Television Business International

Netflix orders first Korean original

Scripted-logo-460_2Global SVOD service Netflix has commissioned its first original from South Korea, a twelve-part series based on a popular web cartoon strip.

Love Alarm is based on graphic novelist Kye Young Chon’s romantic webtoon tales, and has new production company Hidden Sequence attached to produce.

A Korean original has been a Netflix priority for some time, and the streaming service has already invested in Korean film Okja and is reversioning first reality series Ultimate Beastmaster for the local market.

Former CJ Entertainment & Media exec Jaemoon Lee, who founded Hidden Sequence, will helm the project. He has previously worked on Korean drama series such as Signal and An Imcomplete Life.

Love Alarm will revolve around an unknown developer who creates an app that tells the user if anyone within a 10-metre radius is romantically interested, which massively disrupts society.

“We want Love Alarm, the TV series, to exhibit the liveliness and expression of emotions, with visual treatments that will reflect Ms. Chon’s vision when she created the story,” said Lee.

“It is an honor for Netflix to collaborate with a great storyteller like Ms Chon and a visionary producer like Mr. Lee for our very first Korean original production,” said Netflix’s VP, international originals, Erik Barmack. “Working together, we look forward to transforming this wildly imaginative story into a top-quality drama series for over 86 million Netflix members around the world.”

The series will debut on Netflix in 2018 in more than 190 territories.

In related news, Netflix will attempt to recreate the hype surrounding true crime series Making a Murderer by has acquiring rights to Kitty Green’s upcoming Casting JonBenet. The doc is another exploration of the unexplained disappearance of six-year-old American beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996.

“Kitty boldly embraces the tradition of innovative risk-taking within the documentary filmmaking mode with her remarkable work on Casting JonBenet,” said Netflix’s VP of original documentary programming, Lisa Nishimura. “Netflix is the ideal home for showcasing Kitty’s sharply-rendered vision of a mythic American tragedy to a global audience, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the crime.”