'Russian Roulette' and weekend series to spice up Sony's programming

An Indian version of Russian Roulette, the popular game of chance, and a weekend series from the Balaji stable on Sony are set to propel the channel forward in the stakes for viewership. 

Sony, according to SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta, is set to change the rules of weekend programming, so far associated with blockbuster movies across all channels. "Now we are working on a blockbuster series. It will be three one hour episodes across the weekend that will run for 39 episodes," he says. "With it, we expect to carve out the weekend prime time slot." It is no coincidence that Balaji CEO and MD Shobha Kapoor told an analysts' meet recently that it would be a high-cost production that would run for a total of 13 weeks.

Sony's plans for weekdays are equally ambitious. Dasgupta says that one show the channel is seriously looking at is a gameshow, Russian Roulette, a Columbia Tristar property. Russian Roulette, is a game of chance where every question could cause a contestant to literally "drop out" of the game and has been a hit in countries as wide apart as Russia and Spain.

In this knowledge test, four strangers challenge each other to answer a series of multiple choice questions. If a contestant answers incorrectly, he must pull the lever potentially triggering one or more 'drop zones'. When only one contestant is left standing, that person keeps all the money won and proceeds to the final round. In the US version, the final winner takes home an additional $100,000. 

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