Abi Morgan’s hit scripted series The Split, the UK drama from Chernobyl producer Sister, is to be remade in South Korea after distributor BBC Studios (BBCS) struck the show’s first format deal.
The Korean remake has been ordered by local broadcaster JTBC and is set to air in 2021. It will again follow the story of a family of high-powered female divorce lawyers through the lens of three sisters, who are navigating their own complex relationships.
The UK original has been a hit for BBCS, which has sold the finished tape into 119 territories since it launched on BBC One in 2018. The show, whose second season debuts today in the UK, was also a major hit for the UK public broadcaster, with its first run becoming one of the broadcaster’s top three most-watched dramas of the year.
Geo Lee, SVP and general manager for BBCS in North East Asia, said: “British audiences really connected with the interwoven stories at the heart of The Split and I’m delighted that, together with JTBC, we can bring Abi Morgan’s powerful and provocative scrips to a whole new audience.”
The pick-up is the latest deal struck between BBCS and JTBC, which previously partnered on a Korean remake of UK relationship drama Doctor Foster. That remake is set to debut next month and joins other scripted adaptations in Asia, with Luther being sold into Korea and India.
Peter Moffat’s Criminal Justice has also been extended into a second season in India, TBI understands, after the original was adapted by Shridhar Raghavan for local streamer Hotstar.
Andre Renaud, SVP global format sales, told TBI here at Showcase that scripted formats had surged in popularity over the past year.
“Scripted formats have really been picking up for us, particularly in Asia. We only took The Split out as a format last year and we’ve already had that commission come through, which comes down to the fact that the show is just really good storytelling.
“Luther and Doctor Foster are doing really well too. Last year, we were the number one scripted format distributor in Asia by commissions, which I’m super grateful for, but it was also an interesting statistic for us because it was something we had really pushed.”
BBCS is now looking to further its scripted format sales, Renaud said, adding that the company’s line-up of shows – offering strong female protagonists, crime and “authentic” storytelling – were driving interest.