Game shows the flavour for Endemol

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 27, 2010
The production house has expanded its portfolio to include regional and fiction

Endemol India has been driving a perception change. From being known as the Indian subsidiary of the international format owner, Endemol has dabbled in non-fiction, regional and home grown formats over the years.

"As a creative shop," says Deepak Dhar, managing director, Endemol India, "we are striving to get into all kinds of genre - be it reality or soaps." Currently, Endemol has three fiction shows - Sabki Laadi Bebo on STAR Plus and Geet and Miley Jab Hum Tum on STAR One.

It also aims to introduce two more fiction shows this year. "The focus will be to build fiction. We are also spotting global trends in the fiction business and looking at getting some, such as 11 Cameras, to India," he adds.

On the non-fiction front, the new seasons of Fear Factor and Bigg Boss are keeping Endemol busy. Being seasons, Dhar says, care is taken to introduce new elements (such as a different casting and adding an extra dimension) in the format as the format itself cannot be changed.

There are at least three new format shows that Endemol wants to bring to India. One is 1 vs. 100, which is a game show where one contestant will have to take on a mob of 100 to win a hefty cash prize.

The other one is called Estate of Panic, an American reality show in which seven strangers compete to find cash hidden in a large estate. The catch is that the hunt is made difficult as the contestants have to counter their greatest phobias while in the house. "It will take stunts to another level. There could be shrinking rooms, submerging rooms - anything," Dhar says.

Wipe Out is another action packed game show that Endemol plans to launch here. In this show, contestants from all walks of life compete in an obstacle race.

Earlier game shows such as Heartbeat and Deal Ya No Deal failed to create any buzz. While Heartbeat didn't get the viewers' hearts racing due to its complicated format, Deal Ya No Deal went unnoticed, too. The latter is now, however, a popular format in the South in four languages. Dhar does not rule out the possibility of adapting a format like Bigg Boss in the South.

Regional is a key market for Endemol. It is launching a game show called The Match on Mahuaa Bangla. The format involves a bunch of celebrities competing with sportsmen in a football match. "For a football crazy market such as Kolkata, it's a great offering," he says. He believes that the Marathi and the southern markets are still waiting to be explored.

Going forward, Endemol also plans to diversify into being a 360 degree content provider. Dhar adds that Endemol India will keenly look at mobile and Internet media. "We want to produce exclusive content for specific platforms such as mobile and the web - as is done internationally," he says.

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