Endemol India eyes regional media space

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 04, 2008
Endemol India appoints Neena Raut as head of Endemol Regional


entertaining audiences in the Hindi general entertainment space, the Netherlands based production house, Endemol, has set its eyes on regional programming. With that in mind, Endemol India has made some key appointments to strengthen Endemol Regional.

The organisation has announced the appointment of Neena Raut as creative head of Endemol Regional to spearhead its efforts in regional language programming.

Speaking to afaqs! Deepak Dhar, country head, Endemol India, says, "Having worked with Shri Adhikari Brothers and by virtue of being associated with Doordarshan, Raut knows the pulse of the market down South and will be a great asset in planning and executing region specific content for our new projects in regional languages."

Dhar says that the regional market in languages such as Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali is seeing a lot of action, with several production deals being executed. "After proving our mettle in Hindi, it's time to touch base with local audiences in their own languages. Endemol Regional will first explore the South Indian market," he says.

As shown by the track record of Endemol India, Endemol Regional will focus on non-fiction shows. Raut says close to 99 per cent of the programming will consist of non-fiction shows. Reality shows will be top of the list. New formats such Kids Are All Right and game shows such as Divided will be introduced in various regional languages.

Revealing details of possible formats, Dhar says, "For example, for regional markets, we are looking at concepts such as Call TV Business - small scale game shows in which callers can call in and interact with the host and win prizes. This is the kind of programming that one can experiment with in late night shows or interplay with other shows throughout the day."

Without revealing the size of the investment to be made in the regional markets, Dhar says that they will pump in the required money to come up with home grown, locally relevant formats for the viewers.

Raut is upbeat about her new responsibilities and echoes Dhar's words when she says, "We will be replicating some successful formats such as Bigg Boss and Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi in some measure. But besides this, the stress will be on producing music and dance reality shows for the regional markets because music and dance are the biggest passions with the people down South."

The shows will also highlight and make use of the traditional art forms of each regional market. The Southern market is cost sensitive, so the stress will be on easily adaptable and replicable formats that can be turned around easily for local consumption.

Endemol Regional will begin programming ventures simultaneously in several regional languages, among them Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.

Raut says, "TV is not about doing things differently; rather, it involves doing existing things differently. Endemol Regional will offer viewers class, dignity and culture by way of its regional programming."

Raut has close to 25 years of working experience and used to be creative head with Shri Adhikari Brothers before she came to Endemol Regional.

For the record, Endemol India is credited with reality and international format shows such as Big Brother, Fear Factor India, Deal Ya No Deal and Heart Beat. It has created and produced local formats such as The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, Mission Ustaad, Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar and The Great Indian Laughter Champions.

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