A few weeks ago, reports claimed that the launch of the sixth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) will coincide with host Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday. However, industry insiders now say that the show will not air on October 11. Instead, it will begin soon after season six of Indian Idol wraps up towards mid-September.
Despite several attempts to reach her, we couldn’t speak to broadcaster Sony Entertainment’s business head, Sneha Rajani. However, it’s believed that Bachchan will start shooting sometime next month, as most of the pre-production work is over. The show is likely to get a weekday night slot.
Meanwhile, KBC’s regional versions down south, in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada, have moved from season one to season two with actor-hosts Suriya, Suresh Gopi and Puneeth Rajkumar respectively. Producer Siddhartha Basu from Big Synergy confirms that the shows will have additional seasons.
“The small screen is now geared up to become much bigger in the south. KBC has proved to be a game-changer in almost every part of the world. There will be more seasons down south given the kind of response we’ve received from viewers,” says Basu.
After the success of KBC 4, the company produced Bhojpuri, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada versions of the show last year. Actor-Parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha anchored Ke Bani Karodpati on Mahuaa Bhojpuri and cricketer-commentator Sourav Ganguly hosted Ke Hobe Banglar Koripoti on Mahuaa Bangla. Actor Prakash Raj took charge of Ungalil Yaar Kodeeswaran on Sun TV in Tamil, and Meelo Yavaru Kodeeswarudu in Telugu on Gemini TV. Ramesh Arvind anchored Nimalli Yaaru Kotyaadhipathi in Kannada on Udaya TV.
This year, however, Bhojpuri and Bangla KBCs have not been produced and aired.
Is Shatrughan Sinha’s illness and Sourav Ganguly’s unavailability responsible for their absence from the airwaves? “No way,” says Basu, adding, “The channel is yet to clear our dues for the previous seasons. Once that is done, we’ll get those versions back too. There is demand for them.”