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Photo credit: PatnaDaily.com
'SHAKER' SUMAN BOUNCES BACK ON ZEE TV

Quo Vadis Shekhar Suman? Until earlier this month, Suman was clear that he had parted ways with Sony Entertainment Television, and he was doing a deal with Star India. And he even made a bit of a noise about it. Then there was silence. The silence has once again been broken now: the talented Suman has now hopped onto Zee TV, it seems.

Suman will be anchoring Nilaamghar, a bid-and-win entertainment show for Zee TV. Launch date has been fixed as 1 September. His show will be giving company to Baazi Kiski, another gameshow to be anchored by Ashutosh Rana. Nilaamghar will air on Saturday and Sunday from 7 pm to 8 pm.

The USP of the bid-and-win show is that unlike normal routine bidding where the currency is the rupee, here the currency will be questions. A participant's winnings will be based on the number of questions he says he can answer (his bid), and the number of questions he finally ends up answering.

"The questions asked will not be based on general knowledge but the focus will be on general commonsense."
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"The questions asked will not be based on general knowledge but the focus will be on general common sense," informs Suman. "They are likely to be freaky. For instance which colour socks are you wearing? And without even looking down the person has to give a prompt reply or how many 25 paise coins makes up Rs 100."

The contestants will be selected from the audience itself, points out Suman. For instance all those carrying handkerchiefs will be called on to participate. No matter how many participants turn up, they will all be given a shot at the prize. The currency for shortlisting finalists will be the number of questions he/she says he/she can answer. Whoever, bids the maximum will come under the spotlight first.

If the highest bidder is unable to answer, Suman will move on to the second highest bidder. "It's quite possible that a person who answers just two questions will walk away with a car, if he meets his question-answer target," says Suman.

Suman says that the show will have a variety of wares and goods for auctioning right from a car, to a refrigerator to even kitchenware.


" This is going to be a unique game show. The scope and span is different from anything on the tube currently. Also Shekhar will provide the necessary spice and smiles."

Producer-director Tarun Chopra of Opus Films reveals that planning for Nilaamghar has been going on for the past two-and-a-half months and all the logistics have been taken care of. "This is a concept that Zee TV CEO Sandeep Goyal has come up with," says Chopra. "And we are well prepared to pull it off well."

Adds Zee Telefilms group CEO Sandeep Goyal: "This is going to be a unique game show. The scope and span is different from anything on the tube currently. Also Shekhar will provide the necessary spice and smiles."

The sets have been designed by Oomang Kumar (of Ek Minute fame) and 10 cameras will be used on location at Chitrak Studios in Powai (Mumbai). Says Chopra: "The theme of the set revolves around the idea of a home and its various aspects. A section will have all the things that have to do with kitchen, say utensils, cutlery, cooking gas, refrigerator... then there will be the kids room, with bed and soft toys. There would also be things related to the office, a portico ... things related to each member of a family.

Filming begins on 25 August and the schedule is for three days. A 300-400 strong audience is expected to participate. Chopra reveals that everything will be captured on camera and editing will be done online realtime. "It's 45 minutes of shooting for a 45-minute show," he points out. "We will do patching and editing later during post production. There's no fear that we will not have a classy product on launch date 1 September. This show will have what Sony Entertainment's Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke did not have, despite the crores that were put behind it."

Adds Suman, who made his debut with a film-based quiz show called Film Dewane with Tarun as his director: "Film Deewane, had a three-year successful run on Zee. We are hoping that we will replicate that success with Nilaamghar."

"This show will have what Sony Entertainment's Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke did not have, despite the crores that were put behind it."

Like most game shows, this one will also have its key phrase which will likely become part of public lexicon. KBC has its "Lock kardey," SDCK its "Freeze kardey," and Khulja Sim Sim, its "Khulja Sim Sim." Nilaamghar's key punch line is "Bid, bid, Boom!"

A negative against the show is the weekend evening slot that Zee TV has given the show; a time when families are either at the cinema or eating out. One could view it as a daring move or it could be viewed as derring-do. Remember: the weekend slot failed miserably for Sony's Jeeto Chappar Phaad ke.

Either Zee TV officials have not learned from past experience or it is part of a whole effort to expand viewing hours. For the answer on whether it will work, it is over to King Viewer.