The hit US show Homeland finds its way to India, albeit with a desi version. The remake, produced and directed by Nikhil Advani, is expected to be modified to suit the taste of Indian audiences.
But the desi version will be closer to Hatufim (see box), the original Israeli show, in that the Claire Danes character in Homeland — the bipolar Carrie Matthison — may not exist!
So, while Sgt Nicholas Brody will be played by Arjun Mathur, Purab Kohli plays Corporal Tom Walker (both marines in Homeland). A point worth being considered is this: Hatufim shows POWs returning from capture in Lebanon, the US marines were POWs captured in Afghanistan while the Indian version will have Indian soldiers returning from the Kargil War after being held captive by the ISI. What remains the same is this: The difficulty the POWs face in readjusting to the new life after returning, as one of them discovers that his wife has moved on with his brother. Meanwhile, RAW agent (Manish Choudhary) tails them, with the suspicion that they’ve aligned with the ISI.
Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin (Yo Soy La Betty Fea) and Jeannie Aur Juju (I Dream Of Jeannie) remain the only two successful Indian remakes. And that was decades ago. And both these shows weren’t watched by audiences here.
Homeland is a show that most English-speaking audiences have watched. It’s not the kind of show that works here. Desi audiences prefer family soaps, comedies or mythological shows.
Anil Kapoor’s 24 found takers in the metro cities and the only reason for that is a A-list actor is main ling that show. And the fact that it is perhaps the only show that caters to the male audience. Even though the TRP of the show were not impressive, the channel will air season 2 and that’s more to do with keeping up a show with a huge star than a statement on the popularity of the show.
The Indian adaptation of Everybody Loves Raymond, Sumeet Sambhal Lega was shut down because the audiences never really connected with it. A second season was announced, but a reliable source says it’s unlikely the show will return.
The rights to Prison Break was bought by a leading channel a couple of years ago, but the Hindi version hasn’t kicked off as yet and it doesn’t look like it will take off anytime soon. An unofficial version of Game Of Thrones called Rani Mahal and starring Sakshi Tanwar was in the works, but it has been stalled. The rights to Criminal Minds have been bought by an indian channel, but there are no immediate plans of adapting the show yet.
A source explains. “There is a fierce competition between channels to buy the rights of a hit show, first. Since they do not want lose out on it, the channels buy the rights even if they have no plans of making the Indian version in the near future,” feels the source.