Television

Spilling the beans on 'Koffee with Karan'

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Bipasha, what is the raaz of your jism?

Konkona if there‘s a great script, great director and if it requires showing skin?

Konkona - The only thing I can do is kissing.

Your husbands Shahrukh and Hrithik are dealing with the most beautiful women, working with them day in and day out. Are there any insecure moments?

Gauri Khan shoots back, "I pray to God if Shahrukh has to be with somebody else then please help me find someone for me too."

 

These are just a few snippets of some of the zaniest chitchat on the premiere chat show on Star World ‘Koffee with Karan‘. Some questions leave the celebs squirming on their seats while the answers have the viewers queuing up for more. And not many of these questions have ever been asked on the small screen before.

Bollywood‘s master of 70 mm, talented producer, director and scriptwriter - K Jo as many would like to call him - has written a new script on the boob tube. With his bold and sassy show he has changed the way chat shows are being conducted on the tube. Launched a few months ago, the show has millions of viewers riveted to the small screen as Karan

the host regales the audience with great elan and panache.

To sum up the show: it‘s one hour of chatter and banter on a glossy set with gossipy and the most entertaining questions asked with a rather cheeky smile. There‘s a tongue-in-cheek element to the show as the host goes beep beep with his lie-o-meter. And of course, a certain mysterious chemistry between the celeb-combos adds on to the imagination of viewers.

There have been other celebrity shows on the same platform (read Rendezvous with Simi and The Cover Story) but none has created the kind of euphoria that this one has. Even in terms of numbers the show has been brewing magic for Star World. Analysts feel that the show cuts across regular SEC A & B viewers for the English entertainment channel and has been able to rope in viewers

from a cross section of society. No wonder, it has also emerged as the highest-rated show on an English entertainment channel. To quote from TAM data in five metros, the Abhishek & Preity episode (11.3.2005) also managed to create history as the highest-rated show by delivering 1.82 TVR. This implies the show has cumulatively reached out to a whopping 7.6 million audience till date. As compared to the other channels, Zee English and AXN, the show is the most watched one in its slot commanding a staggering 78 per cent of the eyeballs.

Understanding the Karan magic.

So what has really catapulted the show to such great heights? The answer perhaps lies in asking another question; why does a page 3 of a newspaper or a gossip column of a magazine work? It‘s all about the viewers getting a certain voyeuristic delight in the information shared. Viewers have time and again proved that they love to see that the larger than life stars have an Achilles‘ heel. The masala gossip also provides a right mix of conversation over a steaming cup of tea or coffee. Be it in college, canteens or cigarette breaks in the corridors of office.

But apart from the fact that gossip, especially Bollywood gossip, sells, it‘s probably the finer details of the show and the way the savvy host gets down to the business of chatting that has set the show apart from the likes of the Simi Garewal show or a Vir Sanghvi show. And as the buzz goes for chatting with friends, the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai director was paid a whopping sum of somewhere around Rs 4 crore for a 52-episode series, though the channel refuses to confirm this.



The USP of the show is clearly the director-turned-savvy anchor who has given the small screen his best shot. People close to him say that he has ventured where many from the film industry fear to tread. Not just that, he understands the impact of TV and for him it‘s all about being himself. To quote him, "I‘ve always wanted to host a talk show on TV. And I always wanted to interview two people instead of one."

And the choice of two celeb-combos like Bipasha Basu and Lara Dutta, Shah Rukh and Kajol, Amitabh and Abhishek, Shabana and Shobha De; has been enough to set the small screen on fire and add the mirch-masala to the idiot box. The conversation brews hot stuff as most of the time Karan shares a rather ‘kuch kuch‘ intimate relationship with guests. Apart from uncovering the ‘other side‘ of his guests, there is the rapid fire round which reveals a lot about the celeb.

The extempore chat is also all about uncovering the real face of the celebs behind their public persona. Coming out rather vulnerable, the stars bare their hurt, pain, friendship, love and life. So, there‘s parting, reunion and many more revelations on the show. Like a confession coming from a low-key director like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, "I have no friends in the industry. Aishwarya is one of the very few people I can talk to for hours."

Looking forward, the channel plans to have a Kooler Koffee with Karan for the next season; where there will be people from all walks of life. Delving a bit deeper and understanding the format here we present a case study of the show, in terms of how the idea germinated; the format, pitch and USP of the show and selection of the celebrities.

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