Last year, Korean cable networks made leaps and bounds in their overall relevance not just with K-dramas but in Korean television in general. True the Total Variety Network (tvN) probably had the most success in 2016, but the Orion Cinema Network (OCN) is easily the one network which has seen monumental jumps in popularity.
OCN started to get some recognition with their first K-drama of 2016, a crime and comedy thriller titled Neighborhood Hero. However, it was 38 Task Force which really pushed OCN as a top contender among Korean cable networks. It became the most popular K-drama to air on the network having the highest viewership rating of all time. That, however, changed one year later as Voice has overtaken it in popularity. And it looks like Tunnel might just overtake Voice.
Now OCN is ready to expand as they will soon air their first romantic comedy K-drama, My Secret Romance. Not only that, it is being co-produced by one of the most popular and fastest-growing video-on-demand streaming sites for Korean content, DramaFever.
The news was first announced by DramaFever themselves through one of their representatives. The VOD streaming site announced that My Secret Romance will premiere on April 17 in the United States on DramaFever and in South Korea on OCN. For them, this is a monumental moment as it marks the first time DramaFever will simultaneously cast in real time a K-drama currently airing in South Korea. Even with their exclusive deal with Uncontrollably Fond starring Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy, they did not simultaneously stream episodes with South Korea but right after it aired.
President and co-founder of DramaFever, Suk Park, talked about co-producing OCN’s first romcom My Secret Romance. He provided a statement to the media on the business relationship.
“Television production in Korea is consistently raising the bar and delivering stories that transcend country and language barriers. We look forward to bringing our insight and expertise regarding both Korean drama formats and the U.S. television market to this fast-growing genre to create significant and memorable content.”
As for OCN, the fact that My Secret Romance is co-produced by DramaFever will help them in expanding their exposure. As mentioned above, DramaFever is one of the most popular and fastest-growing VOD streaming sites for Korean content. However, in the United States, they are on top. According to a recent study from the South Korean government’s Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), DramaFever accounts for three times as many US K-drama viewers than its closest competitor.
My Secret Romance will be 12 episodes long with each episode being 40 minutes in length and stars Sung Hoon and Song Ji Eun (Jieun of K-pop girl group Secret). It is a unique love story in which Cha Jin Wook (Sung Hoon), a prickly second-generation chaebol and boss of a nutrition company who likes to party but is all business at work, and Lee Yoo Mi (Jieun), a perpetually single young woman with a bright personality who doesn’t do much with her appearance and is rather conservative when it comes to dating, meet at a resort in Jeju. They are caught in a series of misunderstandings and accidents but eventually find a liking for each other and end up spending the night together. Yoo Mi disappears in the morning leaving Jin Wook perplexed and irrationally angry.
Three years later, the two meet again as Yoo Mi becomes a nutritionist at the company cafeteria where Jin Wook works. They pretend not to recognize each other while fighting their physical attraction to each other.
Just by the plot synopsis alone, it looks like My Secret Romance will be a very entertaining romcom K-drama for fans to look forward to. It will make its debut on April 17 and air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. KST on OCN. Though we did not mention it earlier, it should be noted My Secret Romance will also be the first K-drama by OCN to air at the aforementioned time slot. And for those who don’t have access to Korean cable networks, it will be exclusive to watch only on DramaFever.
[Featured Image by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN)]