The trend of Hollywood films releasing in India before they hit theatres internationally has become commonplace. But in what is being considered a first, the ABC TV production, Missing, will have its world television premiere in India on March 11 on Star World, four days before it officially launches in the US.
“There is a huge demand for international shows amongst a large number of English-speaking people in India and the audience today is very aware and wants to watch American shows at the same time that they air abroad. That’s the feedback we have,” says Saurabh Yagnik, general manager and senior VP, channels, Star India.
Another property owned by the channel called Torrentz also caters to this demand, and was launched as an effort to combat online piracy. “We conduct simulcast of big shows as part of Torrentz,” he says.
Missing, which will premiere at 9 pm on Sunday, toplines Hollywood actor Ashley Judd, who is making her comeback on the tube after a hiatus of over a decade. As Rebecca Winstone, she plays the part of a retired CIA agent in search of her missing son. The actor’s last outing on television was in 1998 for the series, Adventures from the Books of Virtues.
When asked whether this move by the channel cements India’s position as a growing consumer of English content, Yagnik adds, “This has never been done before. So yes, it is a benchmark symbolising the trend, and the habit of the way television content is consumed in India.”