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Broadcasters up the ante for 2023

From rom-com to suspense thrillers, Korean broadcasters gear up for next ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ and ‘Reborn Rich’

Jeon Do-yeon plays a former national handball player Haeng-sun in
Jeon Do-yeon plays a former national handball player Haeng-sun in "Crash Course in Romance" (tvN)

Receiving unprecedented attention from international viewers, South Korean TV series are hoping to continue the winning streak with more unique and thrilling stories, the return of top movie stars to the small screen and spinoffs of beloved dramas.

Cable channel tvN’s “Crash Course in Romance” is scheduled to entertain viewers starting at the beginning of 2023.

Starring the Cannes-winning actress Jeon Do-yeon, who returns to a romance series after 17 years since SBS’ mega-hit drama “Lovers in Prague,” and “Hospital Playlist” star Jung Kyung-ho, the upcoming series revolves around a former national handball player Haeng-sun (played by Jeon), who starts a new life as a banchan (Korean side dishes) shop owner.

Trying to support her daughter, high school student Haeng-sun meets Chi-yeul (played by Jung), a top cram school teacher, and finds herself involved in an unexpected romance.

The rom-com series premieres on Jan. 14, 2023 at 9:10 p.m. on tvN.

Terrestrial broadcaster MBC’s “The Lover” (unofficial translation) may be one of the channel’s most anticipated series in 2023.

Starring go-to actor Namkoong Min, who won the grand prize in 2020 SBS Drama Awards with “Hot Stove League” and 2021 MBC Drama Awards with “The Veil” and successfully finished “One Dollar Lawyer” series in November, the project is a period drama featuring the romance of the lead characters during the Joseon period.

“Kingdom” and “Hospital Playlist” star Ahn Eun-jin co-stars as the female lead in “The Lover.”

Though the exact date of release is yet to be announced, Namkoong did not hide his excitement for the upcoming series, posting an image of the new script on his Instagram.

Hoping to continue the “Reborn Rich” craze, cable channel JTBC is releasing a spinoff of its beloved series.

“Strong Woman Kang Nam-soon” features a new female lead Nam-soon, who is a long-distant relative of Do Bong-soon of the 2017-hit rom-com “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon.”

JTBC hopes to expand its popular IP, which allowed the broadcaster to reach the highest amount of viewers in 2017.

Lee You-mi (Varo Entertainment)
Lee You-mi (Varo Entertainment)

Emmy-winning actor Lee You-mi plays Nam-soon, who was born with super-strength and handles the rise of drug crimes with her family.

Kim Tae-ri (left) and Kim Eun-hee (Management mmm, Netflix)
Kim Tae-ri (left) and Kim Eun-hee (Management mmm, Netflix)

Terrestrial broadcaster SBS joined hands with star screenwriter Kim Eun-hee, hoping to make the suspense thriller “The Devil” (working title), the company's biggest hit series in 2023.

SBS’ upcoming series centers around a hard-working, young woman San-young, who starts to experience an extraordinary life after receiving her father’s memento, getting caught up in the mysterious death.

Kim Tae-ri, who was behind many acclaimed projects including “Mr. Sunshine” (2018) and “Twenty-Five Twenty-One,” plays the female lead in “The Devil.”

The release date is yet to be decided.

Local broadcasting and creative content industries’ desire to continue the global popularity of local drama series, a phenomenon brought on by such hits as “Squid Game” (2021) led to a string of smash-hit series such as “Business Proposal,” “Extraordinary Attorney Woo,” “Under the Queen’s Umbrella” and “Reborn Rich" which enjoyed great popularity both at home and abroad.



By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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