A+E Networks Korea launches the first Korean premium scripted drama ‘Backstreet Rookie’ with worldwide premiere set on 19 June
Backstreet Rookie, A+E Networks Korea’s first foray into premium scripted drama, will premiere simultaneously around the world. A+E Networks® International holds worldwide distribution rights, signing on to the show as its first investor in 2019 which paved the way for its development and production. It has now signed global SVOD partners for a worldwide premiere.
Starting June 19, the series will air as a Friday-Saturday drama on SBS in Korea, followed by Lifetime Korea. In addition, A+E Networks® International has signed its longstanding content partner U-NEXT for a simultaneous SVOD launch of the series in Japan. iQIYI, the worldwide partner for the drama excluding Japan, will air Backstreet Rookie simultaneously with the Korean window around the globe, excluding China.
Based on the hit webtoon, Backstreet Rookie is a Korean property produced locally. It boasts internationally recognized A-list talent on both sides of the camera, designed to appeal to a wide global demographic. Changwook Ji stars as Dae-hyun Choi, a 30-something store owner, and Yoojung Kim is college co-ed Saetbyul, who Dae-hyun hires as a part-time employee against his better judgment. Directed by former SBS director Myoungwoo Lee, it is highly anticipated that Lee will hit another ratings homerun in the follow-up to the success of The Fiery Priest in 2019. It is also a happy reunion for Yoojung Kim with Lifetime Korea. She was the brand ambassador for its launch in 2017 and starred in the hit Lifetime digital original Half Holiday in 2019.
Since launching in South Korea in 2017, A+E Networks has made strategic investments in the Korean content market and produced original content across linear and digital. The move into premium scripted marks the realization of A+E’s objective to create and aggregate premium Korean content across all genres for representation worldwide. For Backstreet Rookie it joined hands with Taewon Entertainment, a pioneer in the Korean content market across Film and TV.
Saugato Banerjee, Managing Director, Asia, A+E Networks, said, “A+E Networks Asia is charting a new course in its journey to find, nurture, develop, and produce scripted content in Asia with premium, local A-list talent in front of and behind the camera. The much-awaited premiere of Backstreet Rookie demonstrates the breadth of our content creation ambitions.”
Youngsun Soh, General Manager, A+E Networks Korea, said, “This is a proud moment for A+E Networks Korea. In a short span of time, we have brought together the spirit of a global media company and a local Korean enterprise to create a 360 media organization. We now cover content investments in premium scripted, linear unscripted, and digital originals, with a multimedia audience footprint in Korea and the international marketplace. We hope that the audience will appreciate the hard work that has gone into adapting Backstreet Rookie from its webtoon origins and the onscreen chemistry of the series’ stars.”
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