If trade buzz is anything to go by, then Salman Khan has allotted bulk dates to Anees Bazmee for his film, Ready, that goes on the floors on June 18, putting Sony’s plans of returning with Dus Ka Dum Season Three on hold for now. The show that was reportedly expected to go on air in the next two months, will now wait till September or October.
According to Sony, the show was not expected to be on air in the next few months anyway. So they have little to worry about. Danish Khan, head of marketing for Sony, says, “For now, I can just tell you that there wasn’t a slot decided for it. At the same time, we’re quite sure the show should come on air well within this year, but the final calendar for the remaining year has not been locked yet.”
Rumours are that Khan was adamant that he would shoot for Dus Ka Dum Season Three only if the channel agreed to double his fee from Season Two. Sources indicate that he was paid approximately Rs 80 lakh per episode last season, that lasted for more than 25 episodes. This year, the figure is expected to be between Rs 1.25 crore and Rs 1.5 crore.
Sources from Sony and Big Synergy confirm the news. “Salman will be paid higher this year because he deserves it. The channel needs his support and his show got them decent ratings,” says a source from Big Synergy.
On being asked about Dus Ka Dum Season Three and the production team’s plans to rope in special guests and commoners, finalising a location for the shoot and, of course, the fee being paid to Salman Khan, Siddharth Basu from Big Synergy says, “You’ll have to address queries on any forthcoming plans on Dus ka Dum to the broadcaster. Salman has been the most entertaining and unconventional host and whoever followed Dus Ka Dum regularly, loved him.”
He adds that scheduling and commercial deals with star talent are the purview of the broadcaster and not the producer. “To my knowledge, both Sony and Salman are keen to do the show, and there have been no issues arriving at a commercial understanding,” says Basu.
A source from Sony says that the deal with Khan was to be inked in April, after which an official announcement was expected but that will take a while now. The number of episodes in Season Three is likely to be the same as Season Two.
Vikas Kapoor, who manages the actor-host’s work, without accepting or denying the rumour about Khan being paid double the fee, says, “Salman is definitely being paid more than the first two seasons. But as a policy matter, I will not disclose the amount.”
Salman Khan, when asked about Dus Ka Dum, admits that the third season will flag off very soon. “The reason for the success of the show is probably that I am me in the show and not a movie star. That’s how I am at home also. You can ask my friends and they will vouch for it. I bring my buddies on the show and we have a blast. Guys like Ajay (Devgn), Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) and Fardeen (Khan), who are otherwise wary of doing interviews, readily appeared on my show. It’s a comfortable space. They know they can be real. We are a bunch of happy-go-lucky-boys and that’s what connects with the audience. We are as aam (common) as they are,” adds Khan.