‘Bigg Boss 4’ premiered on Colors on October 3, 2010, the day that also saw the grand opening ceremony of the Delhi Commonwealth Games. With quite a few ‘controversial’ house mates and Salman Khan as host, expectations are quite high this time.
The inaugural episode saw host Khan welcoming the 14 participants, who include Abbas Kazmi, the former lawyer of Mumbai terror attacks accused Ajmal Kasab; Begum Nawazish Ali, a popular Pakistani TV show host and a cross-dressing actor; Devinder Singh aka Bunty chor; popular Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari; former dacoit Seema Parihar; Pakistani actor Veena Malik; and TV actor Shweta Tiwari, among others. Already, one of the participants, Bunty chor, has been ousted from the show.
Media planners are positive about the latest season of ‘Bigg Boss’ and are expecting a TVR of 4 to 4.5 for the show.
Sudipto Roy, Principal Partner, Client Leadership, Mindshare, remarked, “Obviously, with any property of this nature, it will do better than last season. Our expectations are high. It is imperative that the show will do well, now that they have Salman on board. Also, they have managed to put an excellent cast with different kinds of people. They have got people from Pakistan as well. From a dacoit to the lawyer who was defending Kasab. There is a lot of variety. It is good that they have not tried to be elitist in their approach, but have touched people from the Hindi heartland. This time it definitely has a capacity to generate engaging content. I believe the stage is set for a very decent run.”
He further said, “If you look at Colors, how does it get good ratings? It puts one or two big properties and banks on good movies. They do a smart rotation of property. Reaching the No. 1 spot is tough as the gap is huge with Star Plus, but the gap will definitely become smaller and it would come closer to being No. 1.”
PM Balakrishna, VP, Percept Media, opined, “I certainly think it will generate a lot of interest. I don’t see any drastic change though. There are a lot of things happening at the same time. There are the Commonwealth Games and the India-Australia cricket series. For ‘Bigg Boss 4’, Salman Khan is a huge crowd puller. The show will deliver, but other things are happening at the same time, which will make it end up with the same numbers like Season 2 or Season3. The participants have been carefully chosen. A couple of participants are from Pakistan. But, as there are a lot of things happening on television, it will nullify the effect. So, I am expecting the same TRPs as Season 2 and Season 3. India is still a single TV market, so you can see a lot of fight for the remote.”
Anindya Ray, General Manager, Lodestar UM, noted, “The expectations will be much higher this time as it is expected to be more fun-filled than last year. You have a lawyer, a super chor (thief), a bandit and a personality with the traits of both man and a woman. A reality show of this stature needs fun and surprise. A ‘Bigg Boss’ has a context and background, it has nothing to with the success of ‘KKK’. If a reality show does well and the audience has a pull towards it, there is a cascading effect. ‘Bigg Boss’ has been able to stand up on its own feet and does not need ‘KKK’.”
Ray believed that ratings were secondary when it came to a show like ‘Bigg Boss’. He said, “Ratings don’t define the mood of the country. Rather than the ratings, I will go by what people are talking about and what conversations they are having on the road, in the restaurants. Advocacy doesn’t happen with ratings. Yardstick is the kind of conversations the show is able to generate and the level of advocacy. For example, ‘Jassi Jaisi koi Nahi’ failed to get the numbers, but it was a great success. Hence, the ratings that one gets are not a true reflection, but it is the pulse of the people that is important. Gone are the days when one channel used to rule the roost. Now, with the advent of Colors and Imagine, the battle will be a very see-saw one. Sometimes Colors will be No. 1 and sometimes Star. For Zee to be No. 1, the channel should come up with innovative programming. One show that I am looking forward to is Akshay Kumar’s ‘Master Chef’. At the end of the day, it is all about who is able to garner the maximum attention.”
Commenting on ‘Bigg Boss’ taking Colors to the No. 1 spot, Percept Media’s Balakrishna, said, “They are growing. With Seasons 2 and 3, they had an opening TVR of 4.5. I don’t think they will get a number higher than that. I expect a 4 -4.5. Rest depends on participants and their performances. I doubt Colors will get the No. 1 spot due to ‘Bigg Boss’, but it will surely give Colors good numbers.”
Whether ‘Bigg Boss’ is able to garner good numbers or not, only time will tell. For now, the channel is quite upbeat about the show, especially roping in Salman Khan as the show’s host, fresh from his ‘Dabangg’ success.