Television

Sony Pictures Networks India to foray into TV production

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MUMBAI: Last month, in an interview to deadline.com, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) presidents of programming and production Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht had stated that India could be the top notch production studio’s destination following the success it had achieved in China producing television.

Speaking to the website about growth for SPT, Amburg had said: “…Where does growth come from and where does profitability come from? I think it comes from being a smart, thoughtful, global company. And more importantly, are there still growth markets internationally? I would say a hundred percent yes. China is a very interesting market, I think a lot of people have been examining that. We’re already producing a hit series there, Mad About You, we have two or three other projects that are in the mix right now. We had a dynamic conversation today about India. We have a huge networks footprint there.”

The network he was referring to is of course Sony Picture Networks (SPN) India, which is headed by CEO NP Singh. SPN India, has a motion picture division in India which is headed by Sneha Rajani, and which produced the successful Amitabh Bacchan-starrer Piku last year. This apart, Sony Pictures Entertainment Films has been releasing international films from its parent stable in the country.

And today confirmation came in from SPN India that it was indeed foraying into TV production. “SPN has decided to produce fiction shows in-house for our network. While we are starting with one show, we will scale up as we go forward,” said a company spokesperson in an email response to a query from Indiantelevision.com.

No further details were forthcoming on who would be heading the production initiative, at the time of writing.

SPT in has an envious slate of shows to its credit: The BlackList, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Night Shift, Days of our Lives, The NightShift, BloodLine, Drop Dead Diva, The Art of More, Rules of Engagement, Dr Ken, Preacher…

This is not the first instance that a broadcast network is getting into TV production. The Zee Network has its Essel Vision, which has been involved in many of its marquee properties. Then Star India had taken a 25.99 per cent stake in Balaji Telefilms April 2004, only to exit it on 5 August 2015 at a price of Rs 108 crore.

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