Viu, Star Maa to air Telugu version of CBS’ game show format ‘Hollywood Squares’
MUMBAI: PCCW-backed Vuclip’s over the top (OTT) platform Viu has partnered Star India’s Telugu GEC Star Maa to bring the Emmy Award-winning celebrity tic-tac-toe game show format ‘Hollywood Squares’ to India.
Morris Street Advisors, a boutique content leader, has acquired the format rights to “Hollywood Squares” from CBS Studios International for India and has partnered with Viu to produce localised version of the format.
The Telugu version of the show titled ‘Tollywood Squared’ will air simultaneously on Viu and Star Maa.
‘Hollywood Squares’ is the first major game show format from CBS to be produced in India. Created in Telugu, the 26-episode weekend show is set to go live on 27 January on Star Maa and the Viu app and website simultaneously where one episode will release every Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 PM.
Hosted by film actor and television personality Navdeep Pallapolu, the series will be based on Tic-Tac-Toe, a universally popular game and will showcase nine new celebrities and two new contestants in each episode.
Setting trends in Television with every new show, the launch of Tollywood Squares is aligned to Star Maa’s promise of delivering compelling content that appeals to the masses by breaking conventional boundaries of language. This show is in line with Viu’s continued focus on original regional content since launching in 2016, including PillA, Pelli Gola, No.1 Yaari, Spotlight, Gehraiyaan and others.
Elaborating on the show, Viu India country head Vishal Maheshwari said, “We are thrilled to bring the most sought-after celebrity game show of Hollywood Squares regionalized for our Telugu audience. At Viu, our constant focus is to bring refreshing narratives and exciting new formats that appeal to the millennials. Our insights gave us the belief that a format like this, which is iconic in its own right globally, would be a timely new addition to our bouquet of differentiated content. We are happy to partner with Morris Street Advisors, GroupM’s Motion content group and our channel partner StarMaa to bring this internationally recognized show format for our audiences. This is an innovative content partnership the content can be viewed on the digital platform and main screen television.”
Commenting on this occasion, Star Maa business head Alok Jain said, “We at Star Maa have always been at the forefront of pioneering new shows and bringing unique formats to entertain our viewers. We are known for bringing the best of its kind of shows from around the world and present it to our Telugu viewers in the regional flavor. In this regard, we are pleased to now bring ‘Hollywood Squares’, an international award-winning format first in India for the Telugu people. The show is an exciting version of our favorite childhood game “Tic-tac-toe”, however, adapted for television viewing with interesting celebrities in the 9 squares of the game. I am confident that this show will take our viewers across all age groups back to the memory lanes and the concept of this show will transform the TV viewers’ experience. We are extremely pleased to partner with Viu and together this show will entertain our viewers.”
Morris Street Advisors CEO Rohit Tiwari said, “This is a milestone moment for Morris Street Advisors. As a leading provider of entertainment content, we are now placing more focus on producing popular programming that captivates Indian viewers. We are super excited to team up with CBS Studios International and our Indian partners to produce the show in India.”
CBS Studios International Vice President, International Sales & Production Roxanne Lettman Pompa noted, “Hollywood Squares has had success in many countries around the world, and we’re convinced it will appeal to viewers in India.”