Colors promises mischief & danger in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi;’ Arjun Kapoor to host

MUMBAI: Colors is bringing season 7 of the popular reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi in a new makeover -- from the location to the show’s flavour to the host. Actor Arjun Kapoor will be making his television debut as the show’s new host. So far, the show has seen three different hosts namely Akshay Kumar (Season 1, 2, 4), Priyanka Chopra (Season 3) and Rohit Shetty (Season 5, 6).

The 20 episode season of Khatron Ke Khiladi - Kabhi Peeda, Kabhi Keeda, produced by Endemol Shine India, is expected to air in the first quarter of 2016 with the action packed and stunt heavy scenes being shot extensively in Buenos Aires, Argentina over the next couple of months.

Speaking about his television debut, Kapoor said, “I love action in all its forms. Be it daredevil stunts or intense action sequences in my films. The thrill and adrenalin rush, which accompanies a well-planned stunt is an experience that cannot be put into words. With  Khatron Ke Khiladi, I’m not only going to be performing stunts, but will also be involved in designing them and watching them come alive. And with the ‘peeda’ and ‘keeda’ concept, I’m definitely looking forward to having some mad fun with the contestants in Argentina.”

Colors CEO Raj Nayak added, “With the second season of 24 also lined up around the same time, scheduling Khatron Ke Khiladi is a big challenge for us right now. The dynamics are such that we can’t keep waiting to start shooting for KKK. It’s a new location and we want to wrap up the 50 odd days shoot by the end of this year, ideally before the holiday season sets in.” Without locking in on exact specifics, Nayak confirms that the show will air in the 8 - 9 pm time slot.

Endemol Shine India MD Deepak Dhar said,“This season Khatron Ke Khiladi – Kabhi Peeda, Kabhi Keeda will be a gruelling challenge for the contestants. We are all set to design 60 different stunts for them in Argentina. With Arjun Kapoor hurling the challenges to the band of daredevils, this year, the fun, action and entertainment quotient will explode.”

This year’s 14 contestants who will face their fears headlong are Tanishaa Mukherji, Sidharth Shukla, Vivan Bathena, Sana Saeed, real-life television couple Jay Bhanushali and Mahhi Vij, model Parvathy Omanakuttan, Indian hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki, telly actors Aishwarya Sakhuja, Tina Dutta and Himanshoo Malhotra, and dancing stalwarts Faisal Khan, Mukti Mohan and Raghav Juyal.

Going by the show’s history, every time a new host has been introduced, be it Chopra for season 3, or Shetty in the last couple of seasons, they have added their own element to it. Shetty’s stunt heavy last two seasons are still fresh in our memories. So what has Arjun Kapoor to offer?

“Keeping the action part intact, we are going for more fun and mischief this season, and we think Arjun as a host completely fits the bill,” gushes Nayak. “He will bring in his quintessential sense of humour and happy-go-lucky attitude to this edition of Fear Factor India. He has already added a bit of his flavour by suggesting the term ‘Keeda,’ which we have now added to our tagline for this season.”

Nayak also adds that the actor’s endearing quality is expected to appeal to not just the Gen Z but the mothers in the family as well, thereby opening up the show to a broader demography.

Speaking of demographics, Nayak appeared unfazed by the change in ratings after the rural data has been published by BARC India, which has seen free to air (FTA) channels like Zee Anmol and Star Utsav giving stiff competition to networks’ flagship Hindi GECs.

“As far as Colors is concerned, our focus is LC1 and urban population. We are not focusing on rural India. We want to remain India’s premium Hindi entertainment channel, so the rural data hasn’t bothered us. There will be no change in our content strategy. If rural happens by default, it’s a different thing but we can’t be tweaking content for two Indias. It can only be either or and we have made our choice,” says Nayak.

From a business perspective as well Nayak informs that Colors stays unaffected by the new ratings. “Advertisers spend maximum money in LC1 and urban India, and truth be told, we are here to do a profitable business, and sticking to our current content strategy seems to be doing just that,” he stated.

Having said that he doesn’t dismiss the prospect of advertising spends going up in the rural areas either. “We will obviously have a strategy to tap in that by focusing in rural with our second channel Rishtey. We will tweak its content to meet rural requirements and strengthen it further,” he informed.

The channel will unleash a 360 degree marketing campaign with some focus on on-ground activation. “Right now, one can’t do without using all the mediums at their disposal. But the focus areas changes with the content of the show. With KKK there is a lot of scope for on-ground activations and engaging marketing. Digitally you can do a whole lot of things. Having Arjun Kapoor also gives us that advantage as he is tech savvy and social media friendly. He understands the language,” Nayak shared.

The show has also kept up with this tradition of getting big names as sponsors with the title sponsor being Tata Motors this season. The channels is also in talks with other brands for ‘powered by’ sponsor and association sponsors, which will soon be revealed.

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