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ATF: BBC America’s ‘Orphan Black’ Remade for Japan

Hit drama series, “Orphan Black” has been the subject of a format deal, which sees the show remade in Japan. It will be the first iteration of the show since the BBC America version.

The Japanese version “Orphan Black – 7 Genes” is produced by Telepack for free to air broadcaster Tokai TV. Starring, South Korean actress and singer Kang Ji-Young as Sara Aoyama, it will premiere on Fuji Television this coming weekend (Dec. 2).

The original “Orphan Black” series was produced by Temple Street, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, in association with BBC America and Space. It was co-created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, with Manson also serving as writer and Fawcett as director.

Licensing and the format rights are handled by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The Japanese version was announced at the Asia TV Forum in Singapore.

“7 Genes” tells the story of how Sara Aoyama, a broke and desperate single mother who wishes to live with her daughter Moe in peace, witnesses the shocking suicide of a woman who looks just like her. When she decides to steal the woman’s identity to run away from her problems, she is a genetically identical clone.

“This is a truly challenging project from the casting of the lead actress to getting the cinematography and post-production right. The original BBC America ‘Orphan Black’ drama has been well received by audiences worldwide, there is pressure to do the series justice, but there is also an excitement in producing a Japanese version of a global hit, ” said Keisuke Matsumoto, producer at Tokai TV.

“’Orphan Black’ has won multiple awards and has been seen in over 170 territories around the world. We are confident that the series will resonate with audiences in Japan, South Korea, and the rest of Asia where (Kang) is well-known,” said Soojin Chung, GM of BBC Worldwide in North East Asia.

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