How desi spin-offs of foreign soaps fared on Indian television

Aug 25, 2015, 13:35 IST | Ria Lawrence

With the Indian adaptation of American sitcom 'Everybody Loves Raymond' all set to premiere, we evaluate how local spin-offs of international shows have fared...

There has been a significant rise in the number of TV programmes beaming in India which have either been completely adapted from Western shows or taken a bit of inspiration from them. Adding to this long list is 'Sumit Sambhal Lega', the Hindi version of the popular American sitcom, 'Everybody Loves Raymond'. The channel, which has bagged the rights to the adaptation, has even managed to rope in one of the original writers of the series, Steve Skrovan.

Everybody Loves Raymond
The quirky star-cast of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', which aired between 1996 and 2005'; (right) a snapshot of the central characters of 'Sumit Sambhal Lega' in which Namit Das (centre, standing) will play the titular role. The show will mark former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev's television debut

The story goes like this: Flippant and whiny Sumit doesn't take life very seriously and finds amusement in the mundane, a la classic Raymond. As the Indian audience awaits this promising series to premiere, hitlist takes a look at other Indian adaptations and how they fared on our entertainment meter...

'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa'
Adapted from: 'Strictly Come Dancing' (2004 onwards)
Rating: 8/10
Report Card: The British dance-based reality show saw an American spin-off titled 'Dancing With The Stars' in 2005 and a year later, dance enthusiasts closer home got their dose of entertainment in the form of 'Jhalak...' It has all the elements that makes a reality show stick — stars, money and competition.

Strictly Come Dancing and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa
'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa'

What it lacks, though, is the veracity and grit of the original show. The on-stage histrionics tend to overshadow what should otherwise be a show laced with talent and fights. However, it has managed to bring to the fore some gifted choreographers.

Adapted from: '24' (2001-2010 and 2014)
Rating: 9/10
Report Card: Anil Kapoor, who played an Islamic leader in the eighth season of the American espionage drama, bought the rights to it and featured in the main role - Anti-Terrorist Unit chief Jai Singh.


Just like the original series, the adapted show employed real-time narration covering 24 hours in Singh's life and was packed with thrill. So successful was its run in 2013 that the audience clamoured for a re-run. A season two is in the offing.

'The Voice India'
Adapted from: 'The Voice of Holland' (2011 onwards)
Rating: 7/10
Report Card: The recently-launched Indian version of the hugely successful singing reality show that has been adapted by many countries in their local languages has Sunidhi Chauhan, Himesh Reshammiya, Mika Singh and Shaan on the hunt for budding musicians.

The Voice of Holland and The Voice India
'The Voice of Holland' and 'The Voice India'

Once discovered, the contestants are trained under the respective judges. While not as enormously popular as The Voice USA as yet, the show seems to be quite on the right track when it comes to nurturing raw musical talent.

'India's Next Top Model'
Adapted from: 'America's Next Top Model' (2003 onwards)
Rating: 6/10
Report Card: The licenced local version of a supermodel hunt originally designed by Tyra Banks has a bunch of stunning youngsters competing for the title of 'India's Next Top Model'.

America's Next Top Model and India’s Next Top Model
'America's Next Top Model' and 'India's Next Top Model'

Hosted and judged by Lisa Haydon along with Daboo Ratnani and mentored by Anusha Dandekar, the first few episodes of the show have generated a lot of buzz. Considering the size of the shoes that need to be filled, it sure is challenging. The show, so far, has done pretty well.

Blast from the past
'Hello friends'
Adapted from: 'FRIENDS' (1994-2004)
Rating: 3/10
Report Card: Many are the whims of man, but remaking a legend like 'FRIENDS' has to be among the top few. A short-lived TV series by the name of Hello Friends, starring names like Nikhil Chinapa, Simone Singh, Cyrus Broacha, Maria Goretti, Mandira Bedi and Anil Dambri, hit our screens over a decade and a half ago.


However, since it takes a lot to capture the essence of what the original TV show was all about, the Indian depiction fizzled out after just 26 episodes.

'Ek Hasina Thi'
Adapted from: 'Revenge' (2011-2015)
Rating: 6/10
Report Card: The American soap opera was all about edge-of-the-seat thrills, but did the desi version make the cut? Quite a bit.

Revenge and Ek Hasina Thi
'Revenge' and 'Ek Hasina Thi'

The show became moderately popular and Simone Singh's performance was much appreciated. However, the show, which ran for eight months, lacked the tinge of thrill and drama of the original series.

Akash Sharma, co-founder and executive producer, Bulldog Media & Entertainment
Adapted shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Indian Idol have been running for several seasons while new ones like The Voice India, India's Next Top Model have had a successful start due to the anticipating audience. These shows are moulded on the basis of the Indian viewers' preferences while retaining the original format with an aim to intrigue new viewers alongside existing fans of their international counterparts

Saurabh Yagnik, executive vice president and business head, Sony PIX and AXN
The same format being available for consumption in the original English language and local languages are synergistic and help the overall promotion of the format and show across the entire diaspora of audiences. Shows on our channel like The Voice, 24, Fear Factor, etc. have all been adapted into Hindi and continue to do exceedingly well in both genres

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