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Netflix commissions first original animated series in India based on Chhota Bheem

Netflix has commissioned its first original animated series in India, reports Variety. Green Gold Animation, the studio that is behind the popular animated series Chhota Bheem, has been tasked with developing a 13-episode series based on the titular character called ‘Mighty Little Bheem’. Apparently, this will be a non-dialogue series, i.e., it will rely solely on visual storytelling, and will be targeted at pre-school children. The series is expected to be released in August 2018, and the series will have a budget of about $3-4 million.

The company also announced a pre-school children focused series for South Korea called ‘Yoohoo and Friends’.

Netflix’s director of kids and family content, Andy Teatman told the publication that the platform has seen a 61% increase in viewership of content in the kids and family section in recent months, and that more than 50% of its 104 subscribers have viewed kids and family content.

Netflix, which has already released India-specific stand-up specials by Vir Das and Aditi Mittal, is also working on original content for adult viewers. It has announced three Netflix original series from India – Sacred Games (based on Vikram Chandra’s novel, with Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane slated to direct some episodes), Selection Day (based on Arvind Adiga’s novel) and Again (a supernatural detective series written by Marisha Mukerjee, who is also a writer on Quantico).

It’s worth noting that Netflix’s VP-International Originals, Erik Barmack told ET that over the next six months the company will be commissioning another 4-5 original shows from India.

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In comparison, Amazon Prime Video has already released three original India-specific web series – Inside EdgeGoing Viral and Laakhon Mein Ek. It also released stand-up specials by 14 Indian stand-up comedians. While, Reliance Jio recently signed a multi-year deal with Roy Kapur Films (RKF) to curate, commission, develop and produce original digital video content for Jio’s streaming platform. The deal will include “finite and continuing series, long form and short form content across genres, and over time, ‘First on Jio’ feature films.”

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