American TV network, ABC has ordered 10 episodes of a remake of the 2014 SBS drama, "God's Gift - 14 Days". It is the first time that a US remake of a Korean drama has passed the initial pilot stage.
The American series, called "Somewhere Between", will be written and executive produced by Stephen Tolkin ("Legend of the Seeker" and "Brothers & Sisters") and star Paula Patton ("Warcraft" and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"). Shooting begins in Vancouver in March.
With millions of viewers outside of Korea consuming Korean dramas, American networks cannot afford to ignore this potential source of winning show ideas. ABC previously explored remaking "My Love from the Star" and "Nine: Time Travelling Nine Times". Meanwhile, CBS considered adapting "Good Doctor" and The CW looked into remaking "Oh My Ghostess". None came to fruition.
The sole success story has been the NBC remake of the travel reality show, "Grandpas Over Flowers". The US version, "Better Late Than Never" aired four episodes between August and September of 2016, and starred William Shatner and Henry Winkler.
The challenge for US producers will be determining which strengths of Korean dramas can be harnessed to create an equally successful American show. So far, it appears that the networks are focusing on dramas with a fantasy element or ones that could be turned into procedurals.
Much has been made of the discrepancy between American and Korean television in their depictions of sexuality and violence. The same gulf exists between Korean television and films, and yet, Korean audiences have been able to support both industries. As someone who has enjoyed both "Game of Thrones" and "Goblin", I think American producers should have more faith in Western audiences. We will find out soon whether ABC's gamble on "God's Gift - 14 Days" will pay off.
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