Star TV can take full credits for opening the floodgates - and loosening purse strings. Not only has the channel's immensely popular trailblazer 'Kaun Benega Crorepati' (KBC) knocked the daylights out of the competition, it also promises to spawn a whole generation of high-stake game shows across the country.
Zee TV, Sony Entertainment Television (SET), B4U and the to-be-launched Nine Gold have already made it clear that they would be coming out with their own 'get rich quick' game shows. Now, regional network channel Sun Television Network (Sun TV) has announced that it is launching its own 'millionaire' game show in Tamil, in October.
The show - branded 'Kodeeswaran', which means 'millionaire' in Tamil - will be hosted by Sarat Kumar, an actor who enjoys near-iconic status in Tamil Nadu. The brain behind Kodeeswaran is Derek O' Brien, best known for the well-accepted Bournvita Quiz Contest. O' Brien will not only provide the content for the show but also direct it. Kodeeswaran's programme schedule is weekend prime time, 9 pm to 10 pm. Interestingly, KBC is not on air on Saturdays and Sundays.
As in the case of KBC, the prize money at Kodeeswaran will be a maximum of Rs 1 crore for every winner. However, Sun TV is insistent that the show will not end up as a KBC clone. The channel maintains that the concept will be regionalized, and the content will "go with the pulse of Tamil Nadu's viewers".
The rationale behind the launch of a regional language-specific game show might fox many, as eyeballs are bound to be fewer by far. But Sun TV seems to have done its homework. While viewers in the South are as game show savvy as their counterparts in the North, the response to such shows conducted in Hindi has been lukewarm.
Tamil, on the other hand, is fairly well understood in the neighbouring states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Sun TV is betting on the reach of Tamil to compensate for the limited number of viewers within Tamil Nadu. So much so, the channel aims to attract a third of the nation's population to watch the show.
Production company Radaan Pictures has been commissioned to produce Kodeeswaran, which is currently in the test-market stage.
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