HBO Asia today unveiled a line-up of brand new Asian original productions that are scheduled to premiere soon. Since the regional network’s first original production in 2012, HBO Asia has been committed to ramp up the number of quality Asian original content to their audiences in the region and globally. To date, HBO Asia has produced and aired fifteen HBO Asia Original productions and is expanding its repertoire further in the coming years.
Today, HBO Asia hosted a press conference in Hong Kong to further showcase four upcoming projects that included an anthology drama series, a crime drama, a sci-fi thriller and the second season of a coming-of-age drama series. Actors Vivian Hsu, David Wang and James Wen, directors Eric Khoo and Billy Christian and executive producer, Cheang Pou-Soi were present to share insights about the upcoming HBO Asia Original productions. All upcoming HBO Asia Originals will be available exclusively on HBO Asia’s network of channels including HBO, HBO’s online streaming platform, HBO GO and the on-demand service, HBO On Demand.
Mr. Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia said, “Over the past 7 years, we recognise the significance and importance of locally produced programming. Since 2012, the number of Asian original productions we have done has been increasing and they have all proven to be very effective for us. We are encouraged to learn that our Asian productions are working well across the region, especially those in local languages.” He further adds, “We maintain our commitment to producing outstanding programming and will continuously aim to present our content to our audience in the region, in an easily accessible way. We will continue to produce the highest quality content that the HBO brand represents and showcase to the world the best Asia has to offer.”
Series premiering soon on HBO Asia’s network of channels include (in alphabetical order):
DREAM RAIDER《獵夢特工》is HBO Asia’s first science fiction drama series. DREAM RAIDER is an eight-episode hour-long series that brings together production expertise from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan featuring cast and crew including actors Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄), David Wang (王耀慶), Jason Wang (王識賢), Weber Yang (楊一展) and Ellen Wu (吳子霏), executive producer, renowned filmmaker, Cheang Pou-Soi (鄭保瑞), directors, Daniel Fu (傅鶫) and Simon Hung (洪昇揚), and producer, Freeman Xiang (向峰). Set in the near future, DREAM RAIDER features a misfit team of scientists and cops that are trying to get to the bottom of a criminal conspiracy that exploits human consciousness. The series opens with a criminal police officer that is investigating a case of missing girls and uncovers a mysterious cutting-edge technology that enables them to enter the dreamscapes of others to find the truth. The series is produced with the support of the Taipei Film Commission and Taipei Cultural Foundation.
FOOD LORE is an eight-episode hour-long anthology series that explores the human condition with narratives inspired by and showcased through the perspectives of Asian cuisines, weaving tales of the tastes and aromas that have filled the Asian souls – tales of longing and forbidden passion, of connection and loss, of childhood memory. Helmed by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo, the series is shot in eight countries across Asia and directed by some of Asia’s most talented storytellers including Don Aravind (Singapore), Billy Christian (Indonesia), Takumi Saitoh (Japan), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), Erik Matti (Philippines), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand) and Phan Dang Di (Vietnam). FOOD LORE is produced as part of a two-year partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore. Through a series of workshops and collaborations with local companies and talent on HBO Asia Original productions, the partnership aims to develop the content production capabilities of Singapore’s media industry.
THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC《通靈少女》is HBO Asia’s second returning series, following the success of the first season. The eight-episode hour-long second season of the coming-of-age Taiwan drama series returns with Kuo Shu Yau (郭書瑤) reprising her lead role as Xiao Zhen, a psychic born with the ability to see spirits and learning to use her abilities to help others. Starring alongside her will be new cast members including two-time Golden Bell Award-winning actress, Wen Chen-Ling (溫貞菱) and rising star, Fandy Fan (范少勳). The new season of THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC sees Xiao Zhen back from her summer break and determined to have a fresh start at school, but life is not that simple, especially when she is still coming to terms with the loss of the love of her life. Things get even more complicated with the arrival of Zhan Xiao Tong, played by Wen Chen-Ling (溫貞菱), a soft spoken yet resourceful new member of the drama club. Juggling the multiple pressures from school, the drama club and the demands of the spirit world, things are about to take a turn for the worse for the 17-year-old. THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC season two will be directed by up-and-coming director Liu Yan-Fu (劉彥甫). Chen Ho-Yu (陳和榆), director of THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC season one, will executive produce.
THE WORLD BETWEEN US《我們與惡的距離》is a ten-part hour-long Taiwan drama series that follows the aftermath of a mass-shooting where all parties involved – the killer, the victims, the victims’ families, the media and the defense teams, whose fates are all intertwined. Shot entirely in Taiwan, the series features an all-star ensemble cast from Taiwan including Alyssa Chia (賈靜雯), James Wen (溫昇豪) and Wu Kang-Jen (吳慷仁). The series is directed by award-winning filmmaker, Lin Chun-Yang (林君陽) and written by the renowned award-winning screenwriter, Lu Shih-Yuan (呂蒔媛). The series is produced by Taiwanese broadcaster, Public Television Service (PTS), and will be jointly distributed by HBO Asia and CATCHPLAY outside of Asia. THE WORLD BETWEEN US premieres in Asia on Sunday, March 24 with two back-to-back episodes from 9pm onwards exclusively* on HBO GO and HBO. Two new episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. The series will also be available on HBO On Demand.
2018 was a great year for HBO Asia Original productions. MISS SHERLOCK, the network’s first Japanese original drama series, and the first HBO Asia Original documentary, THE TALWARS: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS were both recognised at the Asia Academy Creative Awards 2018. MISS SHERLOCK was the national winner for Japan under the categories for Best Drama Series, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role. THE TALWARS: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the national winner for Singapore under the Best Documentary Series category. In addition, all six episodes from FOLKLORE, HBO Asia’s first horror anthology series, were recognised at major International film festivals that included the Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain), Fantastic Fest (Texas, USA), and selected for competition at the International Panorama section of Series Mania International Festival (Lille, France).
HBO Asia Original productions have also reached audiences worldwide. Select titles are available in territories outside of Asia including Spain (on HBO España), Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark (on HBO Nordic), and in Central European territories including Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Croatia (on HBO Europe). They are also available to HBO’s U.S. subscribers across the channel’s platforms, including HBO GO®, HBO NOW®, HBO On Demand®, and participating television and streaming partner platforms. These productions most recently included MISS SHERLOCK, FOLKLORE and GRISSE, the network’s first Asian-inspired Western period drama.
* Except in Taiwan where the series will be available on HBO, PTS and CATCHPLAY.