Within a month of the end of the latest season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC), also called The New KBC on Sony Entertainment Television (SET), the channel has reserved host Amitabh Bachchan for two years.
The show must go on…
The show has seen a heap of roadblocks since it was first launched in July, 2000 on Star Plus with Amitabh Bachchan as its debut host. The first season gained a euphoric loyal fan following, with Bachchan’s iconic hosting style , coining of phrases such as “Lock kiya jaye” and Harshvardhan Nawathe walking away with the prize sum of Rs 1 crore. Season 1 was instrumental in helping Star Plus march ahead of the competition with ratings peaking by October 2000, causing Sony to revive their programming.
The second season of the show was launched in 2005, after a gap of four years, and was called off abruptly by Star Plus due to Bachchan’s ill health. For Season 3, launched on January 22, 2007, the channel roped in Shah Rukh Khan and the prize money was doubled to Rs 2 crore. However, the original hype behind the show had worn off and it failed to catch on with the audiences in terms of ratings.
“Unprecedented numbers” in Season 4
Hereafter, Sony scooped up the property and re-launched the show with Bachchan as its host. ‘KBC Season 4’, marked the return of the veteran actor to television and to the show, this time owned by a different channel. The show fared above the channel’s expectations with opening ratings as high as 6.2 TVR, followed by steady average ratings that helped the channel make it to the top three Hindi GEC spots, as per data by TAM Media Research.
In a prior conversation with exchange4media on the ratings displayed by ‘KBC Season 4’, Ajit Thakur, Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television, had said, “We are very happy with these numbers – it is an unprecedented high. Sony is bringing families in large numbers to the channel by offering alternate content.”
The channel has now decided to optimise the success of the show and has signed on Bachchan for the next two years. The actor informed his followers on Twitter on January 15, 2010, by posting a tweet that said: “Sony and I have signed on for KBC for the next two seasons today… your blessings and encouragement needed in abundance!”
Confirming the development, Thakur informed, “Yes, we have signed a two-year deal with Amitabh Bachchan as our host. The next season will be seen sometime this year.”