Indian streamer SonyLIV has revealed a robust 35-strong series slate, including some returning hits, with a further expansion into South Indian languages in addition to its Hindi-language slate.
Headquartered in Mumbai, the streamer now has three content offices in South India, in Kochi, Hyderabad and Chennai. SonyLIV also now has 24 million paid subscribers, SonyLIV head of content Saugata Mukherjee told Variety.
In the Tamil language, after the success of “Tamil Rockerz” in 2022 and “The Story of Things” earlier this year, SonyLIV has saga “Journey,” headlined by R. Sarathkumar with Cheran Pandian (“Autograph”) serving as showrunner; and “The Madras Murder,” set against the backdrop of the Tamil film industry in the 1950s and 1960s, with A.L. Vijay (“Kireedam”) as showrunner.
The streamer’s push into the Telugu language continues with a raft of commissions. These include detective show “Brinda,” starring Trisha Krishnan (“Ponniyin Selvan: 1”), directed by debutant Surya Manoj Vangala; and “Kanyasulkam,” a period piece on social issues based on a landmark 1892 play, with Krish Jagarlamudi (“Kanche”) as showrunner and Sesha Sindhu Rao (“Choosi Choodangane”) directing.
The Telugu-language slate also includes Young Adult show “Degree Days” directed by Anurag and Sharath from YouTube channel Chai Bisket; tech-set corporate drama “Bench,” from the showrunner-director duo Manasa Sharma and Mahesh Uppala (“Oka Chinna Family Story”); and drama “Indraprastham” from showrunner-director Deva Katta, renowned for his hard-hitting dramas “Prasthanam” and “Republic.”
The Malayalam-language slate features slice-of-life satire “Jai Mahendran” from showrunner Rahul Riji Nair (“Kho Kho”); and thriller “Blindfold” from showrunner-directors Anzarulla (“Vishuddha Arappiyude Onnam Athbhutha Pravarthi”) and Harshad (“Unda”).
SonyLIV also has Marathi-language coming-of-age series “Lampan” from showrunner-director Nipun Dharmadhikari (“Me Vasantrao”) in the works, alongside season 2 of “Shantit-Kranti” from Sarang Sathye and Paula McGlynn, which is also in the coming-of-age genre.
The Hindi-language shows include musical “Chamak” from Rohit Jugraj (“Arjun Patiala”); “Garmi” from Tigmanshu Dhulia (“Paan Singh Tomar”), set in the world of university campus politics; and “Jengaburu,” about mining scams, from Nila Madhab Panda (“Yesterday’s Past”).
The previously announced “Scam 3” by Hansal Mehta, “Freedom at Midnight” by Nikkhil Advani, “Charlie Chopra and the Murder at the Solang Valley by Vishal Bhardwaj, “Jazz City” by Rahul Dholakia and “Children of Freedom” by Sudhir Mishra are in the works. So too are season 3 of Subhash Kapoor’s “Maharani” and season 4 of TVF’s “Gullak.” Season 2 of hit show “Rocket Boys” is streaming now.
There are plans for a Bengali-language slate as well.
“Half our programming is going to be in Hindi and the rest in all the other languages,” Mukherjee said. “Possibly, as we go forward, it will be 40:60. We are actually over over-indexing on the regional languages. We are trying to have those slates up and running so that the pressures from the Hindi language ease off, and we don’t need to do as many.”
“We are now looking at broadening our scope for programming. We will do what we call cerebral content, but we also want to do a lot of shows which are catering to younger audiences and we want to include shows specifically for women audiences,” Mukherjee added. “We want to tell very deeply-rooted Indian stories, which is why you see that we are sticking to original Indian stories – our histories, our cultures, our traditions, our languages.”
Mukherjee also points to the success of localized versions of global formats including “MasterChef,” “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (the Indian adaptation of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”) and “Shark Tank.” In the unscripted space, there are plans for documentaries and docu-series. “That’s the next corridor we’re going to walk,” Mukherjee said.
Post source: variety