IQIYI’s drama series “The Bad Kids” has landed a slot on Japanese pay-TV platform Wowow, a first for a contemporary, mainland Chinese show. It is expected to play out from early 2021.

Where many Chinese dramas run for between 40 and 80 episodes, “The Bad Kids” comprises 12 50-minute episodes, structred as a suspense series that tells the story of three youngsters in a small coastal town. They accidentally witness a murder and then become involved in blackmail plot. Its starry cast includes Qin Hao (“Crosscurrent,” “Legend of the Demon Cat”) and Wang Jingchun (“So Long My Son,” “Shadow,” “Black Coal, Thin Ice”).

The series is presented by iQIYI and co-produced by Eternity Pictures, with Han Sanping, former head of China Film Group, as the lead producer. It was directed by Xin Shuang.

“The Bad Kids” played on iQIYI from June under its Mist Theater label and has earned a strong critical reception. On Chinese entertainment review site Douban, it attracted some 800,000 reviews, with an average score of 9.2 out of ten. It has two nominations in The Actors of China awards; for Qin, and for actress Liu Lin. In recent days it picked up a further five nominations in the Asia Contents Awards, being held for the second time as part of the Busan International Film Festival.

“It’s a great honor to cooperate with iQIYI. ‘The Bad Kids’ has received rave reviews since its release in China, and we are looking forward to receiving the same response among the Japanese audience,” said a Wowow representative in a prepared statement.

The other four series under Mist Theater label have also secured some overseas releases. Three, “Kidnapping Game,” “Sisyphus” and “The Long Night” have all been licensed to Singapore’s Singtel TV. The titles also play on the iQIYI HD Channel, part of Astro, the Malaysian pay-TV group with which iQIYI has a partnership agreement.

IQIYI reports that some of other shows have been licensed to unspecified broadcaster sin South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau.