, Sony Entertainment’s most-watched reality TV show, is gearing up for season five. The registration phone-lines for auditions have opened already. After the first promos, the channel claims to have received plenty of phone calls from across the country.
According to sources, the show will travel to five cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad for auditions, starting on March 5. Danish Khan of Sony confirms, “Mumbai and Delhi are natural choices. However, I can’t confirm the other cities because they still have to be finalised.”
The fifth season of Indian Idol will be produced by Wizcraft, which produced two successful seasons of Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega. Sources from Wizcraft indicate that the show is being co-produced with Fremantlemedia, the company that owns the concept. “The channel had approached Wizcraft to pitch ideas for Indian Idol 5. Our fresh approach pleased them and they asked us to co-produce the show with newer twists. It’s a challenge to live up to the hype and hoopla of the previous seasons,” adds the source.
Ajay Bhalwankar of Sony says, “The concept was always a property of Fremantlemedia, which wanted to produce the show this time. The Alvas did a good job but now it was time for a switch. So, Wizcraft stepped in. It was very amicable.” Niret Alva of Miditech, the company that had been producing the last four seasons, wasn’t available for comment.
Reportedly, the channel plans to involve the previous seasons’ contestants and winners in promotions. “The idea is to get more people to register for auditions. It will also generate the necessary buzz,” says Khan.
The channel only has Anu Mallik, the music composer who has been judging the last four seasons of the show with various other co-judges, on board so far. “Yes, Anu is involved in the show, the way he always has been. We’re still not sure about who the other judges will be. But hopefully, by the end of the next two weeks, we should know,” informs Khan.
The show is expected to start rolling in March with the auditions but will air only after the IPL matches end in April-May. Khan says, “I can’t comment on when the show will go on air, but it will be a time-consuming shoot. We haven’t even started shortlisting for auditions. We still have to find our judges. So, we have a long way to go.”