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KBC takes a break as fatigue sets in

Nithya Subramanian

NEW DELHI, Jan. 8

IS it curtains for the crorepati game shows?

First Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke (JPCK) went off the air, after Wednesday Star Plus' immensely popular Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) will take a break and another hugely splashed telephone contest - Dial a Crore - has also wound up.

While JCPK was pulled off due to poor audience response, Star Plus decided to stop airing KBC for about six months. The last show will go on air on Wednesday. ``The show has run its course, but we hope to come back in July and August. While no change in the format is expected, whether Amitabh Bachchan will continue to anchor or not will be decided before the show is revived later in the year,'' said a Star official.

Sources said that the US-based World Phone International, which had launched its own telephone game, has also closed its operations. The company had initially started operations in Delhi and Mumbai and had plans to expand operations across the country.

``The show was meant to be on for a limited period and fatigue had set in. Also, there were problems with the telephone lines. But once the private telephone companies start operating, the show will come back,'' said advertising sources associated with the company. Advertising industry officials said that the excitement among audiences on the crorepati format had worn down. ``These shows had an appeal because audiences got to vicariously live a high stakes life through other ordinary people,'' said a senior adman. Also, since all these shows tested knowledge, they managed to gain legitimacy and were not seen as something that mocked poverty.

But the lifespan of such shows is usually very short. Though the lure for money will never die, audiences are constantly looking for interesting concepts, said the official. That explains the success of some of the shows like Khulja Sim Sim or Bid Bid Boom and failure of others such as Sawaal Dus Crore Ka.``If there is a change in format and new ideas emerge there will be takers for these shows,'' said a senior media planner.

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