Sony set to launch 'Bigg Boss' on 3 November

MUMBAI: Sony is ready to roll on its its big ticket property for the latter of half of 2006 - Bigg Boss, the Indianised version of the international format Big Brother.

Can a show that has a highly voyeuristic core with a lot of negative machinations at play work in the Indian context? Most certainly, asserts Sony chief creative director Sandiip Sikcand. The reality show will have all the elements and more that make saas-bahu weepies such a rage in India, avers Sikcand, giving his reasoning on why he expects the concept to replicate the success it has enjoyed in territories like the UK.

Bigg Boss launches Friday, 3 November, with the unveiling of the 13 celebrity participants. It will have a 12-week run, with telecast running from Monday through to Friday.

On Fridays, Bigg Boss will run the elimination episode, where as the Monday to Thursday episodes will be packed with the regular drama and reality content. Significantly, Sony has opted for the 10 pm slot (Monday to Thursday) at a time when an interesting fight is going on between Star Plus and Zee TV in that time band. Bigg Boss will be confronting Star Plus' Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, which airs from Monday to Thursday and Zee TV's newly launched show Ghar Ki Lakshmi Betiyann.

The Friday episodes are slotted for 9 pm. On Friday, Bigg Boss will be attacking Star Plus' Baa, Baho and Baby and Zee TV's Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs'.

Bigg Boss, the real life soap will have 13 celebrities confined inside a specially designed house where every single point in the house is within view of a video camera. The housemates will be watched by 28 cameras.

They will not be permitted any contact with the outside world: no TV, radio, telephone, internet, not even writing materials. The public is invited to vote to evict one of the contestants. The last remaining is the winner who bags Rs 500000/-. The 'Bigg Boss', an omnipresent voice will be watching all the moves of the housemates. And the popular 'Circuit' of Munnabhai MBBS - Arshad Warsi - will be anchoring the show.

The repeat telecast will be aired in the afternoons. Bigg Boss is regarded as Sony's next big offering after Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi and Indian Idol. Set India COO NP Singh believes that Bigg Boss, the format show that has successfully attracted millions of viewers over multiple seasons in some of the countries will change television viewing in India too.

The channel is also planning a multiple season run for Bigg Boss. This time, they have roped in celebrities primarily because curiosity and obsession about the stars have exploded in the country, explains Sikcand.

The channel has already started marketing this property through a 360 degree campaign. This would be the first time that the channel will be creating mobisodes for the format show. The users can access 30-second to 90-second clips, but Singh refused to divulge as to which telecom operator, the channel had inked a deal with.

Internet will be yet another medium through which the channel will exhibit its property. A mircosite will be created, through which the streaming of the show will be offered and the mobile episodes will also be accessed, informs Singh.

It remains to be seen if Bigg Boss brings in the big audiences that will help propel Sony back into the ratings reckoning.

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