Television

'Khatron Ke Khiladi' to return soon in a repackaged avatar

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MUMBAI: “When you burst the blocks of your life, a blockbuster is created,” says filmmaker Rohit Shetty, who after giving blockbusters like the Golmaal franchise and Chennai Express is set to take on a new role that of a TV show host. The director, who is known for reviving the action genre on the celluloid, will be hosting the fifth edition of Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi with the tagline “Dar Ka Blockbuster”.

As the tagline suggests, the show is going to burst the fear blocks of 12 celebrities in its upcoming edition, the announcement  was made amid much fanfare in the city last night. The show is set to return on the General Entertainment Channel – Colors after almost two years. With a changed format that will see 12 celebrities and no commoners, the show will be shot in Cape Town, South Africa over a month.

“Few people from the production team are already in South Africa to make sure that the pre-production work is all done and set,” says Endemol India CEO Deepak Dhar, who is producing the show. Another group is ready to fly next week with the contestants.

The last season of the show that premiered on Colors in June 2011 was also shot in South Africa. Dhar says that the country has been chosen again because the Endemol South Africa team is really well-equipped and would be helpful in coming out with a season full of adrenaline-rushing adventure.

Dhar describes this season as a “really mean season” as the level of stunts have just gone up and the animals coming on the show are going to add to it. “With Rohit on board, the scale of the show has elevated. Plus, some of the best stunts from the Fear Factor US have been replicated,” he says.

To give the audience a close view of what a contestant is going through while in a box full of cockroaches or a cage full of snakes, multiple cameras will be used. “Go Pro cameras, fly cameras and a lot of other hi-tech devices will be used to capture all the actions in the best possible way,” says Dhar.

However, it is not so much about the technique in terms of filming as much as it is technique in terms of stunting, he remarks.

But considering the varied types of stunts, a lot of new techniques have also been used to capture them. “The kinds of stunts we have picked up this time are varied in nature. We have chopper stunts, car stunts, bike stunts, underwater stunts besides a lot of other interesting activities that will make the show really entertaining,” says Colors Weekend programming head Manisha Sharma, adding that the show will be packed with edgy content and will explore some of the most interesting locales of South Africa.

Dhar says the budget has also gone up by about 20 per cent as compared to the last season. While he doesn’t disclose the figure, a reliable source from the channel informs the production of a non-fiction show like this costs approximately 50-60 crore.

Hitherto, the slot hasn’t been decided as the production is yet to begin. “That’s a discussion that going on internally as well,” says Colors CEO Raj Nayak when we quizzed him if KKK is going to replace India’s Got Talent. However, for the time-being what is fixed is that the show will be aired during the weekends.

The last season was aired after Indian Premiere League got over. However, Nayak thinks that since cricket has become a year-round affair, it isn’t a threat for the show. “We may start the telecast alongside IPL,” he says as he remarks that if big budget Bollywood movies that were not released during the IPL season earlier can be released then KKK can also be telecast. However, if it runs parallel to the IPL, the channel may think of running a ticker with the score of the cricket match being played on that day.

Nayak says that discussions about the advertisers and sponsors are still on. However, the channel is expecting good sponsorship deals. “Our sponsors come last as we ask for lots of money and a lot of negotiations go on,” he quips.

Media planners think there shouldn’t be a problem in getting interesting deals for a show like KKK. Madison Media Sigma COO Vanita Keswani thinks that since the show is coming back after a gap, the interest of the viewers as well as the advertisers around it will be enthusiastic.

“The telecast of a format year after year leads to decaying of the idea. A break is good as it would bring certain rejuvenation,” she says and adds the show already has a brand name that will work for it. As far as the sponsors and advertisers are concerned, Keswani thinks that till the time the content of a show is good, they will put in their money. “Any way, these days the advertisers look for better content and not ratings as ratings may or may not come in even if the show is good,” she remarks.

Contestants who will be vying to conquer their phobias comprise Ranvir Shorey, Nikitin Dheer, Mugdha Godse, Dayanand Shetty, Rajniesh Duggall, Rochelle Maria Rao, Gauahar Khan, Kushal Tandon, Pooja Gor, Mahhi Vij, Salman Khan and Geeta Tandon.

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