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‘Big Money’ on Imagine, ‘KBC’ returns… game shows flex their muscles again

08-July-2010
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‘Big Money’ on Imagine, ‘KBC’ returns… game shows flex their muscles again

Indian television is set to witness the return of money and brain power. The game show that started it all – ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ is set to return for Season 4 with the original host, but on a new channel – Sony. Imagine is ready with ‘Big Money’. ‘Dus Ka Dum’, too, will return for the next season.

‘Big Money’, which will be telecast on Imagine from July 10, 2010, hosted by actor Madhavan, will be an hour long weekend show and will be telecast on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 pm. The channel has lined up an aggressive marketing campaign to promote this show, which includes heavy TV presence across 25-28 partner channels. Imagine had also tied up with Dainik Bhaskar, wherein a list of questions was put up and readers could send in their answers. The channel is also running some contests on radio, besides engaging its audience via BTL activities spread across 12-15 towns. These activities will continue after the show’s launch as well.

Talking about ‘Big Money’, Nikhil Madhok, Head - Marketing and Communications, Imagine, said, “What differentiates ‘Big Money’ from the other game shows is that an entire family can participate in ‘Big Money’. Besides, one does not require any specific general knowledge, anyone who watches TV can participate in this show.”

Besides families in India, the channel is aiming to connect with the international audience too. The families selected for participation will be flown down to India. Madhok does not see this as an additional expense and said, “This activity gives us a chance to understand the international audience.” As of now, approximately 60 per cent of Imagine’s content is fiction, 30 per cent is non-fiction, and around 10 per cent comprises movies.

The return of ‘KBC’

Meanwhile, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ is set to return for its fourth season with original host Amitabh Bachchan. This time, the show will be aired on Sony instead of Star Plus. Ajit Thakur, EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television, elaborated, “‘KBC’ is going to be bigger and more entertaining this year as compared to the previous seasons. The lines are going to open in the first week of August and the channel has spruced up the backend and the call centre as well. The final shortlisted candidates will be invited to any of the six ground audition centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Nagpur.”

He added, “The show perfectly fits with our vision of driving the power of entertainment as a force of good in the society. ‘KBC’ gives equal opportunities to all – irrespective of their social and economic standing – to use their knowledge to change their lives forever.”

He also revealed that there would be certain tweaks and changes in the format of the show to retain audience interest.

Besides ‘KBC’, Sony will also telecast Season 2 of ‘Dus ka Dum’. While Thakur refrained from sharing further details, speculation is that the show will start airing some time in September.

Dinesh Vyas, VP and Head, TME, Mumbai, pointed out, “Reality shows are very popular with today’s audience and shows that offer a certain amount as prize money are even more popular. The trend started with ‘KBC’ and the core of the game shows is that it tries to make the prize money look very achievable. As far as game shows are concerned, along with the concept, the host’s popularity is very important too. The mix has to be right and only then will the show appeal to the audience.”

Madhok of Imagine is very confident about host Madhavan. He said, “Madhavan is a known face, but he won’t intimidate the family. Another reason is that he started his career with television before moving on to films.” Sony’s Thakur is also upbeat about Big B returning as KBC’s host and added that Bachchan was the channel’s first choice for the show.

However, there is a downside too when a celebrity doesn’t manage to connect with the viewers. Take ‘Bingo’, for example, which was hosted by Abhishek Bachchan. The show managed to get an average rating of 1.59 TVR (CS 4+, HSM) as compared to shows like ‘KBC 3’ (average TVR 6.8), ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ (average TVR 2.92) or ‘Dus Ka Dum’ (average TVR 2.36).

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