HBO Asia Unveils First Chinese-Language Original Series 'The Psychic'

HBO Asia The Psychic - H 2016
HBO Asia

The coming-of-age drama follows a 16-year-old Chinese girl who was born with the ability to see spirits but just wants to live a normal teenage life.

HBO Asia continues to ramp up its slate of Chinese-language content.

On Tuesday, the network began principal photography in Taiwan on The Psychic. The supernatural coming-of-age drama will be the HBO's first original series told entirely in Chinese. 

Developed with Taiwan's Public Television Service and co-produced with Singaporean production company InFocus Asia, the six-part hour-long series will be directed by 29-year-old Taiwanese writer-director Chen Ho-Yu, who made the short film on which the show is based. The short, The Busy Young Psychic, won the best short film award at the Taipei Film Festival last year.

Last week, HBO Asia partnered with China Movie Channel to develop and co-produce an anthology of Chinese-language martial arts action movies for television. That project marks HBO and its affiliates' first co-production in the massive Chinese TV sector, which counts an estimated 1.2 billion viewers. China Movie Channel (CMC), also known as CCTV6, is the flagship entertainment channel of state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

The Psychic follows a 16-year-old girl named Xiao Zhen (played by Taiwanese singer-actress Yao Yao, a Golden Horse Award winner for best new performer) who just wants to lead a typical teenage high school life. But, born with the ability to see spirits, she's destined to be special. Xiao Zhen must juggle the pressures of teen life — first love, academic success and peer pressure — with the demands of the spirit world.

Other cast regulars include Kent Tsai (Mon Mon Mon Monsters) and Chen Mu Yi (Comes the Black Dog).

“Through collaborating with PTS and remarkable talents in Taiwan to increase our production of local language content, HBO Asia is perfectly placed to bring our creative spin to The Psychic for regional audiences to enjoy,” said Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia.

HBO Asia has previously collaborated with filmmakers in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia on various English-language productions, including the fantasy series Halfworlds, which was recently renewed for a second season and is being shot in Thailand.