BBC Worldwide today at Asia TV Forum 2017 announced a format deal that will see a Japanese version of the award-winning science fiction thriller format Orphan Black premiere in Japan.
Known as Orphan Black – 7 Genes (オーファン・ブラック～七つの遺伝子～), it will be the first version of the series outside the original award-winning BBC AMERICA drama. It is also BBC Worldwide’s first scripted format in Asia.
It is produced by Telepack, for Free-To-Air (FTA) broadcasting company Tokai TV based in Nagoya and stars well-known South Korean actress and singer Kang Ji-Young as Sara Aoyama. Orphan Black – 7 Genes will premiere on Saturday 2 December, on the Fuji TV Nationwide Network across Japan, reaching over 40 million households.
Orphan Black – 7 Genes will tell the story of how Sara Aoyama, a broke and desperate single mother who wishes to live with her daughter Moe in peace, witnesses the shocking suicide of a woman who looks just like her. When she decides to steal the woman’s identity to run away from her problems, she unlocks a complex world of secrets that throw the life she has known into chaos. Sara discovers she doesn’t just look like this woman, she’s genetically identical: a clone – and she’s not the only one. As she finds more clones just like her, she comes to see them as family. Sara must protect them, and herself – because someone is trying to kill them, one by one.
“Orphan Black has won multiple awards and has been seen in over 170 territories around the world. We are very happy that we are partnering with Tokai TV to produce the first Orphan Black format in Asia. Starring South Korean break-out star Kang Ji-Young in the Japanese version, we are confident that the series will resonate with audiences in Japan, South Korea, and the rest of Asia where she is well-known,” said Soojin Chung, GM of BBC Worldwide in North East Asia.
Keisuke Matsumoto, Producer, Tokai TV, commented: “This is a truly challenging project from the casting of the lead actress to getting the cinematography and post-production right. The original BBC AMERICA Orphan Black drama has been well received by audiences worldwide, there is pressure to do the series justice, but there is also an excitement in producing a Japanese version of a global hit.”
The original Orphan Black series was produced by Temple Street, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, in association with BBC AMERICA and Space. It was co-created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, with Manson also serving as writer and Fawcett as director.
The original version has won a George Foster Peabody award, and a best-actress Emmy and Critics’ Choice award for lead actress Tatiana Maslany as well as a host of other writing, editing, direction and production design awards at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2017.
Orphan Black is distributed by BBC Worldwide.
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