While tweaked forms of international reality formats are now common on Indian television, their success is not necessarily guaranteed. So, while the Indian adaptation of Big Brother (renamed Bigg Boss) and Who wants to be a Millionaire (as Kaun Banega Crorepati) have successfully tasted six seasons, there have been examples like Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?) and The Weakest Link (Kamzor Kadii Kaun) which could not work the same magic.
Nevertheless, channels continue to try out templates that have worked elsewhere. Disney is the latest. Its upcoming property, Disney Q, is the Indian version of BBC Productions' popular game show, Mastermind. Expected to be launched during the last week of February in the 7.30 pm slot, the show will be aired on Mondays through Thursdays, with repeats at 9 pm.
This will be the second non-fiction show on the channel. In an attempt to draw the older audiences, the channel has tweaked the original format to bring in families that compete against one another, instead of kids (as in Junior Mastermind) or adult individuals (as in the original Mastermind).
In line with the original format, the game will have four rounds - a specialised subject round and a plain general knowledge round. Each of the two teams in an episode will have four members of the same family and a kid (a fifth member of the team) will lead the team. The child will decide which member of the team will answer the specialised round.
About 20 families will be seen participating in the first season, which is planned in a league format. The show is expected to run for 13 weeks (52 episodes) in Season One.
She adds, "Kids must have a balanced consumption of entertainment (which the channels are already delivering) and learning on television. I expect that continuing with the performance in the earlier versions, the show will create enough curiosity among the audience with the level of questions."
The show is produced by BBC Worldwide India and is licensed to Disney India. Vijay Subramaniam, executive director, kids network, Disney-UTV says that this is a logical extension of channel's attempt to position itself as a family entertainment brand.
The show targets families and is aimed at 7-14 year olds and the parent/s (25+ year olds). Subramaniam explains, "There can be varied combinations for the active and passive viewers for the show. It's quite possible that the child starts following the show and the other family members become the passive viewers; or, it might be that one of the parents watches the show and the kid and the other parent become the passive viewer. So, the whole idea boils down to the family watching the show together."
It may be recalled that an early Indian version of Mastermind was hosted by Siddharth Basu, which was aired on BBC from 1998 to 2002.
The channel plans to market the show heavily on television and social media. While a TVC will be released shortly, a social media innovation will also be in place. It is learnt that the channel has got on-board a renowned television and theatre artiste to host the show.
Interestingly, kids channels haven't been very bullish on investments in the reality format. There have been three popular non-fiction shows in the recent past, including Maai Ka Lal on Disney Channel and Bournvita Confidence Academy on Pogo. Pogo also hosted an award night on the channel, the Amazing Kids Awards show.