SINGAPORE: Mediacorp announced on Wednesday (Dec 4) that it is partnering Hong Kong-based ViuTV to produce two Chinese-language drama series.
The new partnership – the second tie-up between Mediacorp and ViuTV – will pool production capabilities and capital from both companies, according to the joint media release.
This marks Mediacorp’s latest effort in engaging with the entertainment ecosystem beyond Singapore.
The first show, which has the working title of Ink at Tai Ping, is a 15-episode murder mystery, with the theme of revenge and romance.
Expected to be released in 2020, the show explores the exploits of an enigmatic female tattooist Nana in her shop on Tai Ping Street in present-day Hong Kong.
The series will feature talents from Hong Kong like Chrissie Chau who plays Nana, Alex Lam and Adam Pak; as well as Singapore A-listers Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng and veterans Zhu Houren and Chen Shucheng.
Promising newcomers in the production include He Ying Ying Ayden Sng and Asia Contents Awards 2019 Best Rising Star recipient Fang Rong.
Series development of the drama will be led by director-producer Kevin Tong, while production in Singapore will be spearheaded by executive producer Winnie Wong.
An industry insider who has overseen the output of over 400 variety show episodes, Tong is known for his work on the commercially and critically acclaimed ViuTV suspense series Psycho Detective (2017) and its prequel Psycho Detective 2 (2019).
Wong has several wins at the annual Star Awards under her belt, including Best Drama Serial Breakout (2011) and The Dream Makers (2014), and Top Rated Drama Serial wins for Love Thy Neighbour (2012) and A Million Dollar Dream (2019).
SHOWS TO STREAM ON TOGGLE, VIUTV
Filming for Ink at Tai Ping is expected to start in February next year, with locations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The show will be streamed on demand for free on Toggle in September next year (to be renamed meWATCH from January 2020), or in the third-quarter of next year for ViuTV users.
Details of the second Mediacorp-ViuTV co-production will be revealed in due course, said the companies.
Lofai Lo, director and general manager of HKTVE said: “We are excited to embark on a second collaboration with Mediacorp. This time, we are upping the ante by committing to two projects so as to deliver the most creative, plot-driven and gripping stories to our discerning audiences.
"We hope this unique undertaking will reinforce our reputation for originality and diversity in production.”
Mediacorp’s chief customer officer Irene Lim said: “ViuTV and Mediacorp share a passion for stellar storytelling paired with high production values.
"We look forward to working together to create compelling content in fresh formats that amplify our audience reach and recognition of the creative talent in our region.
"This collaboration complements our continuous efforts to ensure Mediacorp’s robust expansion in an evolving multi-platform mediascape.”
Mediacorp’s chief content officer Doreen Neo said: “This collaboration underscores how resolute Mediacorp is about going regional in a bid to boost and win over both local and international audiences.
"Rallying resources with ViuTV is a strategic move which will grant us greater scale in expanding co-productions as a growth segment. The deal is also a declaration that Mediacorp is ever open for business.
"We are proactively pursuing partners for future projects, and look forward to co-creating content that will inspire and connect with our communities.”