The phone lines for
Kaun Banega Crorepati 4
opened on August 2 at 9 pm. In the first 15 minutes, Sony Entertainment received over five lakh calls from across the country for the first question that host Amitabh Bachchan had posed. Over the last eight days, Bachchan has asked eight questions, one every day. The number of callers totalled to five crore, according to the data last recorded by the channel.
Danish Khan, head of marketing, Sony Entertainment, admits that this is a strategic move to tap the maximum eyeballs in the 9 pm slot. "Given
's legion of followers, we knew many viewers would call in to answer the question and register. So we decided to come up with a new question every day to extend the show's reach," he says.
The registration procedure has changed from what it was in the last three seasons, when the show aired on Star Plus. It kicks off with callers answering questions on the phone and registering their names and contact details with the channel. After this, the software that records all this information, will at random choose people to be called for the auditions conducted in six cities, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Delhi and Lucknow, between September 1 and September 6.
The auditioning procedure includes a written test and a videoconference interview conducted by Bachchan. Cumulative scores of both will decide the first 10 participants who will get to play Fastest Finger First on the show, which flags off on October 11, Bachchan's birthday.
Is the format, too, being reworked? "There is only one format for this show across the globe. The basic structure of
Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire
doesn't change, but countries introduce new elements to engage the audience better.
By mid-September we will know what elements we want to introduce," says Khan.
The channel had earlier announced that the prize money would remain Rs 1 crore. Ask Khan and he says, "The show is not for
that we'd inflate the booty. It's for the common man for whom Rs 1 crore is still a huge sum."