NENT Studios UK has struck a major two-season deal with India’s largest video streaming platform ZEE5 and producer Big Synergy Media Ltd. which will see a localised version of its scripted format ‘Black Widows’ created for Indian audiences.
Based on the Finnish drama of the same name, the ‘Black Widows’ deal includes the rights for the two original 12-hour series (24 episodes). The Indian version will be the eighth international remake following versions in Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, the Middle East, Mexico, Scandinavia and the Czech Republic.
‘Black Widows’ was created by Roope Lehtinen and Mikko Polla (now of Fire Monkey, then Moskito) for Finnish broadcaster Nelonen. Winner of three Finnish Venla Awards in 2014 and an International Gold Panda Award for best TV drama, it tells a darkly comic story of three best friends who try to kill their husbands. It doesn’t all quite go to plan; one of the men survives and looks set on revenge. The women’s friendship and mutual trust are then put to the test as their lives get ever more complicated, and they do what they can to stay alive.
‘Black Widows’ is due to premiere on ZEE5 this year. It will be produced by Namit Sharma and Big Synergy Media Ltd.
Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India says: “ZEE5 has seen exponential growth since launch on the back of great content and technology. With over 100 Original web series and films across genres and languages, our aim is to continue to offer consumers with content that is real, relevant and relatable. ‘Black Widows’ is an engaging story featuring strong female protagonists, plenty of suspense and a large dose of dark humour. We could immediately see its appeal for Indian audiences and found a credible partner in NENT Studios UK and Big Synergy Media Ltd. I am certain that this could prove to be a hugely popular, binge-worthy series when it launches later this year.”
Jess Khanom, SVP sales for APAC at NENT Studios UK, adds: “With its universally relatable themes, intrigue and focus on female relationships, ‘Black Widows’ is a contemporary scripted format that continually proves itself to be readily adaptable. ZEE5 and Big Synergy Media have exciting plans for this production, and we cannot wait to see how Indian viewers respond to a fresh new version, complete with local sensibilities and cultural references.”
This ‘Black Widows’ deal is the latest in a long line of recent scripted format deals from NENT Studios UK’s (formerly DRG) drama catalogue. In addition to the other ‘Black Widows’ remakes, ‘Doc Martin’ has been adapted in Germany, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic/Slovakia – with a spin-off, ‘Constable Topinka’, in the latter, while ‘Shameless’ has been remade in the US and Turkey. Norwegian dramas ‘Eyewitness’ and ‘Mammon’ have both been adapted internationally: the former in the US, Romania and France, with the latter in the Czech Republic. Finnish crime drama ‘Easy Living’ has been adapted in Hungary, and Australian title ‘Small Time Gangster’ has been remade in Romania.