Endemol India to Co-Produce TV Drama With Amitabh Bachchan

Endemol India/Sony TV
Anurag Kashyap (left) with Amitabh Bachchan.

It will be the first time the Bollywood icon will be seen in a fictional drama series, details of which are still being kept under wraps.

NEW DELHI – Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan will be seen in an upcoming fiction drama television series for the first time in a show co-produced by Endemol India and broadcast on Sony Entertainment Television. Bachchan -- who recently appeared in his first Hollywood film, The Great Gatsby -- has also been hosting the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire since 2000.

Further details of the drama series were not given though it will be “based on an idea from Endemol India” and co-produced with Bachchan's own company, Saraswati Creations, the companies said. 

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The script is being developed by renowned writer-director Anurag Kashyap who will serve as the show's creative director. The prolific Kashyap has seen two of his films premiere consecutively at Cannes – last year's two-part epic Gangs of Wasseypur and this year's Ugly.
“A new venture, a new experience .. lets us see where this takes us. Starting work in a fortnight. Broadcast and cast and timings to be announced later,” Bachchan posted on his blog following the official announcement.

“Working with Mr. Bachchan is every director’s dream. When Endemol approached me with a great concept and the novel idea of launching Mr. Bachchan for the first time in an original fictional series on Indian television, I jumped at the opportunity. This series will change the way India sees television and will open the doors for a new genre in television entertainment,” said Kashyap.

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“We are thrilled to be working with Amitabh Bachchan and Anurag Kashayp on one of Endemol India’s most exciting projects to date, said Endemol India MD and CEO Deepak Dhar. "This epic drama series will have India’s biggest international film legend starring in his first ever television role and the the nation's most exciting writing talent driving the narrative. This announcement is further evidence of how Endemol India’s fast expansion in TV drama and film production is adding a significant new dimension to our business.”  

“Sony has always been instrumental in innovating and creating numerous milestones for the Indian entertainment industry... We are pleased to announce another unique association with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan which will further strengthen our relationship with him and take his phenomenal talent into Indian homes by putting him in the lead role in a television fiction show,” added Man Jit Singh, CEO of Sony Entertainment Television holding company Multi Screen Media. The broadcaster has been airing the Bachchan-hosted Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire since 2010.

Founded in 2006 and based out of Mumbai, Endemol India has produced India's versions of Fear Factor and Big Brother (which will launch its seventh season on Viacom 18 network's Hindi channel Colors in autumn 2013).

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Endemol is also making a foray into film production, with a recent three picture deal with leading film entity Eros International. Endemol is planning a film version of Big Brother -- the first film adaptation of the show anywhere in the world -- and remakes of the hit Hindi thriller Kahaani in South Indian languages Tamil and Telugu, among other projects.

Endemol India is a partnership between Endemol Group (51 percent shareholder) and CA Media, the Asian investment arm of the Chernin Group (49 percent shareholder).