Sumita Vaid

Coming soon: Angels in India on HBO

What's to be seen is whether Angels in America will charm the Indian viewers the way Emmy winner, Sex and the City has

Imagine, Oscar-winning actors - Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson - coming together. The mini series adaption of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer prize winning play, Angels in America, is surely going to be a treat for the mind.

The HBO mini series, Angels in America, is about 'vengeful' ghosts, 'beatific' angels and ordinary people enduring the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. In India, the series is going to be aired soon. Shruti Bajpai, country manager (India), HBO South Asia, says, the date for the launch is going to be finalised shortly.

But before the viewers get to the see the series, the Emmys ( the Oscars of TV movies/mini series awards) will be telecast. Incidentally, Angels in America has won 21 nominations, a record by itself.

Going by the success of Sex and the City, HBO is confident that Angels in America will do well with the Indian viewers. "The India viewer is a discerning viewer and certainly seeks wholesome entertainment," Bajpai rationalises.

Bajpai, clearly in a jubilant mood following seven of her movies featuring among the top 10 movies across all English channels during January-June 2004, is now looking forward to fresh blockbusters such as George Clooney- starring Ocean's Eleven, Panic Room, Sum of all Fears and Rush Hour 2.

The enthusiasm is natural but Bajpai attributes the channel's success to the sheer understanding its viewer. "We know the pulse of of our viewer, which is why our endeavour has been to showcase a kaleidoscope of movies."

While that may be the case, the Indian audience surely has a penchant for action-cum-adventure movies, as is evident from the titles of the movies that made it to the top 10. For the record these include, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Enter the Dragon, Spy Kids 3: Game Over and chart buster Spider- Man.

"Internationally, the watching habits are not any different", Bajpai reasons. "It is finally a judicious mix of movies that build the equity for the channel. If the action movies have done well, so have movies such Stuart Little or classics like Ten Commandments or MacKenna's Gold," she says.

The point Bajpai makes is while there are 'raters', conventionally speaking the blockbusters, that drive the channel viewership, there are the 'differentiators' such as Forest Gump that create a distinct impression of HBO as a 'one-stop-shop' for entertainment. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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