'Star Struck- Confessions of a TV Executive’ by Peter Mukerjea
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New Delhi: In the 1990s, American television was at its pinnacle and gaining ground globally with popular shows like Baywatch, Cheers and The Jerry Springer Show.

However, this popularity was not extending to India, where access to over 1 billion viewers was dominated by a powerful terrestrial network. To make inroads into the consumer base, a small team of underdogs was given a seemingly impossible task, to grow a tiny foreign-owned TV channel in India — Star TV.

Star Struck- Confessions of a TV Executive’ authored by Peter Mukerjea, former Chief Executive of Star India, is an anecdotal memoir and a first-hand account of how Star TV emerged as one of the leading entertainment channels in the country.

Published by Westland, the book will be released on 28 February on ‘SoftCover’, ThePrint’s e-venue to launch select non-fiction books.

Mukerjea was asked by American media mogul Rupert Murdoch to take on this seemingly impossible task.

In the book, Mukerjea chronicles the journey that the underdog team undertook to turn Star TV from a quirky challenger channel to the shining jewel in the crown of the Murdoch and now Disney global media empire.

This journey was rife with battling rival CEOs, to winning over Presidents, from making multimillion-dollar deals in the back of a Mumbai taxi to audaciously hiring the biggest film star in the world as a TV host — Amitabh Bachchan for Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Peter Mukerjea’s journey

The book narrates an incredible story of the Indian television industry, authored by the man who was at the forefront of it all.

Widely recognised as the most successful television professional and credited with disrupting the Indian media landscape as Chief Executive of Star India, Mukerjea grew to become Murdoch’s right-hand man in the television industry of the region.

His journey started in the 1970s, after Mukerjea moved to London to start his professional career. His first job was at HJ Heinz Co., where he joined as a graduate trainee and simultaneously graduated in Business Studies from Watford College. He then worked with leading companies across the world specialising in marketing and business management.

In the early 1990s, Mukerjea returned to India and transformed a loss-making Star TV into a billion-dollar network, which continues to be a dominant media force in South Asia nearly 20 years later.


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