UTV developing India's first prime time animated show

MUMBAI: Ronnie Screwvala-promoted UTV is working on "India's first prime time animated TV show.

The show, an out and out comedy targeted at family audiences, is entitled Kahin nak na kut jaaye and is set in an Indian city called "Anantnak" (endless noses).

UTV has also finalised two large co-productions in animation, one for the US market and one for UK and Europe. The creation of the characters along with animation would originate out of India in conjunction with their co-production partners in the US and UK.

Bollywood road is a co-production between UTV Toons and BA20 Entertainment in the UK. It is a 26 x half hour animated song and dance sitcom - set in the multi-cultural community of Leyford, East London and on a street entitled Bollywood Road.

"Cross The Simpsons, The Kumars at No.42 and Monty Python, add graphics half way between Matt Groening and celebrated Indian artist Jamini Roy, the scripting genius of Meera Syal, the creative supervision of Alistair Swinnerton and the creative characters and execution to be designed by UTV Toons and you are all the way there to one of the most exciting animated shows that Europe will witness in 2004," goes the company line on the show.

At a budget of ?1,75,000/- per episode totaling ? 4.55 million , the design work has already started on the 26 all-ready scripts at the UTV Toons facility in Andheri, according to the company release.

The second co-production is titled The Infinite Darcy, a series about Darcy Chang, a nine-year-old with a special gift - an ability to travel into "alternative realities"... from school girl to rock star to secret agent, Darcy grows up in different realities.

Co-developed and partnered with Cybergraphix Animation in Los Angeles, California, this series of 52 episodes of 11 minutes each on a total budget of $5 Million is aimed to premier on a US major network in early 2004. The first 11-minute episode completed at UTV Studios in Andheri has been approved and work on the series is on.

Kahin nak na kut jaaye meanwhile, has the whole city of Anantnak inhabited by people who can be divided into three classes, differentiated by their levels of wealth and the unique perk that comes with possessing that wealth... the length of the nose. So the richest people have the longest noses and are know as the "khatarnaks", the middle classes are people with small, thin noses and are called the "sharamnaks" and the lower classes with the least income have no noses and are known as the "bandnaks".

The entire characters, designs, animated voices; postproduction will be done in-house at the UTV Toons studios backed by UTV's Post Production facility, USL.

It is planned for an 8 pm slot on one of the leading networks for which discussions are still on, the release says.

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