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Kaun Banega Crorepati: Big daddy of TV quiz shows

Friday, July 06, 2018

Registrations for the 10th season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) opened a month ago and once again Amitabh Bachchan is scheduled to be the show’s host. We recall that the very first episode of KBC was telecast, 18 years ago, on July 3 2000 with Amitabh making his debut as quizmaster on television. What a season it turned out to be! With a Rs1 crore jackpot (which was unheard of in those days), the unmatched charisma of Amitabh and a format that had never been seen on our television sets before, television watchers were simply enthralled! The actor proved his showmanship with an expert grasp of the proceedings which, when combined with the zippy pace of the show, had ratings that went through the roof. It may be noted that this show together with the serial ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ produced by Ekta Kapoor (which launched the same day) made Star Plus the undisputed numero uno entertainment channel of that year.  And through the earnings that Amitabh made with KBC, the actor was able to pay off his creditors post the bankruptcy proceedings of his entertainment company, ABCL, and be debt-free once again. We remember attending a film awards function around that time in which Amitabh was being felicitated for his sterling contribution to television with the emcee introducing him as “the actor who gives away to people Rs1 crore”. Truly, Amitabh and the show’s producers turned KBC into a mass-appeal show for its time, a legacy that continues even today.

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