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Big-time binging plans on Netflix

With an array of original content, Netflix can expect a massive boost in its Indian subscriber figures. Here are five upcoming Netflix India original series that are sure to have you hooked!

Big-time binging plans on Netflix

Over the top or OTT platforms are quite clearly the future of household entertainment. In India, millennials, as well as generations preceding them, are opting for OTT services over digital cable and satellite television. Not only are OTT platforms – such as Netflix, ALT Balaji, Amazon Prime Video, Voot among others –cheaper than conventional cable, they also boast of content and genre exclusivity. Unlike conventional cable, OTT subscribers are not bombarded with a barrage of channels and services, an overwhelming majority of which they never asked for or needed!

Though internet streaming services were underway in America in the mid-nineties, it was the California-based DVD rental service Netflix that grew into a streaming service in 2007 and soon pioneered the field. In India, however, Netflix is yet to gain a stronghold. With just over two million subscribers, Netflix is easily overtaken by the likes of Hotstar (75 million) and Amazon (11 million) (as of late 2017). However, with an array of original content all set to break the internet, Netflix can expect a massive boost in its Indian subscriber figures. Here are five upcoming Netflix Indian original series that promise to have you hooked:

Selection Day: Adapted from the eponymous novel by Man Booker Prize-winning author Aravind Adiga, this series chronicles the lives of two budding cricketers, whose domineering father will stop at nothing less than his boys making the cut to the Mumbai Under-19 team. Published in 2016, Selection Day was received warmly and was shortlisted for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. With a cast that includes Rajesh Tailang, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ratna Pathak Shah and Akshay Oberoi, this original show will pull at the heartstrings of viewers as it premieres on December 28.

Baahubali, Before the Beginning: After the two Baahubali films, in 2015 and 2017, set Indian box offices on fire, filming is underway for this prequel series. Baahubali: Before the Beginning will depict the rise of queen Sivagami, the adoptive mother of Amarendra Baahubali – the protagonist of the Baahubali films. The series features Mrinal Thakur as Sivagami, and includes other notable actors such as Rahul Bose, Shriya Saran and Atul Kulkarni. Though the date for the show's premiere has not yet been announced, it is expected to hit the internet after mid-2019.

Midnight's Children: Very few books by Indian authors have captivated literature lovers over the world in the same vein as Salman Rushdie's Partition-era classic. Midnight's Children is Rushdie's most-acclaimed novel, having won the Man Booker Prize and James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981, as well as the best all-time Booker Prize Winners prize in 1993 and 2008. The book was adapted into a not-so-successful movie in 2012. But the upcoming series – with Vishal Bharadwaj as Executive Producer –may very well do justice to the book, which spans over a period of thirty years in India's history, beginning from Independence.

Bard of Blood: Based on the 2015 novel The Bard of Blood, the series will film the adventures of Kabir Anand, a former RAW agent and now college professor, who is called in by the spy agency again after his ex-boss is killed. The novel has been written by Bilal Siddiqui, who penned the gripping thriller at the young age of 20. The series will be produced by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment and star Emraan Hashmi, alongside Vineet Kumar Singh, Kirti Kulhari and Sobhita Dhulipala. Bard of Blood is set to premiere next year.

Sacred Games, Season 2: The first-ever Netflix original series in India, Sacred Games set the world on fire when its first season with eight episodes was released in July. Adapted from Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel of the same name, the series starts out as a cat-and-mouse chase of a Mumbai cop and a gangster, but evolves into a mission to save the entire city and its inhabitants from a larger, more devious plot. Led by stellar performances by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Neeraj Kabi and many others, the show was a runaway hit, having streamed across 191 countries with subtitles in over 20 languages. The second season, to be helmed by Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan, is expected to premiere in mid-2019.

Sridhar Venkatesh

Sridhar Venkatesh

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