‘Tinseltown’ a Bolly good H’w’d show

Hasan skein focused on positive, spiritual celebrity

HOLLYWOOD “Tinseltown TV” covers U.S. movies, music and celebrities for auds in 80 countries, but the half-hour show is celebrating its first birthday with an unusual accomplishment: hitting the terrestrial U.S. airwaves.

On Aug. 2 the first show about Hollywood to target India’s Bollywood film fans aired on Southern California’s KSCI, targeting the Asian immigrant community in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The show is the creation of 28-year-old Sheeraz Hasan, a fast-talking native Londoner of Pakistani descent who arrived in L.A. from the U.K. two and a half years ago.

“Tinseltown” distinguishes itself with its light touch, heavy on promotional clips and free of negative news or gossip. Instead, it features a regular segment on the spiritual side of Hollywood, which invites stars to talk about their relationship with God.

Its primary carrier is satellite movie channel B4U, which targets the Indian market worldwide, including in the U.S. where B4U has racked up 90,000 subscribers on EchoStar’s Dish network. Hasan is also in negotiations for carriage in China.

Additionally, the U.K.’s ITN network licenses celebrity news footage from “Tinseltown” for its archives.

“Our show shows the audience that stars are spiritual and they can connect with them,” says Hasan, the CEO and founder of production company Tinseltown Entertainment. “Spirituality can draw in a broad audience and let families watch together.”

It’s a focus that appeals to celebrities and helps to explain the impressive array of stars who have appeared on “Tinseltown” in the past year, from Tom Hanks to Goldie Hawn to The Rock.

“Tinseltown” is produced with digital equipment and a staff of just seven, which translates into significantly lower costs. It can get by without licensing fees, operating on advertising revenue and sales of its clips.

A restaurateur, he got his idea for breaking into showbiz while watching TV after he arrived in L.A.

“I tuned into the Indian channels and soon realized there were no Hollywood stars or Hollywood movies being shown,” he recalls.

Hasan used connections he made while working out of an office in the Lantana complex in Santa Monica to arrange a meeting with B4U where, without a pilot, he sold the “Tinseltown” idea. He put together his first episode in just a month.

Since then, “Tinseltown” has become the most popular show on B4U and recently launched on Iranian satellite station NITV.

Eventually, Hasan hopes to produce his own spiritually themed movies, making “Tinseltown” not just an international promoter of Hollywood’s less cynical side but a player in it as well.