Comedy Central now in India

Mumbai: Now, TV audiences in India would be able to watch nternational shows "South Park", "Saturday Night Live", "Seinfeld" and many more as American channel Comedy Central will finally be available. Going on air Jan 23, it will be country’s first 24-hour channel dedicated to English language comedies.

Before India, Comedy Central has been available with localized channels in Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Swedan, Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, Israel and Spain.

Viacom 18, a joint venture between Viacom and India’s Network 18 group, has been instrumental in bringing it here.

"India has never been more ready for dedicated English comedy offerings. We are delighted to add Comedy Central, the world’s biggest comedy channel, to our existing portfolio of Viacom 18 brands," said Ferzad Palia, senior vice president and general manager of English Entertainment, Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd.

The channel will have mix of all geners — sitcoms, sketch comedy, British comedy, stand-ups and gigs.

Some of the award-winnings shows to be aired are "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", "South Park", "Saturday Night Live", "30 Rock", "The Office", "Seinfeld", "The Wonder Years" and "That 70s Show".

Palia is confident audience will not only understand real comedy, they will appreciate the shows as well.

"Today, some of the best performing zoners in English entertainment is comedy and the format of this channel is world’s best comedy. So there is absolutely no reason why people will not like it. Secondly, life nowadays has become very stressful, so people don’t prefer to watch serous drama after returning home. People just want light-hearted entertainment whether it’s movies, TV or anything and we are confident that we will serve the purpose," he told IANS.

The channel will target the 15-50 age-group.

"For me, the ideal definition of comedy is funny but the world has changed and so has the definition of comedy. From slapstick comedy, to simple funny lines, comedy today is definitely not dumb," Palia said.

"There will be programmes for 15-year-olds and for 50-year-olds. We are also slotting time for different age-groups. Late night, early mornings and mid-evenings are for the youth and rest for mature audiences," he added.

Viacom 18 operates several channels in India including MTV, VH1, Nick, Colors, CNN-IBN and CNBC TV18.