ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), through its global production studio VIS, is ramping up its studio’s output in the Asian region through a partnership with Seoul-based format production studio Something Special, launched by South Korean veteran formats producer Jin Woo Hwang.

VIS will have exclusive first-look rights to globally represent and co-develop up to ten of Something Special’s top unscripted and factual entertainment formats, which will cut across genres like music competition, food and cuisine, game shows and reality, targeting all demographics. The deal will draw from Something Special’s stable of talent featuring some of South Korea’s top unscripted format creatives, including the writers of hits such as Korea’s Got Talent1vs100 KoreaSociety GameThe CodeI Can See Your VoiceThe Voice Korea, Running Man, and Crime Scene. The investment in Korean talent underscores ViacomCBS’ interest in expanding its business in the market.

This partnership and foray into unscripted will enable ViacomCBS to diversify and strengthen its global footprint and content slate, as its global studio, VIS, continues to lead in the development and production of content for the ViacomCBS ecosystem, as well as third party buyers and partners. VIS will be seeking partners in Asia from within ViacomCBS’ networks as well as third-party platforms from the region and beyond to produce the selected formats.

“Korea is a key market for us as we continue to grow our studios ambition in Asia. We are extremely excited to be working with Korea’s top creative talent, and accelerating the growth of VIS Asia with these unscripted formats. This also paves the way for our streaming ambitions in the region and internationally, as the IPs will be available to our OTT platforms and global networks,” said Pierre Cheung, SVP and General Manager Asia, VCNI.

“We are thrilled and honoured to collaborate with ViacomCBS International Studios for this first-look deal for up to ten formats, accelerating our global expansion. With some of our freshest formats, from the finest Korean creative minds, we strongly believe this partnership will provide new hits for an international audience. Something Special continues our mission to bring the best of Asian creativity and content to the world,” said Hwang, who is Founder & President/Executive Producer, Something Special.

The ViacomCBS portfolio in Asia comprises iconic brands such as Nickelodeon, MTV, and Paramount Network, amongst others, offering content across a wide range of genres from kids and family to music and reality to comedy and entertainment.