US show 'The Apprentice' to hit Indian TV in 2010

'The Apprentice', which originated in 2004 in US with the winner getting an initial pay packet of USD 250,000 USD and a chance to run one of the companies of business mogul Donald Trump has travelled worldwide with different versions and will be launched next year in India.

"People really want to work for a big company for a big salary and have a big job. 'The Apprentice' is very aspirational and will work in a country like India," C Scot Cru, Head of International, Mark Burnett Productions said. The production house has also announced to roll out the Indian version of 'The Contender' with Olympic bronze medal winner boxer Vijender Singh as the host.

"I love spending time with people who are appreciative and Vijender is very appreciative of the opportunities he had and he fits in contender which is about changing lives. Vijender personifies that spirit of having the heart of a lion," Cru said.

Akash Sharma, Managing Director of Bulldog Media and Entertainment who bought 'Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?', hosted by Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan, has now teamed up with Burnett Productions to bring 'The Contender'. He is confident that Vijender being the host will be a boost to the show.

"Vijender winning the bronze in Beijing was the catalyst for bringing 'The Contender' into India. An Indian winning a boxing medal is a mass connect story. The show will capture the emotions of the families of the participants," Sharma said.

Apart from the these two shows, come 2010 and reality TV will see a spur of shows of different genres including 'Amnesia', 'Trust me I am a Gameshow host', 'Fantasy Island' and another one called 'An Indian walks into a Bar', all of them modelled on successful American reality shows.

"India is right up at the top in our list for doing business. The reason is not just because its an emerging market for television and has a huge population but we really like the way people work here," Cru says.

"Sometimes it can take longer to get things going in India, but once you have established and found your way then there's a roadmap to continue to do business in India and people tell here exactly what do they think about your shows," he adds.

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