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People’s Choice Awards format licensed to India

Bulldog Media will produce local version


The People’s Choice Awards is spreading outside North America for the first time in its 37-year-old history, with a local version planned for India.

Via its license distribution partner Mark Burnett Prods., People’s Choice Awards franchise owner Procter & Gamble Entertainment has licensed the format to Bulldog Media and Entertainment in India. The companies have worked together in the past. Bulldog licensed gamer “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” from Burnett and produced an Indian version “Kya aap paanchvi pass se tez hain?” hosted by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

Fred Nelson, People’s Choice Awards prexy, said, “From Bollywood to Indipop, India has a rich and important history in entertainment. We’ve seen a major increase in the role Indian movies, music and culture are playing on a global scale. When you pair this trend with the fact that India is the second-most populous country and the most-populous democracy in the world, you have the perfect scenario for an awards show which gives the people the opportunity to celebrate their favorite stars, musicians, movies and television programs.”

India’s broadcast sector is worth $6.6 billion and growing at 17% a year, according to a KPMG report, while its vast and fragmented film industry produces more than 1,200 films in several languages, each with their own kudos fests.

The People’s Choice Awards will initially focus on India’s national language, Hindi, with Bulldog exploring the option of other language awards in future years.

C. Scot Cru, senior VP of Intl., for One Three Media (a Hearst/Burnett company), said, “What will help the People’s Choice Awards stand apart from the crowd of other Indian award shows is that it is about more than just films. The format of the U.S. show brings with it TV and music categories, and in India, we’ve also included sports.”

Anil Wanvari, who organizes the Indian Telly Awards, the New Talent Awards and the News Television Awards, besides being a judging host for the Intl. Emmy Awards for Asia and Africa, feels there is room in the market for one more entrant.

“Most of the awards in India are a people’s choice combined with a jury anyway,” he said. “India has a great appetite for weekend variety programming. But, it takes time to establish a property.”

Former MTV India video jockey and current Bollywood up and comer Ayushmann Khurrana, who scored a hit this summer with his feature debut “Vicky Donor,” will host the Indian version of the People’s Choice Awards. The show tapes Oct. 27 and will air on the Viacom 18 channel Colors, with a broadcast date yet to be announced. Fans will vote for the awards online, with the results being audited by one of the Big Four firms.