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How KBC 8 got played out of the studio in Surat

MUMBAI: Moving out of the studio for the first time, popular quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) travelled to Surat to kick off its eighth season with a grand premiere event on 2 August.

The show will hit the TV screens on 17 August, airing at 8:30 pm from Monday to Thursday on Sony Entertainment Television. It is produced by Big Synergy Media Ltd.

Kapil Sharma on the hot seat with the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati Mr. Amitabh BachchanThe channel has shot four episodes, which are still at edit phase. Officials state the content will decide the duration of the show which might be for one hour or beyond.

For the first time, viewers will be treated to a grand premiere of the show on 17 August, featuring Amitabh Bachchan in his inimitable style accompanied by comedian Kapil Sharma with his usual antics, and Meiyang Chang and Anirrudh Dave enthralling the audiences.

SET senior EVP and business head Nachiket Pantvaidya said, “Delhi, Mumbai or large cities always get some kind of entertainment. But there are satellite cities like Surat where there is a huge amount of resurgence in terms of aspirations. We feel that connect with these cities will be able to fulfill a long felt need for entertainment. As a long term policy, we want to do the shows in cities which are smaller to also enable us to test the infrastructure of these cities and how we can equip ourselves.”

Team CID Abhijeet and Daya with Comedy king Kapil Sharma and Host Amitabh BachchanOpening the new season was Big B as he walked through the crowd of 7000 people grooving on his popular numbers from his Hindi movies. He also danced to numbers sung especially by him for KBC.

Big Synergy Media Ltd CMD Siddhartha Basu added, “The grand premiere of India’s biggest open show is about reaching out to people where they are, allowing an opportunity for an exciting close encounter with the KBC experience. For the viewers, it promises a celebratory mega spectacle of a much loved show. The curtain raiser to the new season of KBC seeks to engage minds and hearts alike.”

Hosting the evening was Kapil Sharma who left the audience in splits and also sat on the hot seat for the first time, understanding the tension felt by the contestants.

SET senior VP and marketing head Gaurav Seth expressed that this was a good way to test the popularity of the KBC brand and the channel. “For this event, we distributed certain number of passes but the buzz going around was palpable.”

The game was played by 10 contestants who came in from different parts of Gujarat including Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Navsari and more. Deepa Jagtiani reached the Hot Seat to play the game for Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million), the same prize amount as the previous season.

Amitabh Bachchnan at the grand opening in SuratDuring the game, audiences were introduced to ‘Triguni’, an enhanced form of the expert advice lifeline. It comprises a panel of three members, which in this case were the ex-winners of the show.

Another new lifeline that will be introduced from the first episode is called ‘Code Red’, where the family of the participants can intimate the contestants on when they feel they should quit by pressing a buzzer placed in front of them.

“It’s not important to only be good in GK and other topics but you should also know the mechanics of gaming to give advice and guided help. The idea behind trying to warn a contestant is to give him more chances to stay in the game,” stated Pantvaidya.

Jagtiani won over Rs 6 lakh as she quit the game. Easing the tension were various performances to entertain the audiences. While singers Chang and Neeti Mohan rendered their favourite numbers, popular cops Dayanand Shetty (Daya) and Aditya Srivasatava (Abhijeet) from CID interacted with the audience. The Rajput hero Maharana Pratap aka Faisal Khan gave a stellar dance performance and the Shillong Choir reprised various songs with their unique voices, ending the performance with a touching take on ‘Vande Mataram’.

With its first mega on-ground event over, the channel is now gearing up for three more that will be shot as episodes. Although the cities have not been finalised, channel officials are exploring options between Delhi, Kolkata and Indore.

“I personally don’t feel we should do any of the large ones but it’s difficult to find venue options. We will decide in about 10 days now,” Pantvaidya said,

Apart from engaging with audiences on-ground, the channel is also devising ways to engage with them digitally and has launched a special KBC application to enable users to play the game in real time and win prizes.

Meanwhile, the channel has also commenced its 100 on-ground smaller events in small towns of UP to interact with audiences to get consumer feedback on the channel. Four events have already been held, of which two were in Baramati and Shahjahanpur respectively.