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Netflix to release 4 new Korean unscripted shows in 2nd half

Entertainment 15:15 July 12, 2022

By Kim Boram

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- Netflix will release four new Korean original variety shows in the second half as part of its strategy to strengthen its unscripted content lineup and diversify its local portfolio, a company official said Tuesday.

"Many people have asked me whether Netflix has original Korean variety shows," Netflix's content manager Yoo Ki-hwan said in a press conference. "It's almost true, because Netflix has provided only six unscripted shows in the past four years."

This photo provided by Netflix shows its content manager Yoo Ki-hwan. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Netflix, which started its service in Korea from 2016, is leading the Korean streaming service market on the back of larger-than-expected successes of its original TV series, like "Kingdom" (2019), "Squid Game" (2021) and "All of Us Are Dead" (2022).

But unscripted shows have been sidelined among Netflix's lineup for years, as its initial stand-up comedies, including "Yoo Byung Jae: Black Comedy" (2018) "Park Na-rae: Glamour Warning" (2019), failed to catch the eyes of Korean viewers, who find the genre unfamiliar.

Since its first reality program "Busted" was released in 2018, Netflix has made five more original reality shows, like "New World" (2021), "The Hungry and the Hairy" (2021), "Paik's Spirit" (2021), "Single's Inferno" (2021) and "Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain" (2022).

Among them, the dating reality show "Single's Inferno" is one of the most successful Korean-language reality shows on Netflix, staying on the streamer's official top 10 most-viewed non-English TV show chart for 41 days.

The Netflix official said the streamer has decided to put more resources into reality TV shows from last year in a bid to expand its business involvement with South Korea's entertainment industry, which has recently emerged as a major player on the world stage.

The U.S. media giant has injected more than 1 trillion won (US$760.5 million) in producing more than 130 Korean-language titles since its entry.

A poster of Netflix original reality show "Single's Inferno" (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"I can't disclose detailed numbers, but Netflix made more investments to make variety shows this year than last year," said Yoo. "And the amount will increase further next year."

He said Netflix will release four new Korean originals in the second half of 2022 -- "TAKE 1," "Korea No. 1," "Physical: 100" and "Single's Inferno S2."

"TAKE 1" is Netflix's first Korean-language music variety show, which allows big-name artists to perform their last on-stage concert. Korean soprano Sumi Jo, singers Park Jung-hyun, or Lena Park, Lim Jae-bum, or Jay B, Rain, K-pop girl group Mamamoo and duo AKMU will take part in the project.

Top comedian Yoo Jae-suk will host the travel reality show "Korea No. 1," while "Physical: 100" is a competition show seeking a physically superior person. And "Single's Inferno" will return with a second season.

"We are focusing on not only providing quality shows but also increasing the amount of content to make our presence felt," Yoo, the Netflix official, said. "People now turn on Netflix to see popular TV series or films. We hope they will come to Netflix to enjoy laughable variety shows in the near future."


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