A+E Networks launches Wednesday in a multinational “If You Wish Upon Me,” a Korean drama series produced by its A+E Studios unit.
The show is the transformational story of a poor man with a troubled past and twisted attitude who accidentally joins Team Genie, a group that fulfills the last wishes of hospice patients. He begins to care for people other than himself for the first time and learns to open his heart and live harmoniously. Each episode has a distinct story of a hospice patient and Team Genie’s journey to make their wishes come true.
The series was inspired by an authentic account of the Make-a-Wish foundation in the Netherlands, an international foundation working as a hub for wish-granting activities for children with serious illness. The adaptation of “If You Wish Upon Me” adds a hospice setting and creates relatable characters and heartwarming situations.
In South Korea, the show will air first on KBS, followed by Lifetime Korea. Elsewhere, it will play on streaming platforms Viu in 16 markets (Asia, 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 studio’s sole financier and distributor.
A+E Korea’s scripted drama strategy in Korea has previously involved her in “Backstreet Rookie,” “Woori the Virgin,” and “Dramaworld.” The company says it will “continue to develop and create high-quality K-dramas and monetizable intellectual property.”
“A+E Networks continues to double down on its efforts to create globally relevant and monetizable intellectual property across all 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 part of a global media group, A+E Networks Korea aims to provide outstanding content globally by strengthening our investments in creative works,” said Soh Young-sun, GM Korea and Regional Manager of digital business development at A+E Networks. “We are thrilled to present “If You Wish Upon Me” on KBS2 public primetime network and on Lifetime Korea. Based on our strength as a global media group, A+E Networks Korea also plans to fuel IP creation in the form of adaptations and remakes.