'From Gurukul' to 'Fame X' and Sony to Sab

MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television India's Sab is all set to unleash its first reality show with the refurbished version of Fame Gurukul that has been re-branded as Fame X.

New version of the reality musical show will hit the tube in mid-November as daily weekday offering.

According to Sab senior vice president and business head Vikas Bhal, the inclusion of the X- element in the name simply refers to the undefinable something that makes for star quality. The big difference that has been incorporated into the second season of the show that aired last year on SET is that the contestants will not undergo any makeover.

Elaborating further, Bhal says that if the contestant auditions with a pair of slippers, his style will be retained. The effort will be to hone singing skills rather than presentation.

Among the other changes being rung into Fame X is that there will be only one winner rather than the jodi (couple) concept that was seen earlier. A big thing for the Fame X winner will be that he/she gets the honour of creating a song and singing for the cricket World Cup that will be held in the West Indies in March 2007.

The show will adapt to a more funky style and have an international look and feel. Unlike Fame Gurukul, which had an Indianised set-up of a music school, Fame X will remain true to the international version. Endemol, which owns the rights to the Spanish reality show Operacion Triunfo on which Fame X is based, will be managing the full production of the show. Production of the earlier Fame Gurukul was assigned to Miditech.

Operacion Triunfo has been adapted across 11 countries across three continents, and is seeing a fourth and fifth series in some territories.

This daily episode series will be spread across 13 weeks. The hunt for the contestants will kick off end of September. The auditions will be held in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahemedbad and Lucknow.

Bahl concludes that the channel has yet to come to a decision on the jury panel as well as the host of the show. SET's Fame Gurukul had lyricist Javed Akhtar, singer KK and musician Shankar Mahadevan as the panel judges while singer Ila Arun was the strict headmistress of the music academy.

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