×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Korean Drama Gets American Twist With Viki’s ‘Dramaworld’

As the Korean drama genre grows in popularity, it gets an American spin with the online debut of “Dramaworld,” a 2016 Viki original series, produced in the American/Korean/Chinese partnership with Jetavana Entertainment, EnterMedia Contents and Third Culture Content. The cast and creatives of the online series gathered at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the Sunday series premiere at Viki.com.

There will be ten episodes total, with two new episodes released online every Sunday.

Tammy Nam, CEO of Viki.com said, “We loved this idea because Viki is such a fan-driven site. The story is about a fan’s fantasy of stepping into a drama you love.” Nam also commented on the global appeal of Korean dramas: “There’s hundreds of millions of fans of Korean content. ‘Dramaworld’ will also be available on two partner streaming platforms, which I can’t talk about right now.”

“Dramaworld” co-executive producer and star Sean Dulake did an ad campaign for Viki in 2013 with Chris Martin and when that campaign went viral, Dulake and Martin realized there was a huge audience for Korean content.

“Viki has 40 million viewers a month and 80% of them aren’t Asian,” said Dulake. “Chris called me up with this idea and we knew we had to get it made. The concept of a superfan is a universal concept. Following this girl’s story is fun; she’s a fish out of water and it’s a romantic comedy.”

Set in Los Angeles and Seoul, the first-ever American-Korean mashup series “Dramaworld” is written by Josh Billig and Martin and directed and executive produced by Martin (not the Coldplay lead singer). Claire Duncan (Liv Hewson) is a 20-year-old college student who finds her real life boring. She’s fixated on her favorite Korean drama, “Taste of Love,” starring her favorite actor Joon Park (Dulake), who plays the hot chef and protagonist in the show.

Through a touch of the supernatural and a sprinkle of magic, Claire’s desire to shed her own boring life and live in the world of “Taste of Love” comes true when she is transported into her favorite drama and comes face-to-face with Joon Park. There, Claire also meets the mysterious waiter Seth Ko, who made his own journey into the drama years ago from the real world and mentors Claire on how to navigate the drama world.

Martin was a huge fan of Korean films like “Sympathy for the Vengeance” and moved to Seoul right after college to attend film school there because he was so enamored of the culture. He referred to “Descendants of the Sun,” a recent series that’s received billions of views online, as just one of the wildly popular dramas that contributed to his love of the genre. Martin admitted to being a superfan of the “Fargo” TV series, season two in particular. “Season two was a different level, they weren’t bound to anything anymore, they could play a little.”

The screening of the first three episodes of “Dramaworld” was followed by a short panel with the cast and creatives and a party on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel that took full advantage of the spectacular views of downtown L.A. Crew members from Korea flew in for the celebration as well as friends and family.

“Dramaworld” is just the first original series for Viki.com. Nam also talked about an upcoming original scripted project with Skybound Entertainment.

“It’s a co-production,” she said. “David Alpert [president of Skybound] said he believes ‘Five Year’ has the potential to be bigger than ‘The Walking Dead.’ It’s a Korean drama and it’s going to be produced in Korea, with a Korean cast and crew. It’s a very interesting collaboration. It should be ready in early 2017.”

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content