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KOCCA: Korea Creative Content Agency - TV Shows

Programming Profile

An extraordinary legal K-drama


Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the latest drama phenomenon from South Korea, has transformed the fortunes of a local TV channel and is set to wow audiences at Mipcom.


Having spent the summer firmly planted in the global top 10 of Netflix’s most watched non-English-language originals, Extraordinary Attorney Woo has lived up to its name since launching on ENA in South Korea in June.


The series has delivered the Skylife-owned satellite channel’s highest ever ratings, transforming its fortunes overnight since it debuted. Extraordinary Attorney Woo is also the seventh highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history and the sixth highest-rated TV drama by the number of viewers, with a final episode that pulled in almost 4.5 million viewers in August.


Starring Park Eun-bin, the show follows a rookie female attorney with autism spectrum disorder who is hired by a major law firm in Seoul. Being different from her neurotypical peers, her manner of communication is seen by them as odd, awkward and blunt. However, with each legal case and through her intelligence and photographic memory, she becomes an increasingly competent attorney.


Extraordinary Attorney Woo
Extraordinary Attorney Woo

The series “has proved that even a traditional form of media [like ENA] can be successful if equipped with competitive and attractive content. This also demonstrates that a single drama can make a newly launched cable TV channel a success,” says SangHyun Kim, general director of media content and the animation division at South Korean cultural export agency KOCCA.


With a second season expected to premiere in 2024, the series will be presented to Mipcom delegates by production company ASTORY later this month at a special screening session titled The Extraordinary Success Story of Extraordinary Attorney Woo.


The screening is part of KOCCA’s strategy of supporting companies like ASTORY in order to strengthen the South Korean production sector as well as promote its broadcasting content industry and the success stories of small/medium-sized Korean production companies with drama IP.


Speakers at the session will include Sang Baek Lee, founder, CEO and producer at ASTORY, who has produced a host of iconic K-dramas, including Signal, The Miracle We Met, Kingdom and Big Mouth. Joining Lee will be Extraordinary Attorney Woo director InSik Yoo and Nikki Semin Han, president of ASTORY and CEO of its subsidiary AIMC.


In the session, the speakers will talk about the birth of the show, how it is uniquely crafted, its global impact and the different ways the IP is set to be expanded. These include a planned series of musicals for 2024, which will use episodes of the show as inspiration for an all-singing, all-dancing version of the hit K-drama.


InSik Yoo, dubbed the “undisputed K-drama maestro,” is one of the most renowned directors of the genre and, during his time at South Korean broadcaster SBS, directed hits such as Bad Family, Robber, Giant and History of a Salaryman.


The director is credited with introducing a totally different way of making and watching TV in Korea, thanks to the success of shows like Mrs Cop and Dr Romantic, which marked a giant leap forward in the local production system and paved the way for the production of multi-season drama series in Korea.


Semin Han, meanwhile, pioneered and led the global expansion of K-pop and K-culture during 20 years at South Korea’s SM Entertainment Group, where he held roles including CEO and president of SM Entertainment USA.


The Korean wave continues to build momentum around the world, and Extraordinary Attorney Woo is set to be the latest show with potential as both a finished programme and a scripted format. It could well follow in the footsteps of South Korean series such as The Good Doctor, which also featured a lead character on the autism spectrum, by being remade in major markets around the world.


Reports suggest proposals for remakes of Extraordinary Attorney Woo have already been fielded from producers in countries such as the US, Japan, Turkey and Germany, highlighting the global demand for this extraordinary K-drama.


KOCCA’s strategy of boosting the international profile of South Korean production companies like ASTORY and amplifying their success on the global stage is evidently paying off.


Don’t miss the chance to hear more about Extraordinary Attorney Woo at Mipcom during KOCCA’s session on Wednesday October 19 from 14.30 to 15.30 in Auditorium A.

More programming profiles

  • 31-08-2022

    Jessie K.M Jeong, vice president and chief operating officer at South Korean cultural export agency KOCCA, looks ahead to the upcoming BCWW event in Seoul and explores trends in the production and distribution of K-content.


    How will BCWW 2022 be different from previous editions of the event?
    BCWW 2022, unlike its previous edition which was conducted as an online market in 2019 due to the spread of Covid-19, will be organised in an offline format in conjunction with online markets. This year’s event will be attended by 168 local and international content companies as well as 609 buyers from 31 countries.


    On its 22nd anniversary, BCWW 2022 aims to provide sustainable and lucrative network and business opportunities for stakeholders involved in the broadcasting industry at both home and abroad under the theme ‘Play the New Content, Dive into the BCWW.’ The event will also feature conferences addressing current trends in the broadcasting industry, presentations on emerging content, IP pitching and various other programmes.


    BCWW 2022 will be a foundation for exploring newly emerging content and more effective content businesses that could complement the limits and challenges of online markets.


    After two years of Zoom meetings, how important will it be to have BCWW in the real world?
    Broadcasting content markets not only serve as commercial platforms for purchasing or selling content but also as social platforms for interactive engagements and networking.

  • 18-08-2021

    Do Hyoung Lee, general director of broadcasting at Korean cultural agency Kocca, explains the ongoing demand for South Korean content while introducing 18 new shows to the international buying community.


    South Korean drama has been a global phenomenon for many years now, with wave after wave of hit shows spreading out from Asia and reaching the US and Europe in recent years.


    But things have certainly moved on from the good old days of Winter Sonata, the KBS hit that put Korean drama on the global map almost 20 years ago. Things have changed even from the more recent crossover hits like The Good Doctor, another KBS show from 2013 that was successfully adapted for ABC in the US in 2017 and travelled the globe.


    Since then, the streaming boom – both within South Korea and internationally – has changed the landscape for Korean drama in a number of ways. Over to Do Hyoung Lee, general director of broadcasting at South Korean cultural agency Kocca, to explain how.


    “The popularity of Korean drama has continued globally this year, just as it did in 2020,” he says. “As competition has been getting more fierce among domestic and foreign online streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+, Wavve and TVing, demand for Korean drama has increased and there has been more investment in production. This trend has stimulated the diversity of Korean drama.”

  • 01-02-2021

    South Korean content has been selling around the world for a long while but last year saw a boost in demand, according to Kocca’s Do Hyoung Lee, who talks us through the content export agency’s 21-title playlist on C21’s Digital Screenings.


    It’s no secret that South Korean dramas and formats are hot property and have been for some time now. Scripted shows like The Good Doctor (from Korean public broadcaster KBS) and entertainment formats such as The Masked Singer (MBC) and I Can See Your Voice (CJ ENM) have travelled to all corners of the globe in recent years, either in their original form or as IP for local production.


    Do Hyoung Lee, general director at the broadcasting division of the South Korean government’s Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca), says the origins of the K-format boom can be traced back to 11 years ago.


    “Korean formats started to get noticed in China in early 2010 and have since seen remarkable achievements in the global market,” he says. “Following the success of The Good Doctor and The Masked Singer, another K-entertainment show called I Can See Your Voice broadcast in the US on Fox and became the most watched programme among those on air in that time period.

  • 15-10-2020

    South Korean governmental agency Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), which oversees and coordinates the promotion of the Korean content industry, is this week showcasing new content from the country via C21 Digital Screenings, while general director Dohyoung Lee gives his analysis of the international boom in K-content.


    Exports of South Korean television content have been on a steady upward curve ever since the early days of the Korean Wave almost 20 years ago, when dramas like KBS2’s 2002 hit Winter Sonata made such an impact on the global market.


    Fast forward to today and more of the world is watching even more K-content. Just look at some of the biggest US shows in recent years. ABC’s adaptation of another KBS2 series, The Good Doctor, was the only global hit coming out of the 2017/18 season in the US. And on the unscripted side, the global success of talent show The Masked Singer has been a phenomenon over the past two years, following its debut on Fox in the US in 2019.


    Dohyoung Lee, general director at the Broadcasting Division of KOCCA, is certain these two recent K-content hits have driven demand for more programming from South Korea.