VIACOMCBS NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL RAMPS UP STUDIOS PRESENCE IN ASIA THROUGH DEAL WITH KOREAN FORMAT AGENCY, ‘SOMETHING SPECIAL’
Exclusive First-Look Deal Announced for Ten Unscripted Formats from Top Korean Producers
Shows to be Produced through VIS in Asia
Singapore – March 9, 2021 – ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), through its global production studio VIS, is ramping up its studios 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 Talent, 1vs100 Korea, Society Game, The Code, I Can See Your Voice, The 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.
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About ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI)
ViacomCBS Networks International, a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC), is comprised of many of the world’s most iconic consumer brands. Its portfolio includes Channel 5, Telefe, Network 10, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network, as well as streaming services Paramount+ and PlutoTV, and ViacomCBS International Studios, among others. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS Networks International provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents and across more than 180 countries.
About ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS)
Introduced in 2018, ViacomCBS International Studios is a division of ViacomCBS Networks International that includes production of content for ViacomCBS brands and platforms, including Paramount+, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Channel 5, Network 10, VIS, Telefe, Ananey and Porta Dos Fundos and for third parties, as well as sales and distribution of original productions, co-productions, formats sold for local adaptations and ready-made content. In 2020, VIS KIDS launched to further the expansion of the studio's global kids content pipeline. The content that ViacomCBS International Studios produces covers all genres, from pre-school to young adult and live action and animation, as well as soap operas, dramas, short and long-form comedy formats and feature film productions.
About Something Special
Launched in late 2019, Something Special is Korea’s first-ever TV format agency focused on creative talent, specializing in content development, production and distribution for the global market. Something Special was established by two top Korean format experts (Mr.) Jin Woo Hwang (former format head of CJ E&M, and producer of many Formats such as "Better Late Than Never" aka "Grandpas Over Flowers" – had 2 seasons on NBC in the U.S., "I Can See Your Voice" – (renewed its second season on FOX in the U.S), and FRAPA General Board Member; and business partner (Ms.) InSoon Kim (former MD of FormatEast/subsidiary of SBS and Head of Formats at SBS). Something Special is both a production company and the first ever Korean producers’ agency, representing top independent format producers.
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About Paramount Asia
Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic studios, networks and streaming services, its portfolio of consumer brands includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, Paramount Global provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions.