The first Indian original series from Lionsgate India and Starz‘s streamer Lionsgate Play is Hindi-language show “Hiccups and Hookups” from show runner Kunal Kohli (“Fanaa”), which will bow Nov. 26. The cast includes Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar, Shinnova, Divya Seth, Nassar Abdullah, Khalid Siddiqui, Meiyang Chang, Meera Chopra and Ayn Zoya. The show revolves around a newly separated single mother (Dutta) and her brother (Babbar) who coach each other through the world of dating while raising her teenage daughter (Shinnova).
Rohit Jain, managing director South Asia and networks-emerging markets Asia, Lionsgate India, said, “With our first Indian original series we aim to stay true to our ethos of entertaining our audience with unique, bold and edgy content.”
The proposed privatization of U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 could be delayed as Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries received more than 60,000 responses as part of a consultation on the process, many of which are opposed to the move, according to a report in The Times newspaper. The government wants to sell the “The Great British Bake Off” broadcaster, but Dorries’ response is now not expected until January, 2022, according to the report.
Though Dorries took charge as Culture Secretary in mid-September, she did not meet Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon until late October.
An industry-wide consultation that opened in July seeded a groundswell of support for Channel 4 across the film and TV sector, with high-profile actors and producers chiming in on how essential the broadcaster is to the wider cultural landscape. The process closed on Sept. 14, and the next step is a government-issued white paper outlining its findings from the consultation.
Meanwhile, U.K. broadcaster BBC‘s annual license fee of £159 ($214.46) could remain frozen for two years in order to alleviate the cost of living in the country, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper. Negotiations between the U.K. government and the BBC on the cost of the license fee from 2022 through 2027 are likely to be concluded by the end of November. The license fee is the primary source of funding for the BBC and freezing it could see the corporation struggle with rising costs of programming. The U.K. government more than doubled the BBC’s commercial borrowing limit from £350 million to £750 million in the recent fall budget.
The U.K.’s Royal Television Society (RTS) has awarded six new Fellowships for 2021 to Simon Heath, CEO, World Productions; Sally Joynson, CEO, Screen Yorkshire; Danielle Lux, MD, CPL Productions; Ben McOwen Wilson, MD, YouTube U.K. and Ireland and director, EMEA; Clive Myrie, BBC and John Whiston, MD, continuing drama, ITV.
RTS Fellowships recognize those who have made an outstanding, sustained and exceptional contribution to the industry.