Mumbai : With the end of Bigg Boss Halla Bol on 31st January, Hindi GEC ‘Colors’ is bringing in two big ticket launches in 1st week of February to keep the phase of its growing viewership, with the historical show ”Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat” on 2nd February and the sixth season of Fear Factor ”Khatron Ke Khiladi” on 7th February.
”Khatron Ke Khiladi” which will be aired on every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm, will see Ashish Choudhary, Hussain Kuwarjerwala, Harshad Arora, Iqbal Khan, Sana Khan. Sagrika Ghartge, Rashami Desai, Asha Negi, Ridhhi Dogra, Meiyang Chang, Rakesh Kumar, Siddharth Bharadwaj, Nathalia Kaur and Archana Vijaya battling it out.
The contestants will stay in a ‘Darr ka Ghar’ this time to keep the entertainment quotient up. Adding a twist to the take and urging the contestants to push their boundaries will be last year’s finalist Salman Yusuff Khan who will be seen as a challenger.
Endemol MD Deepak Dhar said, “Khatron … will be riveting for the viewers as it has been taxing for the contestants. We have doubled the dose of danger, action and entertainment this season while introducing new concepts and themes to make the show a truly engaging watch. Rohit Shetty’s contribution in making the show a complete blockbuster has been unparalleled and as the show prepares for launch, we are all set for the true action to begin.”
According to Colors CEO Raj Nayak casting in this season is the best so far. “All faces are popular. Moreover, the number of stunts has increased and you will see a lot of variations. Last year, it was the best season ever and this time we hope it surpasses that.”
Market sources confirm that the budget of the new season has also gone up by about 25 per cent as compared to the last season. While last season the production of the non-fiction show was pegged at Rs 50-55 crore, this season media planners estimate it to be around Rs 60-65 crore.
On the other hand ‘Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat’, set to go on air from February 2nd will be a one hour long series so as to perfectly fit in to the Bigg Boss time band during the weekdays.
The pre-production of the historical show took six months to complete including the building of the sets by ‘Mary Kom’ director Umang Kumar in collaboration with Nitin Desai.
“It was a challenge for me to prepare the sets for ‘Ashoka’ because it was not a mythological show where you can play with your imagination. But ‘Ashoka’ is a historical show and if we are not right on the fact then we can land in a big soup,” Umang, who has also created the sets of mythological show ‘Mahadev’, said.
‘Dhoom 3′ star Siddharth Nigam, who played the young Aamir Khan in the film, is playing the titular character of Ashoka in the show. Nigam said playing the greatest emperor of India was like revisiting his history lessons. “I am in my 9th standard and my teacher teaches me history. I like Ashoka the most because I have learned about him on my own. I took three months time to prepare for my character,” Nigam said.
The show has been produced by Contiloe, who were behind the epic ‘Maharana Pratap’, ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’ and they feel it is the ‘grandest’ show from their side.
“We did an extensive research on the show and consulted the books available on him. We did dramatise some parts but it was done on dotted lines. The story starts from Magadh and Ashoka’s journey from woods to become the emperor which was predicted by Chanakya,” Abhimanyu Singh, CEO Contiloe, said.
To market the show, Colors is routing through unconventional methods. For instance, Mumbai metro travellers are in for a surprise as they will get a coin used in the Mauryan era rather than the usual ticket token for a week. Apart from this, a special school contact programme will be executed in close to 200 schools in 50 towns in tier II markets where students will, in an interactive way, learn about Emperor Ashoka and his life.