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Home >Industry >Media >NBCUniversal-Banijay Asia sign deal to remake Suits, Top Chef, others for India

NEW DELHI : Indian fans of international shows such as Suits, House, Monk, Saturday Night Live, The Titan Games and Top Chef will now be treated to local versions of these popular titles, with NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group having signed a co-production deal with Banijay Asia to adapt a number of its formats in India.

NBCUniversal Formats is the international sales division for all formats created within the production, broadcast and streaming divisions of NBCUniversal and Sky Studios, as well as select third parties. It is known for a slate of non-scripted and scripted formats including Emmy award-winning comedy showcase Saturday Night Live, global franchise The Real Housewives, factual entertainment show The Big Hospital Experiment, in addition to scripted formats Suits, House, The Sinner, The Good Place and Superstore.

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The deal marks the first co-production agreement for NBCUniversal Formats in India, as it strives to create more local content across Asia and the globe, the company said. Its show Suits has already been adapted for audiences in Japan and Korea while Saturday Night Live has seen adaptations in Japan, China and Korea; Top Chef has been taken to audiences in Thailand and Vietnam.

Banijay Asia produces The Kapil Sharma Show for Sony Entertainment Television. More recently it made Tribhanga, starring Kajol, for Netflix and Roar of the Lion, a documentary based on MS Dhoni’s life for Disney+ Hotstar. The French firm Banijay had partnered television veteran Deepak Dhar in 2018 for a 50:50 joint venture for India and south east Asia.

“These stories, characters and formats have proven to have universal appeal. The broad reach and expertise of Banijay Asia across scripted and unscripted content makes them our ideal partner to develop and produce these titles for Indian audiences in the language and form that they prefer," Enrique Guillen, executive vice-president, commercial strategy and international development, Universal Studio Group said in a statement. Deepak Dhar, CEO and founder, Banijay Asia, too, said that NBCUniversal titles are entertaining, story-driven and hugely adaptable.

Mint had earlier reported that new-age content creators on video streaming services are looking at popular international formats that they can localize to hook Indian audiences. Shows like The Office, Hostages and Criminal Justice, all three on Disney+ Hotstar, and Mind The Malhotras, on Amazon Prime Video, have been adapted from international formats and have made waves in India. Adaptations have had a long history in the Indian television industry, right from the days of Kaun Banega Crorepati, Indian Idol and Bigg Boss.

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