MUMBAI ~ Ever since Kaun Banega Crorepati started in 2000, the show has consistently topped charts. Not surprisingly, the formula was copied in several languages. Now ETV Marathi will broadcast a Marathi version of the quiz show from 9 May. Called Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati (KHMC), the show will be hosted by well-known Marathi actor Sachin Khedekar.
Siddhartha Basu, chairman and managing director of Big Synergy, which produces KBC and will produce KHMC, says many people prefer to watch TV in their mother tongue. He also says regional channels are now empowered with enough resources to take on big-ticket formats. “Regional TV is in a burgeoning growth phase, accounting for 27 per cent of all-India revenues, and there is demand for blue chip shows,” he says. He claims that KHMC is the “biggest ever” done in Marathi.
In the last two years, KBC— which itself is based on the English show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?—has had a number of regional variants. There has been a Shatrughan Sinha-hosted Bhojpuri version called Ke Bani Crorepati, a Bengali one, Ke Hobe Banglar Kotipoti, hosted by Sourav Ganguly, and Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada versions (called Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran, and Kannadada Kotyadhipati respectively). Anuj Poddar, executive vice president and business head, regional channels, of Viacom18 (which has partnered with ETV Marathi to produce KHMC), says that while these programmes were successful, they weren’t produced quite as well. The creators of KHMC claim the new show will be at par with KBC.
The producers say the show’s success depends on the game’s format and rewards and also the charm of the host. To pick the host, the channel had three criteria—someone who was well-known in Maharashtra, whose appeal cut across age groups, and whose personality was seen as warm and likeable. A survey was conducted among 2,000 random individuals across Maharashtra, most of whom chose Khedekar.▪