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Will he? Won’t he?

Indian Idol 5 could be Anu Mallik’s last season on the show.

tv Updated: Apr 25, 2010 13:58 IST
Rachana Dubey

Last week, reports about rifts between Anu Mallik and Sony Entertainment appeared in many newspapers. It was evident that the two couldn’t come to terms with ‘certain issues’, which revolved around the difference in the fees paid per episode to Mallik and co-host Sunidhi Chauhan. A decrease in his prominence during the publicity of the show, as compared to Salim Merchant and Chauhan, was also seen. Reportedly, the channel has convinced Mallik to complete the shoot for Indian Idol Season 5.

Mending matters
Our source from Sony says that there have been two to three meetings with the music composer and the resident judge of the show over the last two days, but without any settlement in sight. “He was adamant. Initially, he didn’t even want to meet us. After that, he didn’t want to give in. He continuously demanded to be paid higher and be given more prominence in the promotions,” informs the source.

The latest news is that Mallik accepted the channel’s terms on Friday night. Though he was expected to shoot the next round from April 27, he will now resume shooting only in the first week of May. Our source says that though the composer has agreed to do the show, the channel is quite sure that he won’t be seen on Indian Idol Season 6.

“We want to reconsider having him in the next season. Sunidhi and Salim were never a problem. They don’t go back and forth on their commitments. We can’t say the same for Anu. We approached Mika Singh and Bappi Lahiri to take over from where he left, but neither is free at such short notice.

We had to compromise with Anu. We’ve spent heavily on promotions and throwing Anu out right now would mean heavy monetary losses,” states the source. Mallik had admitted that there were problems between the channel and him. “I’ve had a long association with Sony. We’ve done two seasons of Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega and four seasons of Indian Idol. We’re amicable now.”

Seasons so far
According to media reports, Indian Idol’s last season was watched by 48 million people and this year the target has been set to tap at least 50 million viewers. This year, the show is being produced by the format co-owners —Freemantle Media India and Wizcraft. Bappi Lahiri and Kailash Kher are expected to turn up as the mentors who will guide the participants.

According to sources close to the channel, a 10 second ad spot on Indian Idol Season 5 is available for Rs 2.5 lakh, which is 20 per cent more in comparison to the ad rates for the fourth season.The channel has reportedly spent Rs 10 crore on the marketing campaign, and has taken up almost 800 hoardings in 11 cities across the country.