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Media & Entertainment

Netflix to add new shows from top South Korean studio

K-drama fans can expect more original series following hit 'Mr. Sunshine'

"Arthdal Chronicles" is a hit show produced by Studio Dragon and streamed on Netflix. South Korea's Studio Dragon has entered into a three-year deal with Netflix to produce more original series. 

NEW YORK -- Lovers of South Korean television will soon enjoy a wider array of choices on Netflix from the Asian nation's top media entertainment company.

CJ ENM and subsidiary Studio Dragon will produce original series for U.S.-based Netflix to offer the world under a three-year partnership starting in 2020, the two sides said Thursday. Netflix will also have distribution rights to certain Studio Dragon shows.

"Today's announcement is a recognition that Korean storytelling and production capabilities are beloved by global audiences and reaffirms the content creation prowess of both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon," Studio Dragon CEO Jinnie Choi said in a news release. "Studio Dragon will try its best to leap forward as a global major studio."

The long-term strategic partnership comes after Netflix streamed such Studio Dragon titles as "Stranger," "Mr. Sunshine," "Memories of Alhambra," "Romance Is a Bonus Book" and "Arthdal Chronicles."

CJ ENM parent CJ Group has been promoting homegrown content abroad through streaming platforms. It worked with China's Youku last year to stream "Produce 48," a popular South Korean musical reality show whose viewers voted on which contestants would form a 12-member girl group.

Studio Dragon licensed "Mr. Sunshine," a 24-episode historical drama, to Netflix in 2018. This marked the first exclusive distribution for the studio, which pocketed an estimated $36 million licensing fee, Nikkei reported.

"CJ ENM and Studio Dragon represent the gold standard in Korean entertainment and we are excited and honored to work with them," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in Thursday's news release. "This partnership with CJ ENM and Studio Dragon demonstrates our commitment to Korean entertainment and allows us to bring more top-tier Korean drama to Netflix members in Korea and all over the world."

The deal also gives CJ ENM the right to sell Netflix as much as 4.99% of Studio Dragon shares.

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