A+E Networks is giving a multinational launch Wednesday to “If You Wish Upon Me,” a Korean drama series that was produced by its A+E Studios unit.
The show is a transformational story of an impoverished man with a troubled past and a twisted attitude who accidentally joins Team Genie, a group which carries out the last wishes of patients in hospice care. He starts caring for people other than himself for the first time and learns how to open his heart and live harmoniously. Each episode has a separate story of a patient in hospice care and Team Genie’s journey to carry out their wishes.
The series was inspired by a true account of the Make-a-Wish foundation in the Netherlands, an international foundation working as the hub for wish-granting activities for children with a critical illness. The adaptation of “If You Wish Upon Me” adds in a hospice setting and creates relatable characters and heartwarming situations.
In South Korea, the show will first premiere on KBS, followed by Lifetime Korea. Elsewhere, it will play on streaming platforms Viu in 16 markets (Asia, the Middle East and South Africa), Viki (Americas, Europe and Oceania) and U-Next in Japan.
The production stars Ji Chang-wook, Sung Dong-il, and Choi Soo-young. A+E Networks is the sole studio financier and distributor.
A+E Korea’s scripted drama strategy in Korea has seen it previously involved in “Backstreet Rookie,” “Woori the Virgin” and “Dramaworld.” The company says it will “continue to develop and create high-quality K-drama and monetizable IP.”
“A+E Networks continues to double down on creating relevant and globally monetizable IP across genres and formats. The global demand for K-dramas continues to grow. ‘If You Wish Upon Me’ is our first creative partnership with A+E Studios and reflects the ambition and confidence in the appeal of the genre,” said Saugato Banerjee, MD for Asia at A+E Networks. The company is a joint venture between Disney-ABC Television and Hearst Corp.
“Korean content has become a global phenomenon thanks to its distinctive stories and production values. As a part of a global media group, A+E Networks Korea aims to provide exceptional content globally by strengthening our investments in creative works,” said Soh Young-sun, GM Korea and regional head of digital business development at A+E Networks. “We are pleased to premier ‘If You Wish Upon Me’ on the public network KBS2 in primetime, and on Lifetime Korea. Based on our strength as a global media group, A+E Networks Korea also expects to fuel IP creation in the form of adaptations and remakes.”