‘Bigg Boss’ has got nothing to do with Kamal’s politics: Endemol CEO

Abhishek Rege

Chennai: ‘Bigg Boss 3‘ which began more than a week ago, has already garnered attention of viewers with people rooting for their favourite contestant.

In a telephonic conversation with News Today, the show’s producer Endemol Shine India’s CEO Abhishek Rege talks about the programme, actor-politician Kamal Haasan as the host and the future plans of the company. Abishek said he is happy about the viewership increase from BB1 to BB3.

“The anticipation was very high even before the launch of the season. People want to see what is going to happen inside the house. We have a hard task of fulfilling their expectations,” he said. Viewers have started to look for the content and I feel this is a good sign, he said.

When asked about how much Kamal’s political entry has influenced the viewership of the show, Abishek said Kamal pulled in a lot of eyeballs even for season one, which was aired before his political entry.

“The show has got nothing to do with his political stand. People watch it for the entertainment portions. Moreover, Kamal knows where to draw a line,” he said.

Further talking about what he thinks to be the reason behind the success of Bigg Boss, Abishek said the realistic and unscripted nature is what makes the people to anticipate for the show everyday.

“Seeing something happen in your own language creates a huge impact. The tasks are also designed in such a way that it makes the contestants interact,” he said.

Abhishek further said some tasks are psychological, while some physical. “These tasks help people to take decision on time and that unpredictiveness is what interests the audience,” he said.

Elaborating on the process involved in selecting the candidates, he said we want people who make the ‘house’ lively. “There is not point in bringing in big names who do not interact or do something that interests the audience. With the passing of every season, the contestants who come into the show will have an idea of what will happen inside the house. We will have to overthink them which is another challenge. The main attraction is to find out contestants that are appealing to the audience, but the baseline is how evolved they actors get. Though the show is not a scripted one, at the end of the day it is more like a serial. Every regional show has certain traditional and cultural values and we try to reflect them in the show as well. But it is not a hard and fast rule,” he said.

Speaking about the controversies surrounding BB, Abhishek said the company is okay with it.

“We do not plan any controversies. It is all the contestants reacting to a situation in the heat of the moment. These reactions are much like how they happen in the outside world. Just because you see it on screen does not mean, we push it professionally. If something happens in the house, it is sorted out in the best manner. Audience realise this and that is why they are following it,” he added.

Endemol is also all set to venture into producing films and their first project in Tamil will be directed by Pandiraj. “We were in talks with a bunch of directors, Pandiraj was one among them. He is an extremely talented filmmaker and we are eager to work with him especially after Kadaikutty Singam. The shoot will commence from the end of this year. We are in talks with the cast which will be finalised by the end of July or early August. It will be a family entertainer,” he said.

Apart from producing movies, Endemol will also be venturing into scripted shows in the future.
“We have not been known for scripted serials. However, we have produced a few in Marathi, Hindi and Bangla. By the end of 2019, we will have a couple of reality game shows and scripted shows. This will be our key focus,” he said.

Abhishek said the company has acquired the rights of Amitav Ghosh’s IBIS trilogy: Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke and Flood of Fire. The web series adaptation of the book will be co-produced by Endemol India along with its UK label in association with director Shekhar Kapur and Pirates of the Caribbean writer Justin Pollard.

Balasubramani Muniyandi