×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BBC Worldwide Sets Up ‘The Office’ in India

Applause Entertainment also acquires remake rights to drama format used for 'The Night Of'

BBC Worldwide has sold the format to mockumentary sitcom “The Office” to India, it announced Tuesday at its showcase event in Liverpool. The format was acquired for India by Aditya Birla Group’s Applause Entertainment.

Created in 2001 for the BBC by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, “The Office” ran just two seasons followed by a two-part Christmas special in 2003, winning six BAFTAs and two Golden Globes. Gervais revisited his lead character in the 2016 movie “David Brent: Life on the Road.”

“The Office” format was sold to NBC in 2005, which produced the popular Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning U.S. version starring Steve Carell as Michael Scott, running nine seasons from 2005 to 2013. The Indian version will adapt the first two seasons of the U.S. version of “The Office” into a single 28-episode season.

In the Indian version, the Brent/Scott character becomes Jagdeep Chaddha, the hapless boss of paper company Wilkins Chawla in an industrial park on the far outskirts of Faridabad, a satellite town of New Delhi. Chadda sees himself as a smart, fun and go-getting leader loved by his adoring team, but nothing could be further from the truth and his attempts to cheer and impress his staff invariably end in comic disaster.

Gervais said: “I’m always excited and flattered to see remakes of my work, particularly as I’ve ended the David Brent saga now with ‘Life on the Road,’ but when a country with a population of over a billion has a version I’m hoping for big ratings.”

It is the first time the show’s format has been commissioned in Asia. As well as the U.S., eight other local versions of the show have been produced, in Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Israel and Sweden.

Myleeta Aga, senior vice president and general manager for Southeast Asia and South Asia at BBC Worldwide, said the unique appeal of “The Office” format lay in its universality. “We are assembling an A-list cast of talent to ensure the highest standards of execution, and see ‘The Office’ as just the first step in a long and fruitful partnership with Applause,” said Aga.

Applause will also partner with BBC Worldwide to develop and produce an Indian version of drama format “Criminal Justice,” which was remade in the U.S. as HBO’s Emmy-winning “The Night Of.”

The 10-part, as-yet-untitled Indian version will be set and filmed in present-day Mumbai, following both the economic and class differences between a working-class student moonlighting as a taxi driver and the wealthy female passenger he picks up one fateful evening.

More TV

  • Andy Cohen attends BravoCon's "Watch What

    'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City' to Debut in 2020

    Bravo announced Saturday during its first annual BravoCon that a tenth “Real Housewives” series, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” will debut in 2020. Bravo host and “Real Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen made the announcement during a panel titled “Ask Andy” at the NYC convention. “We’ve always tried to choose a city that [...]

  • The Simpsons

    Disney Plus Will Make 'The Simpsons' Available in Original Uncropped Format in Early 2020

    Eep! After an outcry from “The Simpsons” aficionados, Disney has decided to offer classic episodes of the iconic animated sitcom on Disney Plus in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio early next year. The streaming service launched Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands with the full batch of “Simpsons” episodes in 16-by-9 HD [...]

  • Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar

    Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar Buzz for 'Waves': 'Kind of Surreal'

    Sterling K. Brown can’t quite comprehend the awards attention he’s receiving for his work in the A24 drama “Waves.” “If the Academy sees fit to put me in a category with people who I absolutely adore, I will pee all over myself, dude” the Emmy winner says on the latest episode of “The Big Ticket.” [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas

    TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas Nominees Announced

    In today’s TV news roundup, Humanitas has released the finalists for the 45th Annual Humanitas Prize, and YouTube announced a new beauty competition series hosted by James Charles.  CASTINGS Jason Kennedy has been named as the host of E!’s new series “In The Room.“ The “E! News” host will bring viewers inside celebrity homes for [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viacom Extends 'The Office,' 'Parks and Recreation' Syndication Deals

    “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” reruns will continue to air on Viacom linear networks for the foreseeable future. The company announced that it has reached a new deal with NBCUniversal to keep “The Office” on Comedy Central through 2021. The series will then air in a non-exclusive window on Viacom Media Networks through 2025. [...]

  • Conan O'Brien Michael Showalter

    HBO Max Orders Pilots From Producers Conan O'Brien, Michael Showalter

    HBO Max has ordered two shows to pilot, one a comedy and the other a drama. The streamer will produce both pilots. The comedy is titled “Gumshoe.” It follows a sweet, optimistic young cop and a creepy, crime-obsessed teenager who secretly team up to solve a murder. Aaron Brownstein and Simon Ganz will write, executive [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content