Come 2001 and get ready for battle between big-budget extravaganzas. Coming up: two more mega shows from Big Daddy STAR TV. That's just for starters. Also on the anvil: Sony’s Jeeto Chapper Phar Ke. Shah Rukh Khan pitching for new entrant B4U, an all-new game show from Zee, which is still smarting over the Sawal Dus Crore Ka fiasco. And the trend-setting Kaun Banega Crorepati going junior with a special series for kids to be anchored by the Big B.
KBC itself may take a small break next year. However, on the anvil is junior version of KBC with kids, expected to hit the small screen around middle of next year. The prize money is to be shared between the kids and their school.
Even the venerable Doordarshan has not been left untouched of the game show mania sweeping the nation. The national channel (DD1) will soon have its own version to be hosted by Kabir Bedi early next year.
Regional channels too have jumped into the fray. Sun TV has its own version of KBC in the form of Kodeeswaran, anchored by cine star Sarath Kumar. Vijay TV and Raj TV are also in the fray.
Raj TV is planning an Rs 1-crore prize money show in January. Vijay TV already runs a game show called Vijay Mahalakshadipathi , which was incidentally hit the screen before KBC made its debut.
According to media planners the trend of channels orienting their programming around mega shows is expected to gain ground over the next year. Live shows and Bollywood-oriented masala fares have been on offer by most channels.
"The channels are increasingly going to put a major chunk of their resources on one or two mega programmes," a media planner said. This is a trend widely observed even in mature but fragmented television market such as the United States.