VCNI ramps up studio presence in Asia with Something Special

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VIS, a division of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), is ramping up output in the Asian region through a partnership with Seoul-based format production studio Something Special, launched by South Korean veteran formats producer Jin Woo Hwang.

VIS will have exclusive first-look rights to globally represent and co-develop up to ten of Something Special’s top unscripted and factual entertainment formats, which will cut across genres including music competition, food and cuisine, game shows and reality, appealing to all demographics. The deal will draw from Something Special’s stable of talent featuring some of South Korea’s top unscripted format creatives, including the writers of hits such as Korea’s Got Talent, 1vs100 Korea, Society Game, The Code, I Can See Your Voice, The Voice Korea, Running Man, and Crime Scene. The investment in Korean talent underscores ViacomCBS’ interest in expanding its business in the market.

This partnership and foray into unscripted will enable ViacomCBS to diversify and strengthen its global footprint and content slate, as its global studio, VIS, continues to lead in the development and production of content for the ViacomCBS ecosystem, in addition to third party buyers and partners. The investment in Korean talent underscores the company’s interest in expanding its business in the market. VIS will be seeking partners in Asia from within ViacomCBS’s networks and third-party platforms from the region and beyond to co-produce the selected formats.

JC Acosta, President of ViacomCBS International Studios and Networks Americas, said:  “The partnership with Something Special is testament to our commitment to strengthening our global footprint in Asia, which we began last year with collaboration between VIS KIDS, Nickelodeon International and iQIYI for the global animated series Deer Squad. As a first step towards the creation of a production hub in the market, Korea provides an outstanding business environment, and some of the best creative talent in the world, which perfectly positions us to capitalize on the growing demand for premium international content.”

“We are thrilled and honoured to collaborate with ViacomCBS International Studios for this first look deal for up to ten formats, accelerating our global expansion. With some of our freshest formats, from the finest Korean creative minds, we strongly believe this partnership will provide new hits for an international audience. Something Special continues our mission to bring the best of Asian creativity and content to the world,” said Hwang, who is Founder & President/Executive Producer, Something Special.

The ViacomCBS portfolio in Asia comprises iconic brands such as Nickelodeon, MTV, and Paramount Network, amongst others, offering content across a wide range of genres from kids and family to music and reality to comedy and entertainment.


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