'KBC' 2005 to offer Rs 20 million prize money

MUMBAI: Whether the cash registers are going to start ringing again for Star will be known in due course, but what is certain is that participants of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) 2005 can look forward to twice the winnings of the original.

Star Plus is bringing back its runaway success and Amitabh Bachchan hosted show KBC by July and this time round the stakes are going to be higher; twice as high to be precise with the prize money being jacked up to Rs 20 million

Confirming this exclusively to, Star network's executive vice president, content and communications Deepak Sehgal says, "Pre-production work has already started. KBC 2005 will continue to be produced by Siddharth Basu's Synergy Communications and the production house has already begun the ground work for the show; in terms of scripting, research and setting up the telephone lines which definitely takes a lot of time."

On being queried about the time slot and launch date of the programme, Sehgal said, "Though I cannot reveal too many details of the show at this point in time; all I can say is that we have a balance of 85 episodes with Mr Bachchan. He has already given us the dates and shooting will start as per the schedule planned."

As reported earlier, Bachchan had told Subhash K Jha, a columnist with, that KBC was being revived in July. "I kept shifting the date because of my film commitments. But now I don't think delaying KBC makes any sense. While I still have my wits I better get down to it. So I'll make time for KBC in July," Bachchan told Jha.

KBC, the Indian version of the international hit show Who Wants to be a Millionaire was earlier launched on 3 July, 2000 and went off air in 2002. The show not only propelled the Star network onto the number one slot, but also redefined television viewing in the country. What will be interesting to watch is whether Star introduces some element of novelty (other than the increased prize money) to revive KBC's popularity which was waning towards the end before being put off air.

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