most mind-boggling stunts. This year it promises to be bigger and tougher than ever before," said Priyanka. Last year too, the idiot box was swarmed by shows like "Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao" and "Sarkaar Ki Duniya". (Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)