K-drama producer says it’s “difficult to predict” which shows will be popular

"Internationally, dramas with strong concepts are expected to be successful"

A South Korean producer has spoken about the domestic and global popularity of Korean series and films, saying it’s “difficult to predict” their success.

Park Joon-suh, a director of productions at JTBC Studios (known for The World Of The Marries, Nevertheless and the upcoming Snowdrop), recently touched on the dilemma of whether to produce a series with a local or international audience in mind in an interview with Variety, following the recent boom in K-drama popularity.

“In the domestic market, it is difficult to predict which dramas will be successful,” Park explained. “However, dramas of diverse genres will gradually be more popular than traditional ones [romantic comedies, family dramas]. Internationally, dramas with strong concepts are expected to be successful.”

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In the same interview, CJ ENM senior vice president of content business Seo Jang-ho spoke about the wave of opportunities that the growing globalisation of Korean entertainment has allowed filmmakers.

“Korean creators are always known for their creativity and this new success on a global level opens doors for them to try something new,” he said. “I think they will have a better understanding of what works globally in a very short time.”

Meanwhile, Netflix executives reveal that they knew popular K-drama series Squid Game would be hit even before it officially launched in September this year. “We knew it would be a big regional hit,” Netflix’s head of global TV Bela Bajaria said.

“Our team in Korea always said this would be a big tentpole for us. [Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk] had a very clear vision for this and [they knew] it would do very well in Korea and all through Asia,” she added.

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