Bollywood star Anil Kapoor's production house has signed a Rs 100-crore deal with Twentieth Century Fox to make a Hindi version of 24, the Hollywood studio's most profitable television serial so far, complete with Indian cast and crew.
"This will be my first foray to Indian television and I look forward to duplicating the standard of excellence Fox has so successfully created," said Kapoor who will play the lead role in the 24-episode first season.
This is the first time America's longest-running espionage-themed television drama is being produced outside the US-a reflection of India's rapid rise as one of the most lucrative entertainment markets in the world. Major Hollywood studios have started investing in film production in the country.
Also, to make their English films more appealing to the Indian audience, they are increasingly casting Bollywood stars in Hollywood productions. They have set sights on the television market too, which is expected to grow 14.5% a year to Rs 60,250 crore by 2015 from Rs 30,650 crore in 2010, according to PwC study India Entertainment and Media Outlook 2011.
24, an Emmy and Golden Globe winning action drama, is presented in real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of anti-terrorism agent Jack Bauer through 24 episodes of one hour each. The serial, which has had eight seasons since its debut in 2001, pioneered a split-screen, fastpaced format with complex interweaving storylines.
Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran and produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television in association with Teakwood Lane Productions, 24 completed its eighth season in May 2010. Now, Fox is looking for a "compelling script" for the next season.