The Korea Herald


Netflix Korea to roll out seven reality shows including adult talk show

From K-zombie reality survival to flagship dating shows, Netflix Korea gears up for diversifying its reality show lineup

By Kim Da-sol

Published : April 4, 2023 - 15:55

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Poster for Netflix reality show “Risque Business” (Netflix) Poster for Netflix reality show “Risque Business” (Netflix)

Netflix Korea has announced a lineup of reality shows, including a new type of talk show and a zombie-themed reality show, in addition to their flagship dating shows and survival competitions.

“We are ready to release at least seven different reality shows throughout the year,” Yoo Ki-hwan, Netflix Korea’s director in charge of non-fiction content, said during a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday.

In recent years, Netflix Korea has collaborated with reality TV creators to produce local reality shows that have generated international buzz online, including “Single’s Inferno” and “Physical: 100.”

Among the seven different reality shows that Netflix Korea is set to unveil, “Risque Business,” an adult talk show that looks into the sex industry and interviews industry insiders, is the first attempt in at a “mid-form” Korean reality show. “Mid-form” generally refers to those more than a minute but less than 30 minute long.

“An original reality show takes about one year to 1 1/2 years from preparation to production to release, but this program took only five months for the overall procedure, and is probably the only show on Netflix globally that has this short period of time (of production),” said Jung Hyo-min, a producer of “Risque Business,” a show slated for April 24 release.

Jung also produced another Netflix original reality show from Korea, “Korea No. 1” that aired last year.

“It was possible to try out this unprecedented genre thanks to the power of Korean creators’ ability to produce high quality show in a short span of time,” Jung added.

Producers of Netflix Korea’s reality shows answer questions during a press conference held in Seoul, Tuesday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald) Producers of Netflix Korea’s reality shows answer questions during a press conference held in Seoul, Tuesday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)

In May, Netflix Korea is releasing a female survival competition show called “Siren,” featuring groups of women with rival professions -- firefighter versus police -- fighting for survival on an isolated island.

A survival show “Zombie-verse” will be an unscripted show in which Seoul is turned into a world of zombies and the cast has to escape.

“Single’s Inferno” producer Kim Jae-won will release a different version of dating show called “19/20,” staring high school students who discover love and personal development through dating in an environment of schools. Kim said “Single’s Inferno” would return with season 3 in winter but in a whole different style compared to the two previous shows.

Producer Jung Jong-yeon, an acclaimed reality show producer behind battle-of-wits shows “The Genius” and “Society Game,” will release mega-scale brain survival show “Devil’s Plan” on Netflix in the second half of this year.

Netflix Korea said the company would look thoroughly into the casts’ past including student records and mental status by matching them with a psychiatrist.

Last month, a former South Korean rugby national team member who starred in “Physical: 100” was indicted on charges of rape and physical assault against his girlfriend.

“We are still contemplating on how to take a detailed procedure on verifying the past of our casts. Not to mention checking the social media posts, we are making our casts to sign a contract after explaining rules on compensation for falsifying their pasts,” said Yoo from Netflix Korea.