Bigg Boss is an Indian reality TV game show franchise based on the Dutch show ‘Big Brother’. Bigg Boss was originally started in Hindi language and has been extended into seven languages spoken in the India, including Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Malayalam.
The first show of the franchise was Bigg Boss in Hindi which debuted in 2006. In 2013, the franchise extended its presence in Kannada and Bengali through. In 2017, it extend its presence in Tamil and in Telugu. In 2018, it ventured into Marathi and in Malayalam.
Though only celebrities were selected to be as housemates in the initial seasons, members of the general public have been chosen to be on the show in the latest seasons of Hindi, Kannada and Telugu versions.
Contestants called ‘housemates’ live together in a specially constructed house that is isolated from the outside world. Housemates are voted out, usually on a weekly basis, until only one remains and wins the cash prize. During their stay in the house, contestants are continuously monitored by live television cameras as well as personal microphones.
The program relies on techniques such as a scripted back-to-basic environment, evictions, weekly tasks, competitions set by Bigg Boss, and the ‘confession room’ where housemates converse with Bigg Boss and nominate the housemates they wish to evict from the house. The housemates with the most nominations are then announced, and viewers are given the opportunity to vote via SMS or online through social media and smartphone applications for the nominee they wish to save from eviction. The last person standing is declared the winner.
The contestants are required to indulge in housework and are assigned tasks by the omnipresent authority figure known to them as Bigg Boss. The tasks are designed to test teamwork abilities and community spirit of the housemates. The luxury budget is a weekly allowance to buy luxury food items other than the supplied essentials which depend on the outcome of assigned tasks.
Bigg Boss is the Hindi language adaptation of Big Brother created in Netherlands by John de Mol Jr., largely based on the Celebrity Big Brother model. The show was named Bigg Boss and a house was constructed for the show. Bigg Boss debuted on TV in 2006 with Arshad Warsi as the host. The show gained popularity after Shilpa Shetty emerged as the winner in Big Brother 5 and replaced Warsi as the host in the second season of Bigg Boss. For third season Amitabh Bachchan hosted the show respectively and Salman Khan continued as a host from fourth season onwards, while Sanjay Dutt also hosted for fifth season along with Salman Khan. Farah Khan hosted the spin off season of 8th season in absence of main host Salman Khan.
The show’s acceptance and success among the Indian audience paved way for its expansion into other Indian languages. After the 6th season wrapped in 2013, Kannada and Bengali adaptions were created. Sudeep hosted Kannada version. Mithun Chakraborty and Jeet hosted Bengali version respectively. While the Kannada version continued with subsequent seasons annually, similar to Hindi, became an instant hit and the Bengali version completed only two seasons in six years and did not turn out to be as successful.
In 2017, upon completion of 10 seasons in Hindi, four seasons in Kannada and two seasons in Bengali, Endemol Shine India extended its presence in South India by creating Tamil and Telugu versions of the show. The Tamil version was hosted by Kamal Haasan. While the Telugu version started with Jr NTR as a host, later for second season Nani replaced the host and from third season onwards Nagarjuna continued as a host respectively. In 2018, the show was adapted into Marathi and hosted by Mahesh Manjrekar. The next language adaptation was Malayalam hosted by Mohanlal. Later in 2021 another version was adopted called Bigg Boss OTT where its episodes were shown on Voot which was hosted by Karan Johar.
As Bigg Boss Tamil Season 5 ends, Disney+ Hotstar is set to exclusively launch its first-ever OTT exclusive ‘Bigg Boss Ultimate’ season of the popular reality show, Bigg Boss Tamil.
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