chapter  5
‘The show of the millennium’: screening the big-money quiz show and the Bollywood superstar
BySreya Mitra
Pages 17

The season premiere of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) 4, the Indian franchise of the globally successful format quiz show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, was one of the most eagerly awaited televisual events for its countless viewers and fans. Premiering on 11 October 2010, the 68 birthday of its celebrity host, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, the fourth season marked not only the show’s return to the Indian television screen after a hiatus of nearly four years,1 but also the return of Bachchan as the show’s iconic host.2 For months, Sony Entertainment Television (SET), which now owned the rights to the format, had been bombarding viewers with print ads, television and radio spots, and billboard hoardings, and was reported to have allocated Rs. 120 million for the show’s promotion and publicity.3 The much-anticipated episode began with a montage of stills commemorating the iconic actor’s childhood and his meteoric rise to superstardom. As the 2-minute homage drew to a close, Bachchan emerged from a 24-feet structure in the form of an ‘A’, reciting his father’s poetry and dialogues from his legendary films, before finally breaking into a song and dance routine along with a troupe of dancers. At the culmination of the entire 9.5-minute-long segment, the actor finally turned to the audience and

expressed his happiness and gratitude for being given the opportunity to host the popular show yet again.