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Munnabhai takes on Big B

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY

After many stars, Sanjay Dutt hits the small screen with a game show on SaharaOne.


We are not in direct competition with KBC simply because ours is not a quiz show: PURENDU BOSE



CHERRY! After having a decent run at the box office this year, Sanjay Dutt turns to small screen with a game show on Sahara.

When some five year ago, Star Plus's superstar show "Kaun BanegaCrorepati" first commanded a fabulous viewer-turnout, the competing channels had lined up an array of film stars to host similar question-answer game shows. But we all know about their Titanic fate in the face of the hurricane known as Big B. Now when "KBC 2" is again reaping benefits for the channel, SaharaOne's Chief Operating Officer Purnendu Bose talks about bringing in Sanjay Dutt "in this financial year" to host a game show on his channel which surely makes you pass a seen-that grin at him.

You tend to ponder, why after all, one refuses to learn from others' mistakes. More so because it involves big money. But then, television runs on bigger stakes perhaps. It surely is not the game for non-risk takers. Never know what clicks and so let the gambling go on. "Also," Bose argues, "Today's viewers, unlike five years back, have a lot of options on television. If they get a better deal, they will flip channels." Taking this hope forward, Bose, insists that "this is not in direct competition with KBC", though he takes a pot-shot at the weekend grosser using the `desi' card. "It is a norm now that we go shopping abroad for formatted shows, be it KBC or any other reality show running on Indian television these days. But the one we are planning to roll out is definitely not a Western import.

It is a home-grown idea jointly thought of by Sahara and FreeMantle Media. So in a way, we are creating a creative hub here," says the former

head of Hungama channel. Also, he stresses the point that the show was not born because he wanted Sanjay Dutt on Sahara screen but "because the format needed a cherry". "KBC is after all just an hour of 24/7 roll-outs. Also, we are not in direct competition with KBC simply because ours is not a quiz show," he states.

But game show it surely is, though Bose at the moment is tight-lipped about its format, name and slotting. "Sanjay has gone though a lot of ups and downs in life and has come out as a winner at the end. So, he fits in perfectly into the format. When we told him about the idea, he was at once interested," Bose relates.

Which means Sanjay too, like many a Bollywood colleague, is to make his television debut "early next year".So far, this has been a good year for Dutt Junior. If his "Dus" has done well at the box office earlier this year, "Shaadi No. 1", released only last week, has got a promising opening too. But whether this silver screen success will see its mirror image on the small screen is no guarantee.

Kittu Sab Jaanti Hai

Talking about more new shows, Bose says, the turn of the year will see quite some new and overhauled shows on SaharaOne. "On November 14,

we are starting a woman-based show `Kittu Sab Jaanti Hai'. Then, `Chacha Choudhary' will be reformatted this month," he says. "Kittu... ," Bose states, would take the channel's "stress on women-centric shows a step forward". "Be it `Woh Rehne Wali Mehlon Ki' or `Hare Kach Ki Chooriyan', we have always kept empowerment of women in mind. `Kittu... ' will show a different phase of a woman's life on the channel at 9.30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday," he describes.

Time to keep the remote in hand? Well, we shall leave it to you.

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