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BBC Gets Productive in India

Local production unit launches trio of new shows

HONG KONG – BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of venerable U.K. pubcaster British Broadcasting Corporation, is enjoying new success as a producer in India.

After getting the Indian version “Dancing With The Stars” (pictured) into its third season, the fall season has seen the has BBC add a further three shows that are now airing with different local broadcasters.

The three, ranging from fiction to non-fiction, are produced in India by BBC Worldwide India, which licenses formats from the parent company.

On Colors, part of the Viacom 18 group, it has “Har Ghar Kuch Heta Hai” a Hindi version of “The House That Made Me.” The U.K. series produced for the BBC by indie Nutopia takes celebrities of different kinds back to their childhood homes to meet the people and places that influenced them. The Indian version is presented by actor Vinay Pathak and sponsored by Asian Paints.

Primetime weekday nights on STAR India’s Life OK channel are home to the BBC’s first daily fiction series “Ek Boond Ishq,” which centers around a woman whose arranged marriage means she is set to wed a convict who is still in prison. “In ‘Ek Boond Ishq,’ we have three strong characters narrating their own tales of circumstance. While Tara is a prisoner in a palace, Mrityunjay is a convict in prison. We also have Tauji or Kalavati, a unique personality never seen before on Indian Television,” said Ajit Thakur, GM of Life OK.

“Yeh Hai Ashiqui,” playing on Disney UTV’s bindass youth channel, is a series about love against the odds. It features stories of youngsters who have dared to pursue love that does not fit into Indian societal norms. The series is co-produced with Lost Boy Productions. 

“All three shows are rating well. ‘Yeh Hai Ashiqui,’ in its second week of launch,  is already the number one youth show among the 15-24 year Hindi speaking market. Over 4.2 million people watch each episode,” said Myleeta Aga, SVP and GM of BBC Worldwide India. 

BBC Worldwide in India also produces “Disney Q — The Family Mastermind,” which began airing in Feb this year, and “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa,” a revision of “Dancing With The Stars” which is in its third and top rating season for Colors.

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