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Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 15:51 GMT
Game show turn off for Indians
Indians looking at books on game show
The millionaire game show format has been a hit
By Sanjeev Srivastava in Bombay

Indian television viewers are showing signs of tiring of game shows offering huge prizes on satellite TV - and are going back to watching family soaps.

Star TV's six-month old version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire ("Kaun Banega Corepati" in Hindi) continues to reign supreme.

The game show mania so evident in the last few months appears to be petering out

LV Krishnan
But the show - hosted by Indian megastar Amitabh Bachchan - is showing signs of slipping in many parts of south and west India, according to audience data released by media research firm TAM.

"There is definitely some shift taking place in viewership preference on the small screen," says LV Krishnan, the head of TAM.

"Viewers are going back to long-running family soaps," he says.

According to Mr Krishnan, game shows are attracting only "repeat" viewers and no incremental growth is taking place in their audience figures.

But not everyone agrees.

Another media study shows the millionaire-type format still occupying the top slot - but with lower audience figures than its peak a few weeks ago.

Family entertainment

The programmes doing well are family soaps and film-based programming.

Serials like "Kyonki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" (Mother-in-law was once a daughter-in-law too) and "Kahani ghar ghar ki" (Every home's story) - both Star TV shows - are climbing fast.

Beauty contests also do a roaring trade.

Zee TV logged record numbers during its telecast of the Miss World contest, won by Indian model Priyanka Chopra last week.

Ratings war

Despite signs of saturation in audience figures, the great Indian game show war rages on.

Sony TV is set to launch its own show with film star Govinda as the anchor later this month.

There are even reports of state-owned Doordarshan joining the bandwagon with their own game show early next year - likely to be hosted by film actor, Kabir Bedi.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher: On his way out from Zee TV
Meanwhile Zee TV, stung by the failure of their show to rival Star's Kaun Banega Crorepati, has decided to replace the anchor and film star, Anupam Kher.

Zee TV sources confirmed Kher was on his way out and is likely to be replaced by another film star, Ashutosh Rana, as anchor of Sawal Das Crore Ka (The 100m Rupee question).

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See also:

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Asia's richest TV show promises $2.2m
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Indian wins 'Millionaire' jackpot
29 Sep 00 | South Asia
Star to stay on Indian Millionaire show
21 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Murdoch's Millionaire fight
19 Apr 00 | South Asia
Bollywood star lands Millionaire show
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