Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Produced ‘Rana Naidu’ a Streaming Hit for Netflix India

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment may have received the silent treatment from Netflix regarding selling its disc rental business to the Redbox corporate parent, but the streamer is embracing CSSE’s original content production in India.

CSSE’s production subsidiary in India, Locomotive Global, April 20 announced that its series “Rana Naidu” has received a greenlight from Netflix India for a second season. The first season proved popular, becoming India’s No. 1 streamed series shortly after launching — and trended on Netflix’s global top 10 for non-English language TV programming two weeks after its debut.

The show attracted 24 million hours viewed on Netflix across 11 countries over two weeks, to rank No. 4 on Netflix’s chart for the week ended March 19, according to Netflix.

“The market for original content in India has rapidly grown over the past several years, especially as streaming services like Netflix are heavily investing in scaling their services,” Sunder Aaron, managing partner of Locomotive Global, said in a statement. “We’re delighted our series … has received a second season green light … and to see how massive a hit it has become.”

Locomotive Global also recently signed license deals with All3Media to bring the unscripted series “Undercover Boss” to India; partnered with Applause Entertainment (India) and Case Closed Entertainment to create an episodic procedural series for India; and acquired the rights to the British series “I’ve Created a Monster” to produce an Indian adaptation.

Locomotive Global is also creating a drama series set in the early years of cable television in India, and has partnered with Endemol Shine India to develop an original Indo-Western thriller set in the foothills of the Himalayas, among other projects.

Netflix Announces Newest Original Movie From India — ‘Plan A Plan B’

Netflix Aug. 16 announced its latest original movie production, Plan A Plan B, a quirky coming-of-age romance featuring unusual characters pitted against each other.

“It’s a refreshing take on what love entails, tapping into many different emotions,” director Shashanka Ghosh said in a statement.

Starring Riteish Deshmukh, Tamannaah Bhatia, Poonam Dhillon and Kusha Kapila, the movie is about a matchmaker (Bhatia) who believes marriage is for everyone, except herself. He (Deshmukh) is a successful divorce lawyer with a secret. What happens when they cross paths? Can opposites coexist, let alone attract?

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“We are thrilled to announce our romantic comedy, and to bring this entertaining film to our members in India and around the world,” said Pratiksha Rao, director of films and licensing at Netflix India.

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Netflix Wins Legal Battle to Stream Limited Series on ‘Bad Boy’ Indian Billionaires

Netflix India has won a legal battle to begin streaming the limited series “Bad Boy Billionaires: India,” a program depicting separate Indian tycoons convicted on charges of corruption and fraud.

An Indian court ruled that episodes in the series involving beer tycoon Vijay Mallya, jeweler Nirav Modi and financier Subrata Roy could stream. A separate episode involving software tycoon B. Ramalinga Raju, who confessed to inflating the assets of his firm by about $1 billion in 2009, remains sidelined by litigation.

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In a statement to Bloomberg News, Raju’s firm, Sahara India Pariwar, said the Netflix episode is “ill-motivated” and “contains various incorrect and misleading facts which depict only one-sided allegations.” The firm said it would file criminal charges against against Netflix, including the series’ producers, directors and reporters.

Netflix, along with Disney and other media companies, is looking to tap into the India’s massive population base — including more than 500 million consumers accustomed to accessing entertainment on mobile devices.

Despite India being world’s second most-populous country (1.35 billion people) after China, Netflix India has just 1.2 million subscribers, according to IHS Markit. That’s less than Disney-owned Disney+ Hotstar with 3 million subs and Amazon Prime Video’s 2.5 million subs.

Netflix Launches Hindi Interface

Netflix Aug. 9 launched its user interface in Hindi. The Netflix experience in Hindi, from sign up to search rows, collections and payment, is available across all devices on mobile, TV and Web.

Netflix members can switch to the Hindi user interface from the “Language” option in the “Manage Profiles” section on their desktop, TV or mobile browsers. On Netflix, members can set up to five profiles in each account, and each profile can have its own language setting. Netflix members outside India will also have the option to switch their user interface to Hindi.

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“Delivering a great Netflix experience is as important to us as creating great content. We believe the new user interface will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit members who prefer Hindi,” said Monika Shergill, VP of content for Netflix India.

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Netflix is investing heavily in Indian films and series across all genres and for all generations, including “Sacred Games,” “Bulbbul,” “Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai” and “Mighty Little Bheem.” The company recently announced a lineup of 17 stories, including “Ludo,” “A Suitable Boy” and “Mismatched” and the upcoming film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which will bow Aug. 12. Netflix members can also view stories from other parts of the world, such as “Stranger Things,” “Extraction, Narcos: Mexico,” The Protector, Klaus, “The Witcher” and “Old Guard” with Hindi dubs or subtitles.

Last year, Netflix introduced the mobile plan in India for Rs. 199 per month.