ETV Kannada has bagged the format rights to produce Bigg Boss for the Karnataka market; the show is expected to go on-air in March. The show will see local newsmakers and celebrities from all walks of life entering the Bigg Boss house. The channel has roped in southern superstar Sudeep to take the place of Salman Khan in the regional version.
The first Indian version of the show (Bigg Brother) was first shown on Sony and later shifted to Viacom18's Hindi GEC, Colors. The format is owned by Endemol globally. The first ever version of Big Brother was broadcast in 1999 in the Netherlands. The show has run in its Hindi version for six seasons and has seen controversies for its content, of late. In Season 5, the show was shifted in and out of the prime time slot for its bold content.
In an official communiqué, Parameshwar Gundkal, programming head, ETV Kannada explains that Bigg Boss is the best show available for the viewers to get up close and personal with their favourite celebrities.
Deepak Dhar, CEO, Endemol India, elaborates, "Bigg Boss has connected extremely well with Indian audiences because it showcases reality in its truest, unadulterated form. Season after season, it has been the talk of town and to maintain the same amount of fanfare in its Kannada version, we have incorporated a gamut of innovations and new ideas based on our observations and learning from the Bigg Brother format world over."
As per the format of the show, a group of celebrities are confined to a living space for 14 weeks, without any kind of entertainment or source of communication with the outside world. With cameras tracking their every move 24x7, the contestants have to do without basics such as television, books, internet or their phones.
Abhishek Rege, COO, Endemol says that while the Kannada adaptation of the format is the first step in that direction, the production house could look at adapting the format in other local languages as well.