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Youku Tudou unveils major original series push

Chinese on-demand service Youku Tudou is to launch more than 20 original series, including dramas, this year.

The shows are coming through the platform’s in-house production unit and be released throughout this year. The slate includes reality series, talk shows and dramas.

The first, internet reality series Searching Divas, launched earlier this month and took more than 10 million views in its first two days. It is based on Korean reality show Running Man, and sees contestants competing to win prizes and meet their favourite celebrities.

Other unscripted shows include discussion show Logical Thinking and financial-themed Macroview.

On the drama front, Youku Tudou is planning Tiny Times, which is based on a Chinese box office hit of the same name about modern-day China’s young, upwardly-mobile workforce.

It will premiere next month and will later have “possible syndication” on television screens.

Midnight Taxi, meanwhile, is billed as an “original drama series coproduced by the award-winning Japanese director of [TBS manga series] Shinya Shokudo”.

Youku Tudou, which was formed upon the merger of Chinese web platforms Youku and Tudou and is China’s largest VOD service, has created web series such as Hip Hop Quartets, Old Boys and On the Road since moving into originals in 2009.

“Our customised content in the emerging online entertainment industry is vitally important to Youku Tudou’s continued leadership in the Internet television space,” said Zhu Xiangyang, Youku Tudou’s chief content officer. “To create a multi-screen, entertainment ecosystem is one of our most important strategic initiatives.”