A+E Networks Korea Launches First Korean Scripted Drama


A+E Networks Korea is set to debut Backstreet Rookie, a scripted drama series based on the hit webtoon.

A Korean property produced locally, Backstreet Rookie stars Changwook Ji as Dae-hyun Choi, a 30-something store owner, and Yoojung Kim as college co-ed Saetbyul, who Dae-hyun hires as a part-time employee against his better judgment. The series is directed by former SBS director Myoungwoo Lee.

A+E Networks International holds worldwide distribution rights and has signed global SVOD partners for a worldwide premiere. Starting June 19, Backstreet Rookie will air as a Friday-Saturday drama on SBS in Korea, followed by Lifetime Korea. In addition, A+E Networks International partnered with U-NEXT for a simultaneous SVOD launch of the series in Japan. iQIYI, the worldwide partner for the drama excluding Japan, will air it simultaneously with the Korean window around the globe, excluding China.

A+E Networks teamed up with Taewon Entertainment in Korea to make Backstreet Rookie.

Saugato Banerjee, managing director for Asia at A+E Networks, said: “A+E Networks Asia is charting a new course in its journey to find, nurture, develop and produce scripted content in Asia with premium, local A-list talent in front of and behind the camera. The much-awaited premiere of Backstreet Rookie demonstrates the breadth of our content creation ambitions.”

Youngsun Soh, general manager for A+E Networks Korea, added: “This is a proud moment for A+E Networks Korea. In a short span of time, we have brought together the spirit of a global media company and a local Korean enterprise to create a 360 media organization. We now cover content investments in premium scripted, linear unscripted and digital originals, with a multimedia audience footprint in Korea and the international marketplace. We hope that the audience will appreciate the hard work that has gone into adapting Backstreet Rookie from its webtoon origins and the onscreen chemistry of the series’ stars.”