Whoa! Saif Ali Khan to star in Netflix web series
As per reports, Bollywood's Chhote Nawab Saif Ali Khan has been roped in for a Netflix web series. Based on Scott Ellsworth's book called 'The Secret Game', the Indian adaptation of the same will see Saif don the role of coach McClendon. Reportedly, dates and money issues are being finalized but it's too early to comment, said a source.
Traditional television format has undergone a dramatic change in recent years, with more content creators moving online: a more interactive, less censored, and wider-reach platform. In 2016, Netflix and Amazon Prime forayed into India, which now boasts of several on-demand video services: Hotstar, Viacom 18's Voot and Balaji Telefilms' ALT Balaji. All India Bakchod and The Viral Fever are leading players in the industry.
AIB, founded by Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba, began with standup comedy and SoundCloud podcasts, but went viral on YouTube with its 2013 video "Rape-It's Your Fault". The group, which later expanded to include Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya, eventually made it to Forbes Richest Indian Celebrities of 2015 list. AIB has now moved to television, hosting "On Air with AIB" on Star Plus.
TVF founder Arunabh Kumar created the channel after MTV rejected his idea for a satirical show. TVF's USP is its web series, which are known for their fresh take on contemporary issues in a relatable style. Prominent members include Vipul Goyal, Amit Golani, Biswapati Sarkar and Nidhi Bisht. Kumar has been named in Fortune's Top 40 under 40, and ET's 40 under Forty, and other lists.
In Mar'17, however, multiple women have come forward on social-media, accusing Arunabh Kumar of sexual harassment. The accusations began after a former TVF employee first came out in an anonymous blog-post, detailing Arunabh's indecent and uncomfortable overtures. The incident has dented the company's image.
TVF has introduced a fresh set of actors. Permanent Roommate's Sumeet Vyas and Nidhi Singh, and Pitchers' Naveen Kasturia, Maanvi Gagroo and Jitendra Kumar, are now TVF regulars. Many had faced rejections before. Founder Arunabh played a lead role in Pitchers. Biswapati Sarkar is famous as 'Arnub'. The channel has also roped in veteran actors Atul Srivastava, Brijendra Kala and Gajraj Rao for 'F.A.T.H.E.R.S'.
Tanmay Bhat's mother Jaya is happy he hasn't let the fame get to his head. However, she complains he is a workaholic, "It gets so difficult to reach him sometimes." She also keeps asking him to "introduce us (the AIB members' mothers) to each other".
With as much focus on stories as on brand promotions, TVF and AIB made sponsorship lucrative for companies. AIB's 'Creep Qawwali' for TrulyMadly pushed app downloads up by 25% at 1/10th its expenditure on mass-media campaigns. Pitchers' Kingfisher connection and Tripling's Tiago sponsorship increased their visibilities. Brand integration is also one of their prime revenue sources, with charges upto Rs. 25L per video.