Knowledge is key in new "Kaun Banega Crorepati" season

MUMBAI Thu Sep 6, 2012 8:54pm IST

Amitabh Bachchan during a news conference in Mumbai July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

Amitabh Bachchan during a news conference in Mumbai July 7, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Amitabh Bachchan returns as the host of "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) this weekend, hoping to woo viewers of the popular reality TV show with a new time slot and a fresh advertising campaign.

The hugely popular Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" has been one of the top-rated television shows in the country but has faced criticism that it is selling "poverty porn".

Last year, Sushil Kumar, an impoverished government worker, won the coveted 50-million-rupee jackpot. His win drew comparisons with the plot of 2008 Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" and the fact that Kumar's family was too poor to afford a television set hogged media headlines.

The makers of the game show say they are only telling stories and were not exploiting Kumar's penury for ratings.

"There is a balance that we have to strike and we are extremely aware of it," Sneha Rajani, Business Head of Sony Entertainment Television told Reuters.

For its sixth season, the advertising campaign for "Kaun Banega Crorepati" features the tagline ‘only knowledge will get you your right'. The promos touch on themes such as discrimination against women in rural India and Rajani says the channel has consciously tried to reach out to audiences beyond Mumbai and New Delhi.

After five seasons of weekday shows, "Kaun Banega Crorepati" moves to the primetime slots on weekends.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Tony Tharakan)

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