Oct6/09



Amitabh Bachchan has once again shown who the top star from Bollywood is. His Big Boss 3 on Colors which was going head to head Sunday against the team of Farah Khan-Shahrukh Khan on Star Plus on October 4, outdrew Shah Rukh Khan on Farah Khan on her Tere Mere Beach Mein on Star Plus in national ratings. According to overnight ratings released by aMAP overnight tv ratings meter, the topper of Sunday, Big Boss3 net reach rating was a 6.0 while the Farah Khan hosted Tere Mere Beach Mein, which had surprisingly pitted Shah Rukh Khan opposite Bachchan, ended up faring less than 4.5. Ghajini, bollywood’s top blockbuster, on NDTVImagine the same day, drew a top rating of 3.1 while Akshay Kumar starrer Singh is King on Sony drew around 3.3 according to aMAP.Big Boss 3 opener also reportedly doubled the viewership from the previous seasons of Big Boss 2 hosted by Shilpa Shetty, and Big Boss 1.Usually the trend is, sequels and ‘trequels’ decrease in ratings compared to their opening seasons. Here it’s gone the other direction.


However, the ratings of Big Boss, while winning over the competition, are not on par with Amitabh Bachchan’s last stint on TV in 2005 when KBC2 returned on the air.One explanation could be that the SRK show was on at the same time, thereby affecting the ‘cinema’ part of the audience albeit somewhat. Secondly, KBC2 in August 2005 was coming off Bachchan having delivered consecutive box office blockbusters in Bunty&Babli (costarring Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Aishwarya Rai) and Sarkar (Abhishek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif) in May and June of that year respectively. That was not the case this time around. Also, unlike KBC, which had Bachchan at center stage throughout, Big Boss show is set around 13 contestants through the week. And yet, the fact that an appearance by 67 year old Bachchan still ends up doubling the previous Big Boss seasons, and trumping the current competition, including top stars like Shahrukh Khan, head to head on Television viewership meters across India speaks to the enduring mass appeal of the cine star, who will next be seen in Aladin and Paa at the box offices later this year.


Finally, though the final verdict on BB3 won’t be out for some time, it would not be a surprise, if like KBC1 which started amidst doubt in July 2000, only to sustain and pick up steam instead of dropping after July 2000; Big Boss 3 too follows a similar pattern of registering big bumps on Fridays/Saturdays (days Bachchan is set to appear) as the season goes along, as the audience reviews of the initial show have been quite positive. KBC I launched in July 2000, but hit its peak viewership in ratings in between August-October of that year, setting up ratings records which haven’t been touched since.