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Now, KBC to cross language barriers

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will now get a chance to sit on the hot seat with their favourite cricketer, , in . For, (KBC), the show which revolutionised , will be back this year in a new avatar — apart from Hindi, it will be aired in .

The success of the show has prompted ’s production house, , to replicate it in regional languages. The and Bengali versions will be aired on , while will air it in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. The Hindi version, starring , will continue on Sony.

Basu has got Sourav Ganguly for the Bangla version and Shatrughan Sinha for Bhojpuri (titled Key Bani Crorepati). Cine star Prakash Raj will host the show in Tamil (Ungalil Yaar Kodeeswaran) and Telugu (Meelo Yavaru Kodeeswarudu), while Ramesh Arvind, a sought-after celluloid star, will do it in Kannada (Nimalli Yaaru Kotyaadhipathi).

“The regional markets are key for us. With the success of KBC-4 last year, most channels are looking at these shows as a game-changer on their networks,” said Basu, the man behind the show.

Sony made Rs 100 crore from KBC last year.

The format will be similar to the Hindi version as far as the number of questions, the selection process and the prize money are concerned. They are likely to go on air in the second half of the year, but before Bachchan takes charge of the Hindi version on Sony.

“The audience is familiar with the format and both Sinha and Ganguly have a superb fan following. We’re quite sure the show’s first season will do well,” said , CEO, Mahuaa TV

In Bangla and Bhojpuri, the show will be aired five times a week, from Monday to Friday, while on Sun, it will be part of the weekend programming. Industry officials say this may be a big change for Sun TV, known for its strong fiction-based shows.

The regional market contributes 25 per cent of the overall advertising revenue, with West Bengal and southern markets being the fastest-growing, according to a KPMG report.

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