ViacomCBS Inks Format Deal With South Korea's Something Special

Hwang Jin Woo and JC Acosta
Courtesy of Something Special; Courtesy of ViacomCBS International Studios

From left: Hwang Jin Woo and JC Acosta

The deal gives the U.S. company exclusive first-look rights to globally represent and co-develop up to ten of Something Special's top unscripted and factual entertainment formats.

ViacomCBS Networks International is deepening its ties in Asia through a new deal signed with South Korean company Something Special to co-develop TV formats.

Inked by ViacomCBS division VIS, the deal gives the U.S. company exclusive first-look rights to globally represent and co-develop up to ten of Something Special's top unscripted and factual entertainment formats. The categories of programming will span music competition, food and cuisine, game shows and reality, targeting all demographics.

Something Special was launched in late 2019 by Korean TV veterans Hwang Jin Woo (former format head at CJ E&M) and Kim In-soo (previously head of formats at SBS). The company has dubbed itself South Korea's first TV agency to exclusively represent format producers.

The deal also gives VIS access to Something Special's broad pool of Korean talent relationships, which include some of South Korea's top unscripted format creatives, including the writers of hits such as Korea’s Got Talent1vs100 KoreaSociety GameThe Code, I Can See Your VoiceThe Voice KoreaRunning Man and Crime Scene. 

JC Acosta, president of ViacomCBS International Studios, said in a statement: "The partnership with Something Special is testament to our commitment to strengthening our global footprint in Asia, which we began last year with collaboration between VIS KIDS, Nickelodeon International and iQIYI for the global animated series Deer Squad. As a first step towards the creation of a production hub in the market, Korea provides an outstanding business environment, and some of the best creative talent in the world, which perfectly positions us to capitalize on the growing demand for premium international content."

Added Hwang: “With some of our freshest formats, from the finest Korean creative minds, we strongly believe this partnership will provide new hits for an international audience."