Mumbai, Oct 11 (IANS) The charisma of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his rich baritone that made "Kaun Banega Crorepati" such a huge hit were back in the fourth season of the game show that began Monday, with a slight change in format and more prize money.
The show kick-started on Amitabh's 68th birthday, and he said it felt like returning home.
"It's an important day for all of us because today the first episode of the new season of KBC was aired. I want to thank the entire team," said Amitabh, dressed in a black, self-printed striped suit and light blue tie, at an event to celebrate his birthday and the opening episode of the show.
"When I started shooting for the new season, I felt that I've returned to my home. You are always comfortable and happy in your own house and that's what I feel," he added.
Speaking immaculate Hindi in his baritone, Amitabh, who made a grand entry on the show, first introduced the first 10 contestants in his signature style and then started the game with the first contestant, who won Rs.3,20,000.
This time, the quiz show based on popular Britian-based reality game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", will run for only nine weeks.
The show's first edition was aired in 2000 on Star Plus with the prize money of Rs.One crore.
In 2005, the show was renamed as "Kaun Banega Crorepati Dwitiya" (KBC 2) in which the final prize amount was doubled to Rs.2 crore, but the show was abruptly ended as Big B fell ill and had shot only 61 episodes out of 85.
Then the third edition was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan with the same prize money but the show failed to create any magic on the TV screen as its TRPs dipped.
Now with the fourth edition, Big B's enigmatic presence is back on the small screen with a few changes in the format.
The prize money has shot up to Rs.5 crore and the show is now aired on Sony Entertainment channel.
The number of questions has been reduced from 15 to 12. This time there is a time limit to answer the questions. For the first two questions, the time limit is 30 seconds. From third to seventh question, one will have 45 seconds and after seventh question, there is no time limit.
KBC 4 will also have some innovative options for phoning a friend for help. In "KBC 4", three experts will be there on call and you can talk to them as options for an answer. They will appear on TV live as opposed to a voice.
On the whole, the show looks exciting and has created a lot of hype. The only thing to wait and see is whether it will garner the same TRPs or not, specially with reality show "Bigg Boss 4" running at the same time on Colors.