Big Magic to launch Hindi adaptation of 'The Middle'

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 26, 2015
The show is a humorous take on a family that faces struggles at work, home and raising children.

Big Magic, the flagship national Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) from Reliance Broadcast Network, is launching the Hindi adaptation of American sitcom 'The Middle' in June. The show is a humorous take on a family that faces struggles at work, home and raising children.

Ashwin Padmanabhan

Ashwin Padmanabhan, executive vice president & business head, Reliance Broadcast Network, says, "Our programming strategy is to position ourselves as the ultimate comedy destination. For the Hindi adaptation of the show, we have bought the rights from Warner Bros, the original producers of the show in the US. The show has been produced by Bodhi Tree Entertainment in India." He says further, "The last one year has been quite eventful for us. Shows such as 'Akbar Birbal', 'Total Nadaniyaan' and 'Bal Gopal Kare Dhamaal' were launched successfully. At Big Magic, the larger brand ambition is of making people laugh and let go of everything that makes them sad."

Talking about why the show was chosen for adaptation, Padmanabhan says, "'The Middle' has proved to be a great show in the US. In fact, it is the longest running show there. It captures how dysfunctional families function in a comical manner. The characters - the mother, father and children - are quirky and over-the-top in their mannerisms."

The show has not been dubbed in Hindi. It is being adapted and remade completely. "We have re-shot, re-written and re-produced the entire programme to make it relatable for the Indian audiences," he says.

Padmanabhan is not perturbed by the comparisons that often emerge between an international show and its Indian adaptation. "'The Middle', for Indian audiences, is going to be a never-seen-before kind of experience. Those who have seen the English version, as well as those who'll be watching it for the first time in India, will like it. People will relate to the characters in its Hindi adaptation too, as they did in the original series. We have worked upon the context, environment, mannerisms of characters and the spoken language too, to cater to the Indian audience. Nothing is copied from the US version of the show, but the basic format of showing dysfunctional families has been kept intact."

Keeping the show's name under wraps for now, Padmanabhan assures that the show is going to cater to a 'forward looking' audience in India. The characters will exhibit situations depicting fresh, topical and unpredictable humour. Also, the series, just like shows in other markets, will take seasonal breaks.

Commenting on the change in rating structure of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) over Television Audience Measurement (TAM), Padmanabhan says, "BARC primarily reports on urban data, especially those of Delhi, Maharashtra, Bangalore, Gujarat and Punjab. These regions drive the humour market for Big Magic in a big way. We have observed a significant jump in ratings as the shows, since their launch, have been doing well."

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