Today marks the Indian debut of X Factor India on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) – a show which is being touted by the channel as “the biggest show ever to be seen on Indian television in terms of size, scale and talent”.
Hosted by singer/actor Aditya Narayan, and featuring singers Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, and Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Simon Cowell’s globally successful talent show will provide daily coverage of the nationwide auditions all this week at 9pm.
Starting 10 June, the performances of those with a suspected ‘X Factor’ will then grace SET’s prime time television line up every Friday and Saturday until a winner is chosen. India is the latest of 24 countries to screen the X Factor television concept phenomenon, which recently attracted a 60% audience share of 20 million viewers for its UK finale.
The televised competition will be produced by Freemantle India. “We are very excited to be launching X Factor India and expect the show to be the biggest and the best yet. Viewers will be thrilled to see some of the innovations and cutting edge technology integrated into this production,” said S K Raj Barua, managing director, Freemantle Media India.
“We expect the show to set new benchmarks for all singing talent shows and become one of the world's most inspiring brands,” Mr Barua continued. “We are confident that X Factor India will find India’s most talented performers and look forward to seeing all the drama unfold in this fantastic show.”
N P Singh, chief operating officer, Multi Screen Media, which operates SET, added: “2010-11 was a very successful year for SET; we established our leadership in the non fiction genre with extremely successful shows like KBC, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, Indian Idol and Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega,” said. “I am delighted to launch X Factor on the back of [the] Indian Premier League which will take this trend forward and establish our leadership in the non fiction genre and consolidate our position amongst the top three channels.”
In addition to X Factor, SET is launching the non-fiction programme Bade Acche Lagte Hain – which will see the reunion of the small screen actors Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar. A new romantic drama Pyar Ko Kya Naam Doon, will also be on the schedule, and the channel will be launching Survivor India and the second season of Master Chef India later in the year. Viewers of Zee Television, meanwhile, have the fourth edition of musical competition Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs to look forward to, with musicians Kailash Kher, Adnan Sami and Javed Ali judging the talent, and singer Alka Yagnik hosting the show. A light hearted family drama called Mrs Kaushik ki Paanch Bahuyein is also promised, along with the third series of the popular Dance India Dance show at the end of the year.