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CJ E&M enters Vietnam drama copro

MIPTV: In what is proving a busy market for CJ E&M, the Korean media group has signed the country’s first drama coproduction pact with Vietnam’s VTV and closed separate format and drama deals.

CJ E&M’s drama agreement with Vietnamese state broadcaster VTV kicks off with 36-part drama Forever Young (working title), which centres on a Vietnamese girl studying in Korea.

Meanwhile, CJ E&M has sold global format rights to food-driven gameshow Crazy Market to Electus International and secured multi-territory finished sales for romantic comedy drama Emergency Couple.

CJ E&M is providing script development, art and post-production expertise for Forever Young, while VTV’s drama production arm is providing production facilities. Vietnamese producer Hai will direct.

“Moving beyond sales of already completed contents, CJ E&M is advancing a new model of global collaboration for the market,” said Sung-su Kim, CEO of CJ E&M.

“Our work with VTV on Forever Young is particularly meaningful as the first TV content to be coproduced by the two companies. With its strong young adult demographic, Vietnam contains high growth potential for the cultural content market, and we are excited about the opportunity for continued cultural exchange and cooperation.”

Forever Young is expected to launch in December for a five-month run on VTV’s general entertainment channel VTV3, airing on Thursday and Friday evenings at 20.30. CJ E&M’s South-East Asia network Channel M also plans to air the drama to the seven million homes in its regional footprint.

CJ E&M’s Crazy Market is a gameshow that challenges contestants to identify food using the five senses.

Cyrus Farrokh, VP of Electus International said the pick-up highlighted the company’s emphasis on formats from Asia.

Electus-owned Format First Productions and Tim Puntillo (Minute to Win It) will adapt the show for the US.

Puntillo is also executive producer and creator of NBC’s Food Fighters, which airs this summer.
 Electus International plans to distribute the programme globally at MipTV.

CJ E&M’s Emergency Couple (21×60’) follows a divorced couple who meet up again as medical interns in a hospital emergency room.

Buyers include CJ E&M and Fox International Channels’ joint-venture Channel M in South-East Asia; CJ E&M’s local US channel Mnet in the US; TVB in Hong Kong; Sony’s Vietnamese channel GEM; and PPTV, a new free TV channel in Thailand. OTT services Hulu and Dramafever have also picked up the new drama.

Emergency Couple launched on CJ E&M’s general entertainment channel tvN in January, airing on Fridays and Saturdays at 20.40. A 21st episode was added due to popular demand. Channel M begins airing the drama on April 21.


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