HBO drama The Night Of and workplace comedy The Office are to be remade in India after BBC Worldwide struck format deals with Aditya Birla Group’s Applause Entertainment. The British distributor closed the pair of deals at BBC Showcase, its annual programming event in Liverpool.
Criminal Justice, the British drama that The Night Of is based on, originally aired on the BBC in 2008. The show will now transfer to Mumbai, where it will be remade as a ten-part series. Featuring a cast of “notable Bollywood talent both on and off screen”, the show will aim to shine a light on modern India, following a working-class student moonlighting as a taxi driver and the wealthy passenger he picks up. The original show was written by Peter Moffat.
Applause Entertainment Chief Executive Sameer Nair said, “Applause is looking to create premium content for Indian viewers to watch online, delivered on the back of the big digital highways that have been built through telecom and all other platforms that exist. We feel that BBC Worldwide, with its high-quality content library and formidable reputation for making premium content in India, is the ideal partner to work with. Together, we are pulling expertise and resources to adapt popular BBC formats here. We have picked Criminal Justice because of its global success and we believe that the Indian adaptation will meet the viewing needs of the Indian market.”
Elsewhere, The Office is also being remade by Applause Entertainment. Ricky Gervais’ comedy, which ran for nine seasons in the U.S. starring Steve Carrell. The main character, Jagdeep Chaddha, becomes the boss of paper company Wilkins Chawla operating in an industrial park outside of Delhi suburb Faridabad.
Gervais said: “I’m always excited and flattered to see remakes of my work, particularly as I’ve ended the David Brent saga now with Life on the Road, but when a country with a population of over a billion has a version I’m hoping for big ratings.”