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More Writers And Actresses Opt For Cable Dramas

BY Julie Jones | Aug 26, 2015 12:26 PM EDT

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Following the success of the cable hit "Misaeng," more drama writers who once worked for the major Korean channels MBC, KBS or SBS, are choosing to write dramas for the cable networks. And some talented actresses are choosing to star in them.

For example, Kim Go Eun has a cable channel as the outlet for her first drama experience while Choi Ji Woo and Jeong Ryeo Won are making the switch for the first time.

Where the writers go, the acting talent may follow.

According to an article in the Korean media outlet joins.com, cable channels may offer writers more creative and casting freedom. The publication quoted culture critic Lee Hogyu saying that the major television stations often focus on casting the biggest stars possible for a drama and that may alter the intent of the screenwriter and director.

Take the case of "Misaeng, which was originally considered by one of the major television channels. The drama's producers decided to go with a cable channel rather than make requested changes to the content or cast a major star in the leading role. Instead the producers cast ZE:A's Im Si Wan in the lead role of a former baduk player who struggles to succeed in office life.

The drama explored some uncomfortable territory when examining the Korean workplace but the producers did not compromise and their efforts paid off with a few Baeksang Arts Awards.

"They came to tvN after they were asked to change the content," said Hogyu. "And the result was a big hit."

Writers may increasingly choose this option, said Hogyu because offers them a chance to be more creative.

Two more writers that recently chose cable are So Hyun Kyung and Kim Eun Hee.

So Hyun Kyung who wrote screenplays for the hit dramas "Shining Inheritance," "49 Days," "Prosecutor Princess" and "My Daughter Seo Young," has written the script for "Twenty Again" which stars Choi Ji Woo and Lee Sang Yoon. It's the first cable drama for So Hyun Kyung and also Choi Ji Woo's first cable drama in 20 years of acting. The drama begins August 28.

And then there is Kim Eun Hee, who wrote the script for the dramas "Three Days," "Phantom" and "Sign." Her most recent drama "Signal" was written for tvN. The drama, based on the Hwaseong serial murders, will air in the beginning of January 2016 and stars Lee Je Hoon as a modern day detective who solves crimes with a detective from the past via a mysterious walkie talkie.

Noh Hee Kyung, who wrote the screenplay for "It's Okay That's Love" will also write her next drama for a cable network.

Anticipated cable k-dramas include "Cheese In The Trap," starring Park Hae Jin and Kim Go Eun, and "Bubble Gum," starring Jeong Ryeo Won and Lee Dong Wook.

"Cheese In The Trap" will be the first drama for Kim Go Eun, who has enjoyed a short but successful career in film, appearing in "Monster," "Coin Locket Girl" and "Memories of the Sword." And she chose a cable channel for her first small screen role.

It's not the first drama for Jeong Ryeo Won, but it is the first cable drama. Jeong previously starred in the MBC hit "My Name Is Kim Sam Soon" and the SBS hit "History of a Salaryman."

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