Amitabh Bachchan made headlines when he decided to host Kaun Banega Crorepati on Star Plus in early 2000. The game show went on to become one of the most watched of its time. Big B will soon be back on the small screen, this time to host Season 3 of the controversial reality show Bigg Boss.
The fact that Bachchan is now also officially the highest paid presenter on TV, is sure to add to the buzz surrounding his return.
Brought in as a replacement for Shilpa Shetty on Bigg Boss, the 'Shahenshah' of Bollywood will take home Rs 1.5 crore per episode. Multiply that by 84 episodes and what you get is a staggering Rs 126 crore paycheque for Bachchan.
Other Bollywood superstars who have made a foray into television, did not rake in quite as much. While Paanchvi Pass Shah Rukh Khan was reportedly paid Rs 1 crore per episode, Akshay Kumar too is believed to be charging a similar sum per episode for Khatron Ke Khiladi. Despite hiking his fees from Rs 80 lakh per episode in Season 1 of Dus Ka Dum to Rs 1 crore in Season 2 of the show, Salman Khan also falls way short of the Bachchan mark.
It's a new high even for Big B himself. For Bigg Boss, he is being paid nearly twice of what he got for Kaun Banega Crorepati. But there's an important difference between then and now. When KBC happened, the Bachchan brand was at its lowest ebb. Today the actor is among the country's top five celebrity endorsers.
If Shilpa Shetty with her minor fan following and no films to promote could get Bigg Boss a 2.2 TRP, Bachchan with his enormous brand value and at least nine releases in the pipeline, could certainly better that. Or at least that's what the show's producers would be hoping for.