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Riteish Deshmukh and Swwapnil Joshi to battle for TV supremacy

MUMBAI: This festive season will see actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh and popular Marathi actor Swwapnil Joshi engaged in a battle for TV audiences as they host game shows on rival networks.

vikta ka uttarWhile Colors Marathi has roped in Joshi to host ‘Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati Season 3’ (KHMC), Star Pravah has got on board Deshmukh for ‘Vikta Ka Uttar’. Though the two game shows are different in terms of format and timing, they surely have one thing in common—strong star power.

Festivities have always been a good time for general entertainment channels (GECs) to attract viewership and advertisers with new shows or seasons. In line with that trend, the two Marathi GECs are introducing game shows in October.

In fact, this will be the first time that Star Pravah is airing a game show on their channel.

KHMC has already got a head start as the show started airing on Colors Marathi from 3 October, Monday to Wednesday, 9–10.30 pm.

Star Pravah will enter the battlefield on 7 October. ‘Vikta Ka Uttar’ will launch on that date and air Friday to Sunday at 7.30 pm.

The two shows might have nothing in common, but they surely have set the hosts a huge task. This is the first time Joshi and Deshmukh are hosting a quiz show on TV, offering a novelty factor for the actors as well as their fans.

Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati’ 3KHMC is the Marathi version of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC), which was popularised in India by Amitabh Bachchan. In the show’s third season, Joshi not only has to live up to the frequent comparisons with his predecessor Sachin Khedekar, who had hosted the first two seasons, but he has also to deal with the indirect comparison with Mr Bachchan himself.

Moreover, KHMC has been the biggest property for Colors Marathi since its first run when the channel used to be ETV Marathi. As Colors Marathi project head Anuj Poddar stated, KHMC helped boost ETV Marathi’s image, which means the pressure on Joshi to maintain that image is quite daunting. Being a key driver of growth, the show has already attracted four sponsors covering 50% of the revenue expectation.

For this season, Colors Marathi has introduced some changes to the show’s format by raising the price money to Rs 3 crore and adding music therapy and an astrologer. This year, the channel has also done away with the phrase ‘Lock Kiya Jaye’, which was made popular by Bachchan and Khedekar. Instead, Joshi has been entrusted with the new phrase ‘Gheu Ka Manavar’, which he has to use as effectively as Khedekar did ‘Lock Kiya Jaye’.

While Joshi is faced with the challenge of popularising an already popular format, Deshmukh’s challenge would be to introduce Star Pravah’s new game show ‘Vikta Ka Uttar’ to the viewers. Though Deshmukh has star power in both Hindi and Marathi film industry, he is tasked with familiarising the audience with the format of the show, which is unlike any other game show.

The format of the show relies on the intelligence and bargaining power of the participants. The game show has two types of contestants—the players and the traders. While players win money by correctly answering general knowledge questions asked during the show, the traders will sell answers to the player in exchange for money in case s/he does not know the correct answer to a question.

Moreover, ‘Vikta Ka Uttar’ is going to be Star Pravah’s first non-fiction show, which means Deshmukh’s performance as a host has much to do with the show’s future in general and the channel’s position on BARC ratings.