The original game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire has been adapted to Indian tastes and audiences and more specifically to diverse regional audiences in India. Big Synergy Productions, which produced the hugely successful Hindi version of the game show called Kaun Banega Croprepati is producing the Kannada version as well.
The Kannada show is called Kannadada Kotyadhipati (Karnataka's crorepati) and will be hosted by Puneeth Rajkumar, the superstar of Kannada cinema and son of legendary actor, the late Rajkumar.
Puneeth, who once won the National Award winner for the best child actor, will make his bow on television as host of this show.
The format of the game show requires contestants to answer 15 questions and the winner walks away with Rs 1 crore, though others also get some amount of money depending on the level they have reached.
The team that has put together the show said 80 percent of the questions in the Kannada show will be based on Karnataka, 10 percent on South India, five percent on India and the remaining five percent will be international topics. Says Anita Basu, director of Big Synergy: "The Kannada version of Kaun Banega Crorepati is an aspirational programme for people who want to better themselves."
She emphasised that "it is a show for the common man and not for the super intelligent. We are looking for people who are knowledgeable. We are looking for people who will be themselves while playing the game before a superstar. It is the right combination of winning big money for the knowledge that people have."
The Kannada version will have the same high production values as the Hindi version, the Big Synergy Production team promises.
The Kannada version had been created for the people of the state, by a team drawn from Karnataka, says Ashok Vidyasagar of Big Synergy. "It is not a cut-paste programme. The entry mechanism for aspiring contestants will be through SMS and telephone calls. We have left no stone unturned to bring the best format to the show and we are expecting a 14 percent compounded annual growth rate in terms of content growth from the south."
Raghavendra, non-fiction head of Suvarna channel said that 18 lakh text messages were received of which 1,200 people were called for an audition.
"We selected 120 people after studying their profile before conducting exams at four different centres spread across the state. We have now shot 12 episodes in the first schedule and we are hoping to close season 1 of the show with 80 episodes."
The setting of the show is a studio in Chennai. Audiences in the programme are ferried from Bangalore.
Puneeth Rajkumar who is hosting the show said Kannadada Kotiyadhipati will give him an opportunity to connect with people by talking to the television audience directly.
"The show will give me an opportunity to improve my general knowledge, study people's expectations and reach out to people right in their homes," Puneeth said.