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‘Fear Factor’ to now talk in regional languages

MUMBAI: After tasting success with ‘Bigg Boss’ in Kannada and Bengali, Endemol India is now planning to take the same route with its action reality show ‘Fear Factor’.

The production house recently launched the show’s fifth season in Hindi ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ on the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors. Following the culmination of the Hindi version, Endemol will start working on the show for the South market and other regions in the Hindi-speaking markets.

Deepak-DharConfirming the news to TelevisionPost.com, Endemol India MD Deepak Dhar said, “You will very soon see ‘Fear Factor’ in regional languages like ‘Bigg Boss’. The show will start going deeper into the country. It will mostly be in a couple of markets down south, and could also be in some of the other Hindi markets.”

Some of the languages in which the production house is exploring the format include Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. He further added that ‘Fear Factor’ is just a natural progression of what the audiences would love to see, with some of the biggest celebrities from the Southern film and TV industry performing stunts.

Dhar also stated that they are in talks with a channel for the show. However, he declined to divulge further details about the same.

Their focus is mainly on the Southern market as it is seeing an upsurge in demand for disruptive and differentiated content owing to viewer fatigue.

Dhar added, “The Southern market is seeing a lot of traction because I think people in these markets now want differentiated and disruptive content, as they have already sampled a lot of similar content and now a fatigue has set in. When there is fatigue, we love it as we have the format and the products to make a difference.”

Although the production house seems very keen on and confident of exploring the prospects, it is still a very risky move as the cost of production for such a show is very high. Moreover, with the level of stunts shown on the show, shooting in India is a difficult task for the team. However, Endemol wants to go ahead and give it a shot.

“Earlier, everybody was apprehensive about ‘Bigg Boss’ in Hindi which is now the biggest thing on television today. Everybody was also wondering about ‘Bigg Boss’ in the regional markets but it has been successful. Viewers want something different. It’s just the question of giving them the right format and the right kind of content,” he stated.

And while the team is currently working on developing the show for regional adaptations, it is also gearing up to expand ‘Bigg Boss’s regional presence, with a Tamil and Telugu version being launched this year.

The show’s Kannada version, which airs on ETV, has managed to grab a lot of eyeballs and has been performing well in the market. This will further strengthen Endemol’s presence in the South and other Hindi-speaking markets which have until now seen one successful run of ‘Bigg Boss Kannada’ and ‘Bigg Boss Bangla’.

Similarly, they are also in talks with a channel for the Tamil and Telugu versions of the show.

The regional adaptation of the reality show format is not a new phenomenon. Prior to ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ was the first show to see adaptations in three Southern languages (Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil), apart from Bengali, Marathi and Bhojpuri.