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The Third Drama Format Collaboration Between BBC Studios and JTBC Channel

BBC Studios and Story TV partner up on a new South Korean format of political thriller “Undercover” for JTBC channel. And this is not the first time, over the years many BBC’s most acclaimed dramas, including hit detective series “Luther”, “Life on Mars”, “The Split” and the most recent hit “Doctor Foster” have adapted to Korean versions. In addition to partnering with JTBC, in 2018, British TV series “Mistresses” was also remade by CJ E&M-owned production firm Studio Dragon a few years ago for OCN.

(Photo Source: BBC Studios APAC)

At the Broadcast Worldwide (BCWW) 2020 content market in Seoul, BBC Studios announced the commissioning of the critically acclaimed political drama “Undercover” to be re-made for audiences in South Korea. This marks the first global format sale for “Undercover” and the third drama format collaboration between BBC Studios and JTBC channel.

The Korean adaptation of “Undercover” will be produced in partnership with local drama production company Story TV and JTBC studios both are renowned for developing and producing high-quality dramas. Most recently, Story TV, along with Studio Dragon, produced “It is Okay not to be Okay” which have conquered the most-watched on Netflix. And the remake is set to be directed by Song Hyun Wook, who has worked on hit dramas like “Another Oh Hae Young” and “Beauty Inside.” Actor Ji Jinhee has told the press that he took the leading role as the husband in Korean remake. While Kim Hyn Joo portrays the role of Choi Yeon Soo, the lawyer who will soon find her husband's past secret. This series will be their second time working together, after five years since the their last series.

(Photo Source: the Internet)

The original series of “Undercover” was written by “Criminal Justice” screenwriter Peter Moffat, at the U.K. alone, the series peaked with a huge 6.3 million viewers. “Undercover” is a six-part thriller following the story of a defense lawyer tries to finally uncover the truth of an old miscarriage of justice, while she discovers that her husband has been lying to her for 20 years and try to conceal the truth about his own past.

According to BBC Studios, SVP of Global Format Sales, Andre Renaud says: “I am thrilled that we are working with Story TV and JTBC studios to make Undercover our next local drama adaptation in South Korea. Stories that explore strong female characters have been in demand, notably with the recent success of JTBC’s local version of Doctor Foster - The World of the Married – and our recent announcement of JTBC’s commission of The Split.”

BBC drama has always found a large audience in South Korea. Series such as “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” have grown fan bases with their original and unique story-telling. “The World of the Married”, based on the BBC series “Doctor Foster”, becomes the highest-rated drama ever on South Korean cable TV thanks to the intense story-line of adultery.

(Photo Source: The World Of The Married, from JTBC)

Will this upcoming Korean remake also resonate greatly with South Korean audiences once again? We shall see!