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QUESTION TIME Siddharth Basu on TV again
QUESTION TIME Siddharth Basu on TV again

Quizmaster Siddharth Basu will produce a reality show soon

Siddharth Basu started his career as one of the first independent TV producers in Doordarshan in 1977, at a time when television was just emerging as a mass media tool.

“I never expected that television and the Internet will become such an integral part of our lives. It has been a pleasant surprise.”

Basu currently heads Synergy Communications, a TV production company, and is busy with “India’s Got Talent”, a reality show that will be telecast on Colours soon.

“The show provides a platform for people across the country to showcase their talents, be it dance, singing, cracking jokes, comic acts etc. If you feel that you are talented, you should audition for the show as it provides an opportunity to win money and gain recognition. It will be different from the run-of-the-mill reality shows that are currently flooding the market.”

Basu feels that the television industry in India has grown at a phenomenal pace and is learning from its mistakes. “I feel that there is a trend to copy successful formulas. When ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ became a success, all channels joined the bandwagon; same was the case with the saas-bahu serials and the numerous reality shows. I think that soon, there will be a paradigm shift and TV will mature, as audiences clamour for more diversity.”

Siddharth does not like the recent penchant of clubbing quiz shows, dance shows into the “Reality TV” bracket. “Reality TV cannot be compartmentalised into a uniform concept. There are many differences that exist between a dance show and a situational reality show such as ‘Survivor’ or ‘Big Boss’, where people have to adapt to a specific environment. Even a quiz show cannot be termed a reality show, in the strictest meaning of the term.”

He feels that many news channels have managed to transform themselves into cheaper versions of reality shows.

“With abysmal content, I feel that the ongoing recession will result in a massive correction in the media market and ensure that some degree of rightsizing occurs and news channels report actual news, rather than random happenings and ghost sightings.”

He is best remembered for “Mastermind India”, which he also hosted, and “KBC”, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

“In ‘Mastermind’, I was amazed by the amount of knowledge that most of the contestants had. They managed to answer almost 75 percent of the questions.”

He smiles, “On the contrary, in KBC, I was amazed to discover that many people knew so little. I have enjoyed making these shows thoroughly.” Though he has been involved in many quiz shows, he says his foray into quizzing was quite accidental. “I never wanted to be a quizmaster as such.”

NIKHIL VARMA

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