10 Of India’s Favourite Game Shows And The Foreign Shows They’ve Been Adapted From

Will you be the next Crorepati? Probably not…

Game Shows

After all, there are many things you don’t know. Kejriwal’s middle name for example. But that’s why you’re not the one answering questions on game shows.

But for all the television we watch, sometimes it’s hard to place where it comes from and who really thought of it. Like most of India’s favourite shows which have been deftly adapted from shows that were successful abroad.

Because if westerners took our freedom, the least we can do is take their television show concepts and pay them royalties for it.


Game Shows

The Amitabh Bachchan Juggernaut is still going strong in its primetime slot. The show originally aired on STAR Plus but has continued its winning streak after shifting to SONY as well. The show brings together glamour and general knowledge in a manner so effective, it might actually have brought Indian families back together.

The Original UK show –  Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? – first aired in 1998, and even though the US version hosted by Regis Philbin is what many believe was the first iteration of the show’s format, it was, in fact, this version hosted by Chris Tarrant that gave rise to the worldwide phenomenon.


Game Shows

Let’s be fair, even the US Fear Factor has been redesigned based on a Dutch show called Now or Neverland. the name was changed while bringing it into the American market. But for a kid who grew up when AXN was still a big deal, the combination of Joe Rogan and white people eating insects was pretty awesome. The show was discontinued in 2014 but has been rebooted with rapper Ludacris hosting in 2017.

Khatron Ke Khiladi lasted precisely one season in 2006 with Akshay Kumar as host, but eventually, Colors TV got the rights to the show in 2008 and they’ve never looked back. With hosts like Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Rohit Shetty, the show has remained quite watchable even till its 8th season.


Game Shows

Survivor had 2 great things going for it – a brilliant premise and women wearing scarves as shirts.

The show that actually made reality gaming television a thing, Survivor is still one of the greats, making its creator Charlie Parsons and EP Mark Burnett legends. A show that is still hosted by Jeff Probst for 35 seasons, it knows what keeps its core audience coming back over and over again.

Survivor India aired in 2012 on STAR Plus but never managed to cash in on its foreign counterpart’s reputation.


Game Shows

Hosted by Mark Burnett, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? highlighted one of two things. Either that adults are really stupid or that children are learning way too much useless information. The show was one of Fox’s staples lasting up to 4 seasons but was eventually canned due to low ratings.

But if there’s anything that can battle low ratings, India thought it would be Shah Rukh Khan.

Paanchvi Pass aired on Star Plus and heavily relied on SRK’s reputation to gain eyeballs for the show. And even though it was enjoyable to watch, it ultimately ended after one season. But it did dare to ask Lalu Prasad Yadav if he was smarter than a 10-year-old, so Kudos.


Game Shows

In most situations, India has kept the name of its adaptation fairly straightforward, translating the English name into Hindi. This, however, is the glaring exception.

Because god knows something like “Sauda pakka?” wouldn’t be good enough for Aman Varma . And despite his shady dealing killing his career, I won’t be embarrassed to admit me and my mother yelling “KHULJAAA SIM SIM!” at the television screen.


Game Shows

Created by the man behind “Naked Dating”, Howard Schultz, Moment Of Truth was first aired in Colombia as “Nada más que la verdad”.

The more popular US version was hosted by Mark Walberg and all its promos focused on one single thing – that everyone was cheating on their spouses. In a series of embarrassing and personal questions, the contestants were hooked up to a lie detector and made to answer questions that can only come up after 30 years of marriage when drunk.

But the Indian Sacch Ka Saamna kept things relatively less controversial. It still caused such a stir that MP Kamal Akhtar argued it was against Indian morals in the Rajya Sabha.


Game Shows

The show that will pay Simon Fuller’s bills for all eternity has been adapted all over the world. Its most popular version is American Idol, and yet its British version is the one that was the original that started it all.

Indian Idol made a huge splash when it first aired in 2004. It brought the aspect of audience voting to the country in a big way, with people desperately voting on their Nokia phones for 1 rupee per SMS. Indian Idol was off the air for four years after 2012 but made a comeback with Farah Khan, Anu Malik and Sonu Nigam on the panel .


Game Shows

Anybody who was a fan of participants with questionable fitness levels falling off of giant red balls will be shocked ot know that the 1988 version of Wipeout was a quiz show. But it’s the 2008 version with people running through an obstacle course over a swimming pool that we fell in love with.

The Indian version was hosted by SRK but again, didn’t fare nearly as well as its US version. Shah Rukh Khan only reportedly took the gig to fund his dream project, Ra. One.


Game Shows

When I was in college, it was extremely cool the scrape the MasterChef logo into your desk. Clearly, I was not in a cool college. However, the show MasterChef Australia was a monster in India, with people genuinely tuning in to catch household cooks whip up dishes that we would pay too much for in a restaurant.

But the UK MasterChef was the one that started it all in 1990. Created by Franc Roddam, it aired till 2001 and was then rebooted in 2005.

The Indian version has gone on for 5 seasons and was initially hosted by Akshay Kumar. Later seasons brought Chefs Vikas Khanna and Sanjeev Kapoor onboard.


Game Shows

The US show started as a segment On Jimmy Fallon’s show based on an idea by Stephe Fry and John Krasinski. Eventually, it aired on Spike and has gained a great deal of popularity, especially on the internet. In fact, if you have nothing better to do, go now and catch Channing Tatum performing “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Go, now!

The Indian version hosted by Farah Khan aired in September to tepid reviews.

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Mehernaz Patel

"Not as funny as she thinks she is..." -Facebook Comment Section

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