iQiyi International to produce first K-drama

Jang Ki-yong (left) and Lee Hye-ri (right) in K-drama My Roommate Is A Gumiho.
Jang Ki-yong (left) and Lee Hye-ri (right) in K-drama My Roommate Is A Gumiho. PHOTO: iQIYI

Chinese streaming giant iQiyi's global arm iQiyi International will produce a K-drama for the first time, it announced at the Asia TV Forum and Market (ATF) yesterday.

iQiyi International, which is headquartered in Singapore, will work with South Korean production house Studio Dragon and broadcaster JTBC to create the original Korean-language series My Roommate Is A Gumiho.

Based on a popular South Korean web comic called Living Together, the series will star Jang Ki-yong (Search: WWW, 2019) and Lee Hye-ri (Reply 1988, 2015). It is expected to air next year.

Jang, 28, stars as a mythical nine-tailed fox spirit, or gumiho, who has been trying to attain human form for 999 years.

But, just as he is on the verge of succeeding, a college student - played by Lee, 26 - accidentally disrupts his plans.

The romantic comedy about cohabitation will be directed by Nam Sung-woo (Kkondae Intern, 2020) and written by Baek Sun-woo and Choi Bo-rim, who adapted the 2018 romance series What's Wrong With Secretary Kim to much success.

Studio Dragon is behind some of the biggest K-drama hits in recent years, including Crash Landing On You, which finished its run earlier this year.

JTBC has ratings juggernauts in its history as well, such as this year's critically acclaimed infidelity drama The World Of The Married and last year's Sky Castle.

My Roommate Is A Gumiho is the only K-drama production that has been announced by iQiyi, which held the soft launch of its international site last year.

At ATF, which is held as part of the annual Singapore Media Festival and took place online this year, iQiyi also looked back at some of its well-received programmes.

These include mystery series The Bad Kids, starring Chinese actor Qin Hao, which won Best Creative Award at this year's Busan International Film Festival.

Its competition reality series Youth With You 2 was also a global sensation. Official clips of the show, such as performances of the contestants, totalled around 300 million views.

iQiyi International also signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with the Singapore Tourism Board to market Singapore as a destination in China and other key markets.

Meanwhile, home-grown broadcaster Mediacorp announced on Wednesday a distribution deal with Hangzhou-based digital service provider Wasu Group.

More than 1,000 hours of Mediacorp's Chinese-language content will be offered to 100 million subscribers across 100 cities in 29 provinces in China.

The three-year collaboration is Mediacorp's largest distribution of its catalogue in the Chinese market. Under the deal, Wasu audiences in China will get at least 100 hours of fresh Mediacorp titles and content annually.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2020, with the headline iQiyi International to produce first K-drama. Subscribe