Celebrity reality show Bigg Boss, which aired on Viacom18’s flagship general entertainment channel Colors, raked in a viewership of 9.6 million for the finale aired on January 31. This is 0.9 million higher than the 8.7 million viewership recorded during the season 7 finale.
This was perhaps the longest season of Bigg Boss on Colors, having extended the eighth instalment by four weeks, adding the Halla Bol segment.
In this segment, participants from the previous seasons of the show were introduced into the house and the collective inmates were divided into Challengers and Champions groups. The groups then carried out tasks set by the ‘Bigg Boss’.
The extension of the show by four weeks meant a change in the host, since actor Salman Khan’s contract with the channel was only for the 90-day run. He was replaced by choreographer turned director Farah Khan. The feisty Farah is no stranger to hosting shows on television, having anchored a celebrity talk show Tere Mere Beach Mein.
Contrary to apprehensions in the industry, the show’s ratings for this season show no signs of viewer fatigue. The eighth season averaged at 5.2 million (viewers), marginally shy of season seven’s viewership benchmark of 5.3 million (viewers). The trend was set with the launch episode itself, with ratings at 7.6 million compared to 7.7 million for the seventh edition.
Zee TV’s Dance India Dance Li’l Masters gave a tough fight, but eventually ended up at number three for the year, with 4.8 million viewers (season average).