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Endemol Shine India to focus on new formats and web series in 2017

MUMBAI: While continuing with its existing properties, Endemol Shine India will focus on new formats and web series in 2017.

New, disruptive and edgy, but can be viewed with family are the factors that Endemol Shine India has always considered while developing new content. The focus and strategy of the content provider is to make content that is good for all screens.

Adhering to that approach, Endemol Shine India has introduced several new formats including the popular reality shows ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’, ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, ‘Chotte Miyan’, ‘The Voice’ and more.

Mr. Deepak Dhar - Endemol Shine IndiaSpeaking about the growth strategy, Endemol Shine India MD & CEO Deepak Dhar said, “All our shows are brought from the point of view that we can take it to at least 3–4 markets in the country. We are the only player in the country to provide content to Star Network, Viacom18, Zee Network, Sony, Sun TV, Malayalam Manorama and more. So, across national and regional, we are pretty much the leading producers.”

With more than 11 years of business in India, Endemol has carved its niche with reality show formats, but the content provider is also expanding its reach in different vertical such as scripted series, web series and films.

Finite series and scripted Bollywood content

Two years ago, Endemol Shine India produced scripted and fiction shows like ‘Geet’, ‘Miley Jab Hum Tum’, ‘Dharampatni’ and ‘Ladli’.

Now, Endemol will focus on creating finite shows with a definite story arc. Recently, they created shows like ‘Swim Team’ and ‘Yudh’. The company is working on another finite series, which will be announced soon.

This year, the content producer is planning to focus on new formats of shows and web series content. It is working on MasterChef and a couple of other formats, which we will be announced soon.

With digital booming and new content being churned daily, Endemol Shine India is planning to focus on offering ground-breaking web series. They are currently working on a finite fiction show for Alt Balaji. The yet-to-be-titled web series is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and features Nimrat Kaur.

In 2015, Endemol Shine also started its journey in Bollywood film production business. Their first film was Karan Malhotra’s directorial ‘Brothers’ starring Akshay Kumar and Siddharth Malhotra. It was followed by a real-life medical story that was told in Bollywood ‘Traffic’ (2016) with Manoj Bajpai, Jimmy Shergil and Divya Dutta. Their latest production was Ribhu Dasgupta’s ‘Te3n’ (2016) with Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan. While ‘Brothers’ and ‘Te3n’ did fairly well at the box office, Traffic failed to make its mark.

The company is not planning to release new projects, anytime soon.

While Endemol is known internationally for reality shows like ‘Big Brother’ (on which ‘Bigg Boss’ is modelled) and the drama series ‘The Fall’, Endemol Shine India in its decade-long run has commissioned and produced more than 6,000 hours of content across six languages, spread over 170+ shows.

So, how did it all begin?

Endemol Shine entered India when the non-fiction genre was in nascent stage and the television was ruled by daily soaps saga. In those times, the reality space was limited to talent hunt shows revolving around dancing and singing. Endemol offered India audience its first stand-up comedy show ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ and introduced top comedians like Raju Srivastav, Ahsaan Qureshi, Sunil Pal, Kapil Sharma and others.

The comedy show which lasted for five seasons created a monopoly for the producer’s trendsetting show ‘Bigg Boss’ which is modelled on Big Brother. In the midst of the singing and dancing talent hunts, ‘Bigg Boss’ became the first reality television show on air. As ‘Bigg Boss’ was aired daily, it broke the reality show viewing pattern of every weekend.

Dhar who started his journey with Endemol Shine India almost 11 years ago, in the capacity of the creative head and development head states that he always knew the power of Endemol in the reality space globally. “I wanted to bring that trend in India and so I started owning and adapting a lot of Endemol formats for India, with a very strong creative team backing me up on this. Initially, everybody wondered how a show like Big Brother would work in the Indian market but we adapted it with an Indian touch. “

Success of ‘Bigg Boss’

‘Bigg Boss’ which follows contestants who cohabit a custom-built house that is isolated from the outside world (no internet, no TV, no phone), has been present in Hindi for the last 10 seasons and has enjoyed high popular rating in its 10th season.

As ‘Bigg Boss 10’ ended on a high note, Endemol Shine is bringing the 11th season of the show.

‘Bigg Boss’ has also become a big success in regional markets like Kannada and Bangla. In Kannada, ‘Bigg Boss’ is in its fourth season and the producer states that the viewership has soared, subsequently. He states that not only has the show garnered great numbers in both seasons, (viewership soared from 543 TVT’s in Season 1 to 1,207 TVT’s in Season 2 for the finale) but has also stacked up audiences for its respective broadcasting channels. The Bangla version too, has garnered 100 GRPs.

Following the success of the show and the increasing advertisers’ response in Hindi and the regional language, the content provider is planning to introduce the show in another regional language, soon.

Endemol Shine has also done production for the Chinese version of ‘Big Brother’ in India, using the existing facilities. “We have proved Endemol Shine India’s ability to produce world class content within limited budgets. We may be hosting the next season of Big Brother China again. In all, we have produced 17 seasons of ‘Big Brother’ which is at par with all the other major countries,” Dhar stated.

Other reality formats

Endemol Shine India has cemented the fact that they are the torch bearer of the reality shows. Not just ‘Bigg Boss’, but the producer’s other reality formats like ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’, an adaption of international popular show Fear Factor which is in its eight season is also faring well. The dubbed versions of ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’, is aired in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

Endemol Shine India’s singing reality format ‘The Voice’ is in its second season.

Endemol Shine is also planning to introduce the fourth season of its kids comedy show ‘Chhote Miyan’. The show will offer a platform for 12 selected participants to showcase their talent through solo, duo and team acts, and one of them will finally win the title of ‘Chhote Miyan’. Hosted by Bharti Singh, the show will feature children aged 4–14 years and will be judged by Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia.

On the regional front, the content provider had also introduced popular game show ‘Deal or No Deal’ in South markets in four languages and has produced over 450 episodes. They have also produced ‘Minute to Win It’ in Kannada and Malayalam, and ‘Million Dollar Drop’ in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bangla and Kannada. Endemol Shine India has also produced the popular Marathi show ‘Lagori’ on Star Pravah which has completed over 300 episodes.

On the regional content, Dhar said, “Since our inception, the regional front has grown 10 times, and contributes up to 20 per cent of overall Endemol Shine India pie while producing approximately 400 hours of content every year. The company has effective operations in seven regional languages.”

Differentiation and experimentation

When it comes to creating a format and then successfully sustain it over seasons, one has to keep innovating and experimenting with new ideas. It is important to introduce new factors to keep the shows fresh. Like we saw in ‘Bigg Boss 10’, this year, the show which was limited to celebrities opened its door for common audience. Though the show attracted several controversies, the format was fresh and picked viewers interest for a moment.

So, what strategy does Endemol employ when it comes to experimenting with its existing shows?

Endemol has gained experience from across 40 different countries across the globe which helps them to add value to the format, every season. Dhar further adds, “Globally if you see the strength and monopoly of Endemol are unmatchable, we have various creative directors who see how ‘Big Brother’, ‘Fear Factor’, ‘The Voice’, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ are performing in all the markets. A lot of research goes into it and we carry out exchanges from each of our show where we think of new ideas. We do that for all our shows like ‘Bigg Brother’, ‘MasterChef’, ‘Fear Factor’, ‘Deal or No Deal’ and that is how you keep it refreshing and add value because it’s all about seeing an idea and building a new idea out if it. Because of this strength, we see this franchise develop into bigger and bigger every year.”

The content producer also states that it is difficult to keep on experimenting as sometime it might fail but they are not afraid of failure.