On the occasion of the launch of Melo Evaru Koteeswarudu (MEK) in AP Market on Maa TV and ‘Ningalkkum Akkam Kodeshwaran’ (NAK) on Asianet, the Telugu and Malayalam version of KBC’s new season in two prominent markets of South, the COO of Big Synergy – Indranil Chakraborthy, the format owners and Producers of the show, reveals their plans in National and Regional market, in his exclusive interview to tvnews4u.com :
1. Can you give us a brief on Big Synergy’s properties in South Regional and National Market.?
a.In South, we have done the following shows :
i.WWTBAM (KBC in Hindi) in all the four languages. Malayalam (3 seasons) and the others for 2 seasons
ii.Godrej Khelo Jeeto Jiyo in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam
iii.Connexions in Tamil. The show is continuing for more than a year on Vijay TV.
b.In the national market, we have been producing shows for over 25 years. Our landmark shows are KBC, Paanchvi Paas, Dus Ka Dum, Got Talent (2 seasons), Jhalak Dikhla Ja (2 seasons), Sach Ka Samna, Aap Ki Kachehri, Bollywood Ka Boss, Heart Beat, Lakhon Mein Ek (Fiction), Jiya Jaale (Fiction), Hindustan Ka Hunaarbaaz, to name a few
2. Could you tell us about the upcoming season of NAK in Malayalam and MEK in Telugu? What kind of innovations you plan to add in this season?
a.MEK 2 (Telugu) is coming after a blockbuster first season. We are keeping the basic essence of the show as it is in a very early stage of it product life cycle. We have introduced a new lifeline “Code Red”. Herein, after the contestant finishes all the life lines, the contestant’s companion can recommend the contestant to quit the game. Helps in involvement of the companion in the game play
b.NAK 3 (Malayalam) : Introduction of “Code Red”
3. How would you identify the right contestants in backend for KBC format and Do you groom them to get prepared for the show.?
We have an elaborate process for registration and selection of the contestant. The process involves registration, answering of questions, audition, written test, etc. We have fine tuned the process after several years of producing KBC in various languages. We do not groom the contestants. The contestants are thoroughly briefed on the rules of the game before the shoot
4.The Celebrity host being the carrier of the show, How would you tune stars like Nagarjuna and Suresh Gopi for such a larger responsible job?
All the hosts go through a formal rehearsal process and practise the game in mock set up. The host goes through this training for several weeks. This is done under the guidance of Mr Siddhartha Basu
5.Being a Regional market, South has its own budget constraint factors. How do you manage to make a decent top line from Projects in Sothern languages?
Mainly through value engineering. We are very sensitive towards the revenue constraints in the regions. Some of the cost heads like manpower, equipment hiring, etc. are less in the regions. Fortunately, KBC gets better sponsorship deals
6.South Television industry doesn’t have a great talents who are exposed to such larger formats of National Televisions. How would to source the talents from local market to work on par with your standard of expectations?
It’s a misnomer that South does not have talent. South has excellent talent. Our complete team is locally sourced. They go through formal training. By now we have a decent pool of talent across all languages
7.What other show formats do you have in kitty for the audience of the sub continent and South Region in future?
We are in constant dialogue with the broadcasters. We can only talk about specific shows once we close the deals
8.Big Synergy is always known as a non-fiction specialists. Do you have any plans of venturing in to fiction formats in National or Regional Market.?
We mainly specialize in factual content. We have done episodic fiction shows in the past. We are developing some interesting concepts in the same genre
9.There is a perception that your existing contract with National broadcasters like Sony TV restrains you from doing the regional formats when KBC Hindi is on-air and that is the reason why first season of MEK was winded up in 40 episodes despite a huge success..!!! Your comments pls.?
There is a contractual obligation with the original license holders. We need to abide by the “Black Out” period during the telecast of the Hindi version. The first season of MEK was designed to be 40 episodes. It’s a different matter that the show became a resounding success and could not be extended due to contractual obligation
10.You are associated with a set of broadcasters in Hindi and Regional markets. Will you be realigning with other competitors in future. In case of an opportunity for a better revenue with a scope for higher ratings?
We produce shows for all broadcasters. As far as KBC is concerned, typically the broadcasters have the “First Refusal Right”
11. What is the current periodic intervals that you maintain for KBC format in Hindi and other regional languages? or How often can we expect a new season of KBC in Hindi and Regional languages.?
Typically once a year. But sometimes there are exceptions e.g. MEK this year