Its quiz time again folks - with superhero Shah Rukh
The long wait is finally over. STAR Plus' hit quiz show " Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)", the most awaited programme on Indian television, hits the small screen Monday with new host Shah Rukh Khan, whose ready wit and quick repartees are set to give the programme a fresher look.
"People are going to constantly compare Shah Rukh with Amitabh Bachchan (previous host) and will try to pull him down. But Shah Rukh is such a good speaker and so charming that he is going to make it work," said Parull Gossain, a Mumbai-based media advisor.
The show will open with a music video "Kar Le Kar Le Tu Ek Sawaal" which was the superstar's brainchild. And for the exclusive video Shah Rukh had joined hands with singer-choreographer Ganesh Hegde, who is presenting him in a completely new avatar. The two had earlier worked together for "Don".
"Shah Rukh has got a completely new, young look in the film. He will be seen donning a hip-hop look and the clothes are also designed to suit the mood of the video. The song is a fusion of hip-hop and Indian music," Hegde told IANS.
Prasenjit Sarkar, the last rollover contestant from KBC-2, will be the first contestant to share the hot seat with the Bollywood Badhshah, who is known to be a great conversationalist.
"I am extremely fortunate and excited to be back on the show... it's been a long wait but now I can say that the wait was more than worth its while," said Prasenjit Sarkar, who works as a central excise inspector.
The actor welcomed Sarkar in his own inimitable "Devdas" style by referring to him as "babumoshai". When Sarkar requested him to sing the Bengali song that was supposed to be a part of the movie "Devdas", Shah Rukh said that he didn't remember the song at the moment and instead recited another Bengali poem that he knew.
Even though KBC will coincide with the World Cup, the response from sponsors has been overwhelming. According to media reports, KBC has raked in over Rs.1 billion for its third innings.
Paritosh Joshi, president - sales and distribution - of STAR India, said:
"We at STAR do not comment on revenue and we have not bothered to confirm or deny the reports. But I will say that we have done exceedingly well and have earned handsome revenue from the show.
"But the fact is that we didn't negotiate very hard because the client's interest was very, very high."
Joshi also said that cricket poses no threat to KBC.
"Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainty and the advertisers don't get the value for money that is promised. But KBC is a unique show, which has a universal appeal because we are a knowledge-conscious society. It is a truly family-viewing show and the risk is factor is not so high," he added.
Last year's sponsors Airtel, Hyundai and Cadbury are joined by new players Pantaloon Retail (Big Bazaar), Godrej Sara Lee, UTI Mutual Fund, Videocon, Godrej Sara Lee, Jyothi Lab, Big Bazaar and the UB group. Nokia is being replaced by Motorola.
For the third season Lononvo and ICICI bank make way for Union Bank and Compaq computer.
This time the cell phone rights have gone to Bharti Cellular Ltd and all KBC related mobile content - ring tones, video clips and tid bits of the show - will be exclusive to AirTel customers.
As far as the fee goes, Shah Rukh has reportedly signed on the dotted line for a whopping Rs.650-700 million for 52 episodes.
Apparently, STAR may try to cash in on Shah Rukh's international popularity by releasing the show in the US and Britain. However, Celador, the production house that owns the show's format, will call the final shots for international market rights.
STAR has not left any stones unturned to make the star at home on the sets. They have built up a special well-equipped chalet where Shah Rukh can relax after the technical rehearsals for KBC.
Viewers, who log in to the hour-long programme Monday night at 9 p.m., will get to witness a 'magic moment' as they watch their favourite star for the first time in his new avatar of TV host.
So watch the quirky play of Shah Rukh as he goes all out to quiz you because - Kuch Sawaal Zindagi Badal Saktey Hain (Some questions can change your life)!