The Economic Times reports that the producers of Slumdog Millionaire are considering producing a reality TV show called Secret Slumdog Millionaire, a variation on a U.K. show called Secret Millionaire. Instead of doling out money in impoverished communities in the U.K., millionaires will now scour the slums of Mumbai and identify “slumdogs.” A television insider says, ““It’s a fantastic idea….The millionaires who sign up will see real poverty in Mumbai and it is going to be very moving when they reveal their identity and offer these people help” (full story). Needless to say, the producers want to get going asap so they can cash in on the film’s tremendous popularity.
They are, of course, “bracing themselves against charges that they are cashing in on poverty.” Bracing? Heh. If the protests surrounding the film are any indication, I’m sure we’ll see much more drama around the television show. Given that Reality TV-as-social-welfare shows like Extreme Home Makeover have not entered the Indian television landscape, this will be an interesting show to follow and see if it sets the stage for other experiments in reality TV.