K-Content News

K-drama production houses join US TV series projects
  • June 04, 2021

K-drama production houses
join US TV series projects

Updated : 2021-06-04 09:28

By Lee Gyu-lee

With the growing popularity of K-drama, especially with global streaming services like Netflix making series available worldwide, Korean production companies are making their way into the U.S. TV market by teaming up with U.S. production houses.

Local production company Studio Dragon, a subsidiary of CJ ENM, revealed that it has inked a deal with the U.S. production company, Skydance Television, to co-produce the mystery fantasy series, "The Big Door Prize." It will be an original series for Apple TV+.

The 10-part series, based on M.O. Walsh's bestselling novel of the same name, will be penned by Emmy-winning writer and producer, David West Read, who was the writer and executive producer of the popular sitcom, "Schitt's Creek."

The story will follow the residents of a small town, who discover a magical, destiny-predicting machine in their grocery store.

Miky Lee and Hyun Park of CJ ENM and Studio Dragon, along with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Bill Bost of Skydance Television, will be the showrunner and executive producer of the series, respectively.

"Ever since we founded Korea's first drama series production studio in 2016, Studio Dragon has been challenging itself to compete in the global media market, especially to set foot in the world-leading U.S. market," Kang Chul-ku, CEO of Studio Dragon, said in a statement. "Through 'The Big Door Prize,' we will participate in a global production process and develop into a global studio, setting the stage for talented content creators in Korea.

Studio Dragon, which has a track record for making hit series like "Crash Landing on You," "Mr. Sunshine," and "Sweet Home," along with Oscar-winning movie "Parasite," established a co-production partnership with Skydance late last year. The two production houses have also picked up one of Studio Dragon's hit dramas, "Hotel del Luna," for a U.S. remake.

Meanwhile, JTBC Studios has become the majority owner of the Los Angeles-based production company Wiip, the producer behind the HBO series, "Mare of Easttown," and the Apple TV+ series, "Dickinson."

The Korean production company announced that it has acquired the majority stake in Wiip, Monday, from the American entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which will still remain as a minority shareholder.

The deal will open the door for the Korean production house to enter the U.S. TV market.

"The U.S. market is the heartland of content production and its business. We believe that this partnership will be a significant opportunity for JTBC Studios to make our first step into this dynamic market, for which we have yearned for a long time," said Kim Si-kyoo, CEO of JTBC Studios. "We hope that this partnership between the outstanding creative talent at JTBC Studios and Wiip will bring about an unprecedented outcome."

JTBC Studios, a subsidiary of the media company Jcontentree, has made the majority of JTBC series, including the popular series, "The World of the Married," a remake of the BBC series, "Doctor Foster," as well as "Itaewon Class" and "Sky Castle."

Wiip was founded by Paul Lee, the former head of ABC Entertainment and founder of BBC America, and Matteo Perale, the former head of strategy and corporate development of the CAA in 2018. It has produced dramas for various platforms and networks, including BBC, FX and Amazon Studios.