FOX Alternative Entertainment (FAE), FOX Entertainment’s in-house unscripted studio, and Wonwoo Park, creator of the hit international format THE MASKED SINGER, have entered into an exclusive first-look development deal, it was announced today by Allison Wallach, Executive Vice President, Head of FOX Alternative Entertainment, and Park.
Under terms of the agreement, FAE and Park’s Seoul-based production company, dI turn, will jointly develop series for global territories and the American market. The two companies are currently developing the international format for the hit Korean talent-competition series “Lotto Singer,” in which viewers can win cash prizes by correctly betting on contestants’ performances. Created by Park, and from Seoul Broadcasting System’s content hub FormatEast, “Lotto Singer” aired on MBN last year, when it registered the network’s highest viewer rating of 5.2%.
“Thanks to the creative genius and vision of Wonwoo Park, the success of THE MASKED SINGER and the impact it has had on FOX and numerous other networks throughout the world cannot be understated,” said Wallach. “Wonwoo’s ability to identify and develop concepts that are unique in premise and universal in appeal makes him one of the most innovative producers in the business, and we are excited to see where this partnership will take us.”
Added Park, “Korea had long been an unnoticed market, but over the last few years formats such as "The King of Masked Singer" have been sold all over the world. Many K-POP singers are massively popular around the world, and Korean production companies clearly have the ability to produce high-efficiency programming. I expect this collaboration with FOX to create more hits; and our team here at dI turn is ready.”
Park created THE MASKED SINGER, which is currently in its sixth season on FOX and the United States’ #1 primetime entertainment series. Since its 2019 premiere in the U.S., THE MASKED SINGER has been formatted in more than 60 countries, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Norway, Italy and others.
Park is CEO of dI turn and has been a series writer, creator and producer since 1997. In addition to The King of Masked Singer, his credits include CJ Entertainment & Media’s “Top Gear Korea,” “Mama” and “The Song Was Born”; “Million Seller,” “The Hit” and “Singing Battle” for KBS; and “My Ranking” and “Dancing in the Box.”
Last month, FAE launched an international unscripted format fund to identify intellectual property for the global market. As part of FOX Entertainment’s strategy to build and diversify its portfolio of content and revenue streams, the fund will invest in and develop internationally originated unscripted program concepts, ranging from reality-competition and variety series to dating and other genres, for provincial networks and platforms. In providing local broadcasters cost-effective programming, FAE will co-produce series selected by the fund with each series’ partner.
FAE recently produced the all-new variety competition program “The Big Deal” for Ireland’s Virgin Media Television in partnership with Dublin-based BiggerStage. The series, presented by Vogue Williams and featuring celebrity judges, including pop legend Boy George; comedian and actor Deirdre O’Kane; Aston Merrygold, formerly of JLS and recent finalist on “The Masked Singer” in the U.K.; talent show favorites, Jedward; and music star Lyra, marks the channel’s most successful original format launch ever, winning its time period by 20% across all viewers and improving the full year-to-date slot average by 50%. “The Big Deal” was created and is owned by FAE.