Just Dance may be costliest reality show

Published On: 2014-05-31

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Just Dance may be costliest reality show


Source: Livemint
Date: 14 June, 2011

Actor Hrithik Roshan will make his television debut this weekend in a dance reality show on Star Plus titled Just Dance, produced at nearly Rs.4 crore per episode.

In terms of scale, this could be among the costliest television productions in the Hindi entertainment genre.

Although Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer of Star India Pvt. Ltd, declined to share the cost of the show at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday to announce the show, executives working for other media houses said reality shows on the scale of Just Dance cost Rs.3.5-4 crore per episode.

Major reality shows with high celebrity quotients, such as Khatron Ke Khiladi that features actor Akshay Kumar, cost Rs.2.25-3 crore an episode, while a medium-budget show costs Rs.40-70 lakh an episode, senior executives at Hindi entertainment channels said.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Cadbury India Ltd will be the main sponsors of Just Dance, which will be telecast simultaneously on a bunch of Star India channels such as Star Plus, Star Pravah and Star One, beginning this Saturday. The programme will also have a deferred telecast on the group’s southern channels Asianet and Star Vijay.

Star India screened more than 30,000 dancers across cities such as Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

“We also went to cities outside of India for auditions, which included San Francisco, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Florida, New York, Manchester, Birmingham and London,” said Gupta. “Our network reaches 400 million people across the world, and this is the first time that we have a show on such a huge scale.”

The Star network has also created four music videos and set up so-called augmented reality zones in cities such as Lucknow, Mumbai and Delhi where people will get to dance with the virtual avatar of the star. “A technology called Gesture FX has been used for this marketing activity,” a Star spokesperson said. “People can see a live footage of themselves on a huge LED screen and Hrithik Roshan (virtual avatar) appears right next to them on the screen. He encourages the person to dance and applauds them. It’s extremely interactive.”

Fazila Allana, managing director, Sol Productions Pvt. Ltd, a Mumbai-based production house that is a part of the Zodiac Media Group, said Just Dance is one of the company’s most ambitious projects. “It’s the biggest project we’ve worked on so far, with a production team of 150 people, including cast and crew,” she said. Sol Productions has produced shows such as Nach Baliye, Zara Nach Ke Dikha and Koffee With Karan.

Just Dance will be telecast on Saturday and Sunday at 9pm and will take on celebrity shows on rival channels such as Khatron Ke Khiladi on Colors and X Factor on Sony, which is owned by Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd.

Colors chief executive Raj Nayak said that though the show’s promos with Roshan look good, programmes in the same time slot compete. “So I would not attach much importance to this particular programme.”

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd executive director Joy Chakraborthy said Just Dance is clearly an expensive show and the network may not be able to recover costs. “Advertisers are led by the rating that they expect the show to get. They may pay some premium for the celebrity, but not this kind of money,” he said.

The show’s title sponsorship was being hawked at Rs.9 crore, while associate sponsorships were priced at Rs.3.7 crore, according to a media buyer who did not want to be identified as the pricing is confidential.