Countdown commences for the premiere of SBS’s drama Secret Garden. Two more weeks to go and everyone is busy- shooting scenes, post-editing takes, leaking set stills, and finalizing foreign distribution rights. Taking a copy from a copy of a copy out of a page of other A-List filled cast dramas, such as Fugitive: Plan B, this upcoming drama is also trying to sell to as many foreign markets as possible on the strength of its starry cast, lead by Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won, before its premiere.
Sealed deals include Hong Kong and the Philippines market. Pending markets of interests are the usual suspects- Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Filling out the cast is Yoon Sang Hyun, Philip Lee, and Kim Sa Rang. Secret Garden takes over Life is Beautiful‘s weekend timeslots starting November 13.
It’s a good thing the people at Taewon Productions who are behind Fugitive Plan B have ample noogans between all of them. Sometimes, in this industry, business acumen is just as important, if not more, than the creative product offered. Fugitive Plan B is a stark case in point. Even though it is not performing as well as its rival, Daemul, which has been steamrolling ahead of the Wednesday-Thursday pack during its national broadcast, Fugitive Plan B hedged its profit in by selling its distribution rights way back during its production stage before it aired nationally under the ratings radar. Before coming into the searing competitive heat, there was the advantage of the frenzy, anticipation, and marketing monster in full force hyping up Fugitive Plan B’s stock.
It worked as Fugitive Plan B to date has already secured a clear channel to seven major drama viewing Asian countries in surely lucrative deals, thus stockpiling everyone’s bank account just a little higher and wider. The countries bringing Rain and company to their countrymen via mass network broadcast dubbing or subbing versions are Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Other likely potential Asian markets the producers haven’t inked a distribution deal with yet are Japan and Vietnam, where Rain is very popular. Other markets outside of Asia like South America in countries such as Bolivia, Argentina and Columbia, are very possible clients in lieu of k-drama’s spreading popularity on those shores.
It’s nice and sweet to be popular at home, but most stars’ popularity is based largely on a solid business plan by their managers, agents, stylists, publicists, in short, a train of entourage and business people with money as their goal and bottom line. For Fugitive Plan B and other dramas that come up short from expectation at home, it’s a blessing that nowadays the home market is not the end all and be all for their hard work, time, and feedback. There is still life after poor ratings.