Kaun Banega Crorepati, the show that changed Indian television forever, has been winning hearts since seventeen years now, yet its magic refuses to wane away. The recent ratings have once again proved that people will never get bored of watching Amitabh Bachchan on their screens quizzing contestants, and interacting with his computerji, and saying ‘lock kiya jaye’ in his trademark style.
Conceptualised by quiz genius Siddharth Basu, the first season of KBC aired on Star Plus in 2000. Big B was apprehensive about making his TV debut in the beginning, but did not know that it will create records and register historic ratings. After the third season, the show migrated to Sony TV, but continued to do well.
For those who have grown up watching the game show, the iconic tune of Kaun Banega Crorepati can still give goose bumps and there is nothing more satisfying than to hear Amitabh Bachchan, in his inimitable baritone greet the audience, Deviyon aur Sajjano!!!. Launched at a time when satellite television was at a nascent stage; it has grown from strength to strength; breaking several TRP Records. The popularity of the show can be noted by the fact that over 80 million participated in the KBC auditions.
The latest season of the show that premiered on August 28 has made a scintillating debut with 6.2 million impressions, according to BARC India’s weekly data (Aug 26-Sept 1). It jumped to No.1 spot in the urban markets in the week starting 9th September
Interestingly, the social media buzz started much later and peaked on 12th September as per reports from social media listening software Konnect Insights:
Amitabh Bachchan seems to be equally charged and tweeted “Just back from work! and a day filled with reliving 17 years of ‘KBC’ and my term with it 17 years! Goodness that is a lifetime.”
He also wrote before the show started, “Production and Sony where it shall be telecast, inform me that the registration numbers were close to a number not seen before. It showed that interest in the game was still perhaps alive. Some of the economic papers that write about it, give statistics of the past and the present and give comparative percentage increases… that is heartening,”
On social media, people from all parts of India were talking about the show as can be seen from this location map from social media monitoring tool Konnect Insights:
Now in its seventeenth year, and ninth season, the show continues to spin magic, which is no mean feat. Here’s a look at new things in the show’s ninth season.
Limited episodes: KBC will see 30 to 35 episodes to be aired over a period of six weeks. This has been done intentionally with an aim to keep the show crisp. The makers also want to make KBC an annual show and revealed that they want to keep coming every year.
No film integration on the show: There will be no unnecessary film promotions on the show. Instead, it will have heroes from different walks of life like the Women’s cricket team. The show will see celebrities, who will come not to promote their films but to raise awareness or support a special cause.
Play along feature: This will enable the viewers to play the quiz show through TV on their phone sets. They will get to see the questions asked on the show on their phone on TV sets and will also be able to select from the four options.
Jodidaar (new lifeline): A new lifeline Jodidaar introduced this season will give a chance to the contestant to bring a friend, relative or anyone of his or her choice, who will help and guide him or her to answer the questions on the show.
Video Call A Friend: Phone-A-Friend lifeline has been changed to Video Call A Friend. With the help of this lifeline, a contestant will be able to make video calls to their friends and also see them onscreen while taking the help.
Prize Money : The winning amount this season has been raised to Rs 7 crore. Unlike other stages during the show, if a contestant manages to pass the Rs 1 crore level, the next question that he will play will be for Rs 7 crore directly.
As the popularity of the show returns to a level when the concept was first introduced to the Indian audience, it has also become a topic of intense social media conversation for political reasons. As per the influencer report from Konnect Insights, every news channel and newspaper has posted about KBC on social media
Critics of Bachchan are raising eye brows on the presence of too many questions related to the BJP and the Centre’s Narendra Modi government. Of course, the megastar’s alleged proximity to the current government is not helping the show’s cause. The iconic actor has been fronting many central government schemes including PM Modi’s pet campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, aimed at achieving women empowerment. Many users were seen asking if this year’s KBC was being used to promote the central government and its pet schemes.
The questions of biases are also emerging largely because of the corporate names sponsoring the flagship quiz show of Sony TV. The series 9 of KBC is being sponsored by Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali and Gautam Adani’s Adani Fortunes.
All said, over the years, KBC has turned from a quiz show more into a show fulfilling dreams. The program showcases the lives of real people who thrive to fulfil their dreams and how KBC makes it possible for them. It has become a platform on which Indians can dream and transform their lives and realise their aspirations – substantially if not fully. Real life stories, real emotions, the human appeal is what the creators thrive on and what makes the nation’s heart, beat for this show.
Tags: Amitabh Bachchan, BJP, KBC, Konnect Insights