Bollywood star Salman Khan, who is going to host the upcoming fourth season of reality show ‘Bigg Boss' on Colors, is being paid a whopping amount of Rs 3.5 crores to Rs 5 crores per episode, which is more than double of the remuneration paid to Amitabh Bachchan (Big B was paid Rs 1.75 crores per episode), says a media report.
Unable to tolerate that the broadcasters of 10 Ka Dum were taking him for a ride, Salman Khan has dumped the game show in a huff and vowed he will only take up the show again on his own terms.
While the exact exchange between the Salman and the channel a few hours before he signed on for Bigg Boss 4 isn't available, the gist of his message was clear — my way or the highway.
According to reports, Salman had charged Rs 89 crore for the 104 episodes telecast in the first season of 10 Ka Dum.
For the second season he asked for an increment of Rs 44 crore which failed to materialise. In fact, Salman had slashed his fee for the second season after the channel admitted a cash crunch due to the recession. Yet, he wasn't bothered. “I love this show,” he had said in an interview.
Explaining the chain of events, a source said, “The broadcaster of 10 Ka Dum made Salman wait for a long time. 10 Ka Dum 3 was supposed to start this year but suddenly the entire focus shifted to Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 after Amitabh signed the dotted line. But Salman still waited patiently.”
So when was the flashpoint reached? “It came when the 10 Ka Dum broadcaster and Salman and started talking money for the third season. Salman was told he wouldn't get a hike. Salman argued that since the recession was over, why shouldn't he get a better pay packet? He asked them that since he had stood by them in their time of crisis, so why couldn't they repay him now? But the broadcaster tried to soft-pedal the issue.”
Salman finally realised it wasn't worth waiting any longer for a positive answer. “10 Ka Dum was very close to Salman's heart. But it is okay, life goes on. He is very happy with Bigg Boss 4,” said the source.
We wonder if there is a sub-script to the drama. Apparently Salman's brother Sohail has been pitching a few pilots to various channels but the 10 Ka Dum broadcaster didn't show any interest in his projects. “Salman has made it clear that if he is ever approached for 10 Ka Dum, it should be at his terms and price. Otherwise they are free to search for a suitable replacement for the third season,” added the source.
Finally, it was money factor that tilted the scale in ‘Bigg Boss' favor and Sallubhai signed on the dotted lines. However, before signing the deal with Colors, the macho Khan did have an animated discussion with Sony officials about the money for ‘DKD 3' and its definite timing of going on air.
But when no satisfactory response came from them Sallu was said to have flown into a rage and returned the money that he had taken from them. Earlier, Sony had a contract with Salman Khan to host the three seasons of ‘Dus Ka Dum', but when Big B agreed to host ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati', they pushed the show on the backburner, and this proved the turning point in Salman Khan accepting the offer of ‘Bigg Boss'.
The buzz doing the rounds in the industry about ‘Bigg Boss 4' is that Salman Khan has been told by the channel to be himself on the show as his spontaneous style is loved by the audience.
Sallubhai is even likely to maintain his unique style of being a ‘hostile anchor' on the ‘Bigg Boss'. The first promos of the ‘Bigg Boss 4' are expected to go on air in the first week of September during the telecast of Priyanka Chopra hosted ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi'. Incidentally, Salman Khan's upcoming flick ‘Dabangg' is also scheduled for an Eid release in the month of September.
However, another theory doing the rounds in the industry is that Salman Khan dumping the third season of show ‘Dus Ka Dum' on Sony had something to do with his brother Sohail Khan.
Sources reveal that Sohail Khan had been making rounds of the channel offices with some pilot projects but channel bosses were not showing enough interest. As Salman Khan is very close to his brothers, it may have weighed on his mind while taking a decision against ‘Dus Ka Dum' and accepting the ‘Bigg Boss 4'.
Despite attempts, officials from the broadcaster of 10 Ka Dum did not respond to queries about the issue.