21st Century Fox’s Hong Kong-based pay-TV group Fox Intl. Channels is to back “Guilty As Sin,” an Asian mini-series that will begin production later this year.
Budgets on the 6-8 episode series, which will tell a contemporary Hong Kong-set story, are expected to be around US$1 million per episode.
Production is led by former Warner Bros. executive Mia Hsia.
Later in the year FIC expects to green light another, untitled “Asian scale” series, about an Asian-American sniper. It will likely be shot in English and destined for a regional or global audience.
The move into original content production by pay-TV groups is a well-established trend in North America and Europe, but is relatively new in Asia.
The FIC initiative is spearheaded by Cora Yim, senior VP of content and head of its Chinese-language entertainment. The series will air first on FIC’s Star Chinese Movies Channel.
“We have been a broadcaster and aggregator for 20 years now. Making our own content is both a move to support the industry here and something that creates original, unique content for our channels,” Yim told Variety. “Working with Mia Hsia and her team, we have been in development for 18 months now. Development of both series is also being helped by Fox’s production teams in Los Angeles.”
Yim and FIC have previously backed a handful of feature films including Singaporean director Jack Neo’s “Ah Boys To Men: Frogmen” and the currently-on-release Hong Kong-made erotic drama “Sara.”
“Sara” was produced in a partnership with Emperor Motion Pictures, under FIC’s ‘Go Local’ initiative.
Yim says that she expects to bring other partners onto the series, and to announce a director, in the next months.