With little fanfare, Eros Now released its first Pakistani original series Enaaya over the weekend, starring popular Karachi-born star Mehwish Hayat (Na Maloom Afraad) in the eponymous lead role of a promising vocalist who joins a band at her university, “as they chart an uncertain path in the music world with hope and romance”. Written, directed and co-produced by Wajahat Rauf (Karachi se Lahore), the 12-episode musical drama Enaaya also stars Azfar Rehman (Teri Meri Kahani), Asad Siddiqui (Hari Hari Churiyaan), Faryal Mehmood (Laal Rang), Rabab Hashim (Ishq Na Kariyo Koi), and Waqar Godhra (Chain Aye Na). The first episode of Enaaya is available for free on YouTube, with the rest behind paywall on the subscription-based Eros Now.
Enaaya becomes the first international series for Eros Now — and its first long-form series in 2019 — on the back of several fiction and non-fiction efforts from India over the past few years. After experimenting with the celebrity reality series Salute Siachen — which saw the likes of Arjun Rampal, and Rannvijay Singh among others trek to the Siachen Glacier in the Himalayas — in early 2017, Eros Now released its first scripted effort in September last year, with the slapstick comedy Side Hero, starring Kunaal Roy Kapur (Delhi Belly) and Gauhar Khan (Ishaqzaade), and directed by Rohan Sippy (Nautanki Saala!). It followed up with crime drama Smoke in October, starring Jim Sarbh (Neerja), Kalki Koechlin (Margarita, with a Straw), and Mandira Bedi (Vodka Diaries).
In addition to the Swara Bhasker-starrer Flesh from Bang Bang! director Siddharth Anand that's currently in production, Eros Now reportedly has a bunch of upcoming original series slated for 2019, including a drama called Mrityulok from Zeishan Quadri (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Tamil series Ponnyin Selvin, based on Kalki Krishnamurthy's novel of the same name, from Manikarnika director Krish, both set for March; a survival thriller called Bhumi from Ragini MMS director Pawan Kriplani slated for April; a 50-year-cardiologist trying to become a rapper in Crisis from Kal Ho Naa Ho director Nikkhil Advani, to release in May; and Gangaajal director Prakash Jha's take on the Bhawal case in Sanyasi Raja set for June.
Last month, Eros Now also announced its expansion into short-form original content with Eros Now Quickies, which has seen the release of three series since: anthology Date Gone Wrong, prank show Paisa Fek Tamasha Dekh, and murder mystery The Investigation. Eros plans to release a total of 50 Quickies in 2019, which will span both fiction and non-fiction across genres such as comedy, docu-drama, slice-of-life, travel, and food among others.