Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) show infused a new lease of life to the career of Amitabh Bachchan in 2000. Bachchan, who was one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema, was struggling with his career after a number of flop movies and the collapse of his maiden production venture Amitabh Bachchan Production Limited (ABCL).
He was under huge debt and on the verge of bankruptcy after the collapse of ABCL. Moreover, his film career was also at a standstill.
How Amitabh's career took a blow: It was year 2000 and Bachchan was sitting with four back-to-back flops which were released in 1999. The four releases, Lal Badshah, Sooryavansham, Hindustan Ki Kasam, and Kohram had failed to impress the audiences. All of these movies, which were trying to show a changed Amitbah Bachchan ie from a young angry man to a man who was aging had failed. All the films performed below expectations.
In 1998, his Major Saab was a moderate success. His second release, Chote Miya Bade Miyan was a hit but Govinda with his comic timing had completely overshadowed Bachchan in the movie.
By 2000, he had realised that he had to shift gears and bring a revamped image in front of the audience. And that is when Kaun Banega Crorepati happened. Though the big star was hesitant initially to switch from big screen to television, his financial compulsions made him do it.
Amitabh recalls his tough times: In the 1000th episode of KBC in December 2021, Amitabh broke down in front of his daughter Shweta and his grand daughter Navya Naveli Nanda.
Recalling the incident, he said: "The show began in 2000. At that time, I had no idea. People warned me that moving from big screen to the small screen would harm my image. However, my circumstances were such that I wasn't getting any work in the films at that time. But after the show premiered, the kind of reactions I received made me believe that the world has changed for me."
After that, glimpses of the show from 2000 were shown and Bachchan was seen getting emotional and wiping his tears.
KBC worked: Just after the first episode, the entire country went mad about it. The audience not only just applauded the show but it also warmly accepted a changed Amitabh Bacchan, who carried the show with grace.
The show brought people from humble backgrounds from different corners of the country and these people had heart-wrenching stories to tell the audience. And these people won huge money prizes which pretty much amused the Indian middle class.
In a matter of weeks, Bachchan's stardom sky-rocketed. The angry young man of 70s who used to send shiver down the spines with his deep gaze was now in the homes of people redefining entertainment with his quiz show.
After his initial success in 2000, there was no looking back for the Shahensha of Bollywood. For nearly 22 years, Bachchan has been associated with the show. Apart from season 3 in 2007, which was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan, all other seasons have been hosted by Bachchan.
KBC 14 will air on Sony TV on August 7, 9 PM. The show will have Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, Mary Kom, Sunil Chhetri, Major DP Singh and Col Mitali Madhumita as guests.