Driven by new platforms and additional territories opening up to Asian content, ABS-CBN Corporation is seeing interesting deals and partnerships come to fruition in early 2023. Some of which may not have been thought possible just two years ago, according to Pia Laurel, head for international sales and distribution, who points to a dubbed offering for the Turkish market and a third drama adaptation deal in Turkey.
“We’ve also gone full force in our plans to produce for the international market, not just the Philippines,” Laurel says. “Our inaugural project is the crime thriller Cattleya Killer, which we launched at MIPCOM. We’re soon going to be able to share where it will land. We’re all very excited about its world premiere and are very proud of this feat. This encourages us to produce more titles with a global audience in mind while continuing our commitment to provide well-loved entertainment in our home country that travels—especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
The company’s distribution strategy stems from its mission to serve Filipinos wherever they may be. “We’re building on that purpose further by showcasing Filipino talent to the world,” says Laurel. “We want our stories to be seen by as many people as possible from all nations, as we believe that the universal themes in our stories—such as the triumph of the human spirit—help touch and inspire lives beyond our borders.”
In particular, ABS-CBN Corporation is known as a reliable source of romance and family dramas. In the last two to three years, it has been introducing more thriller and mystery dramas in its slate to diversify. “Locally, we cater to mass viewers who, judging by the social media engagement our 2023 lineup has been getting, are now so much more open to darker storylines of deceit and revenge amidst family conflicts and romantic entanglements,” Laurel says.
The company has also been ramping up its licensing to and co-productions with global OTT players. The Filipino adaptation of Drama Republic’s Doctor Foster (The Broken Marriage Vow), licensed to Viu, scored the best actress win at the 2022 Asian Academy Creative Awards. Also, the Filipino adaptation of the thriller drama Flower of Evil from Korea, created by Jeong-hui Ryu and produced by Studio Dragon and CJ ENM, was co-produced with Viu. “The Viu original adaptation remained a top-rating show for months,” says Laurel. “We have more exciting content in the pipeline from similar partnerships and alliances that aim to cater to both local and international audiences.”
ABS-CBN Corporation offers content for all audience profiles, with additional highlights in fantasy series and action dramas. Regarding shorter drama requirements, the company has a miniseries slate of around six to 20 episodes spanning genres from romance and BL (boys’ love) to thriller, crime and horror that can address such content needs.
Highlights of the current catalog include the light romance 2 Good 2 Be True, with a story that proves that true love could still exist in a world full of lies and deceit; the family drama A Family Affair, which involves an inheritance, intrigue and dark secrets; and the thriller Dirty Linen, featuring a revenge plot that targets an entire family.
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