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Lock kiya jaye? KBC is back!
August 24, 2004 09:32 IST
The popular 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' is expected to be on air again from April next year with Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan back in the hot seat for Star Plus.
"We have about 85 episodes still to be completed with Bachchan and as per our last letter, we are required to begin shooting in April 2005," Star India Chief Operating Officer Sameer Nair said in Mumbai.
The channel had originally signed the deal for airing 390 episodes of KBC with Bachchan. "We had shown 305 before we stopped it in December 31, 2001, after it was on air for about 18 months," Nair said, adding that the rest of 85 episodes are expected to be spread over a six-month period with four-times-a-week schedule.
On whether the programme's presentation would be different this time from what it used to be earlier, he said many new things would be added.
"Though the concept would be same, we would make it more interactive. We will be using mobile SMS as one of the ways to involve the audience more with the programme and this will be integrated with the show," he said.
The Star India COO said viewers could win as much as Rs 10-20 lakh through the new interactive format as they can answer the questions asked through SMS. "This money would be additional to the Rs one crore prize for the actual winner," he clarified.
Also, he said some changes would be made to the programme in terms of entry mechanism and marketing.
The serial, which changed the fortunes of Star in India, was modelled on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire', a big hit in the West.
Nair said Star India was looking at launching one serial a month on its channels. "We have about 15 new programmes lined up for the next 12 months," he said.
The broadcaster, a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corp, also announced the launch of two new serials on Star Plus 'Karma -- Koi Aa Raha Hai Waqt Badalney' and 'K Street Pali Hill'.
"Both the serials have been made by Balaji Telefilms," he said, adding with the new additions Balaji will have seven serials on Star.
Notably, Star recently announced it would pick up about 25 per cent stake in Balaji Telefims for around Rs 123 crore through its subsidiary Asian Broadcasting FZ-LLC.
Refusing to disclose who would be Star's nominees on Balaji's board, Nair said the broadcaster would look for greater synergy. "We would like to have greater synergy with Balaji," he said.
However, he said the new relationship with Balaji would not mean that the production house cannot sell its programmes to competitors like Sony or Zee. "They have been doing so earlier and are free to do so. But as an unsaid part of our relationship, we get to have the first look at Balaji's new programmes," Nair added.
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