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‘Dramaworld’ Deal Sees Propagate Board Breakout U.S.-South Korean Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Propagate has landed the rights to “Dramaworld,” the award-winning scripted series set in L.A. and Seoul. The first season of the show scooped the Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year award at the Seoul International Drama Awards, and Netflix acquired the streaming rights.

A second, 10-episode season is in production. Propagate, which is run by Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens and backed by A+E, will sell both seasons of “Dramaworld” outside of SVOD after striking an agreement with its producer, Third Culture Content.

Cyrus Farrokh, president of international at Propagate, did the deal. “Ben was one of the first television executives to successfully format an international property for the U.S. market, with mega-hits like ‘The Office,’ ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘Jane the Virgin,’” he said. “Bringing international stories to the U.S. and global market is part of our DNA, and we think that the unique concept and story of ‘Dramaworld’ will appeal to viewers worldwide.”

The romcom-adventure series was created by Josh Billig and Chris Martin. It follows a 20-year-old American woman who gets sucked into her favorite South Korean drama through her smartphone. It was originally made as an original for Rakuten-owned OTT service Viki, which brings Asian-themed content to international audiences.

The first season’s 10 episodes ranged in length from nine to 17 minutes, but Season 2 is expected to fit a more regular half-hour format.

Liv Hewson, Sean Dulake, and Justin Chon star, and well-known figures from the worlds of K-pop and K-drama regularly appear in the series. Martin, George Lee, Marcus Englefield, and Alex Cotraviwat are executive producers for Third Culture Content, as is Dulake in his capacity as president of Third Culture Content.

“‘Dramaworld’ is a series that organically blends East and West cultures together, and Propagate understands its potential,” he said. “By partnering with such experienced veterans in the industry as Ben and Howard, we look forward to building out ‘Dramaworld’ into the international franchise it deserves to be.”

It’s been a big news week for Propagate, which has a track record of sourcing buzzy international shows and breaking them into new markets. The company has pacted with Vivendi to work up a local version of iconic French puppet comedy “Les Guignols.”

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