SPTI grabs European rights to 'Hyena'

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SEOUL -- Sony Pictures Television International has acquired the European format rights to Korean TV series "Hyena" from CJ Media, SPTI said Thursday.

"Hyena" follows the lives of four single men, drawing comparisons to HBO's series "Sex and the City." It was one of the first original series broadcast on Channel CGV, Korea's leading cable broadcaster, which is owned by CJ Media.

SPTI called the deal the first time it has acquired format rights for any Asian scripted program and a sign of its strengthening relationship with CJ Media, the television production arm of the CJ Group, one of Korea's biggest cable broadcasters.

" 'Hyena' has proven to be a groundbreaking series in Korea, incorporating the dramatic elements and fine writing of Korean drama with a Western episodic structure," said Mary Chan, SPTI's executive director of Asia production. "But more importantly, it is simply a great story filled with rowdy humor. We look forward to bringing this great story to audiences beyond Asia by formatting it in Europe."

SPTI said that, though no European broadcaster has yet signed up to remake the series, talks are under way with several potential partners.

"We are excited to be working with SPTI on the distribution and format licensing of 'Hyena' outside of Korea," executive producer Ahn Sang Hw said. "It is a great opportunity for CJ Media to grow into a global entertainment company with outstanding cultural content."
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