Appointed as the new host of Bigg Boss 4 on Colors, Salman Khan is reportedly being paid between Rs 3.5 crore to Rs 5 crore per episode. Taking over from ‘pop philosopher’ Amitabh Bachchan, Khan’s per episode fee, it is said, is thrice the amount he was being paid for Dus Ka Dum 3 (DKD), on Sony Entertainment.
According to reports, the actor was to be paid between Rs 1.25 crore to Rs 1.5 crore per episode for DKD 3, which would have run into 20 to 26 episodes for the season. That was said to be twice the figure he charged for DKD 2. He will now net approximately Rs 60 to 70 crore for Bigg Boss 4, despite the season featuring only 13 to 14 episodes. This puts a question mark on the actor’s presence on DKD.
Vikas Kapoor, Khan’s manager, without accepting or denying the figures, says that the actor is being paid more than he was to earn for Dus Ka Dum 3. "As a policy matter, I cannot disclose the amount he has been signed on for, but it is definitely a more lucrative offer for him," he adds.
An industry source, on condition of anonymity, says, "The deals with actors nowadays for shows is always finite, restricted to one season only. So, if Amitabh Bachchan decides to move to Sony for KBC 4, he can, without anyone losing out in the bargain. Ditto for Salman, Priyanka Chopra, Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan."
And the options are...
It’s learnt that before Salman was signed on for Bigg Boss 4, the show had been offered to Aamir Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Shah Rukh Khan. Apparently, SRK was even offered Rs 5 crore per episode, but finally, an internal poll led Colors to zero in on Salman.
When asked to comment, Rajesh Kamat, COO, Viacom 18 group and CEO, Colors, laughs, “Maybe someone spotted my car at Bandstand in Bandra. There are plenty of actors who stay there. Everyone assumed names. Without commenting on any actor’s name, I would just say we got who we felt was best to take the show forward. Salman just has to be himself on the show. He’s ‘Doston ka dost, dushmanon ka dushman.’ (a friend to his friends, an enemy to his enemies)”
The time slot and the contestants for Bigg Boss 4 are still being worked out. Salman, like Bachchan, and the other hosts of the show so far, will make weekend appearances. The first promo of Bigg Boss 4 will be showcased during the first episode of Khatron Ke Khiladi in the first week of September.
“It’s been our strategy for two years now. We always launch the promo of our next big show on the one that starts first. For instance, we broke the promo of Khatron Ke Khiladi 3 on India’s Got Talent 2,” says Kamat.
Isn’t the promo clashing with the last leg of promotions for Salman’s Dabangg? Kamat believes it’s a win-win situation for their “hostyle-anchor” and the channel: “A show and a movie’s clash has a positive effect on everyone involved.”
DKD in dilemma?
Sony Entertainment, that ran two seasons of Dus Ka Dum with Salman Khan, was expected to bring the show back in September this year, coinciding with the actor’s Eid release, Dabangg, that opens in cinema halls on September 10. However, plans for Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 with Bachchan threw the plans off gear.
“We still haven’t locked our calendar for the remaining year. We can’t comment on when Dus Ka Dum 3 returns. We’re tweaking the format of the show right now,” says Danish Khan, head of marketing, Sony Entertainment.
Khan’s manager Vikas Kapoor says, “Talks are on with Sony Entertainment. You can hope for Dus Ka Dum 3 to return with Salman, but nothing can be confirmed right now.”