Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Lee Jae-yong faces reporters in January. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Although South Korea is famous worldwide for its TV dramas and the obsessive fandom that surrounds them, on American TV, shows with majority Asian casts have been relegated to the sitcom world. (And it’s not like there have been a ton of those, either. At the moment, there’s only one: ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat.) That’s what makes a new joint venture between NBC and Sleepy Hollow co-showrunner Albert Kim so significant: Should the show make it to air, it will be the first American network drama series to feature an almost entirely Asian cast.

At the moment, the as-yet-untitled series is in the writing phase, with Kim developing a script from his own original concept. The show is based on the real-life drama that surrounds Korean chaebols, or family-owned multinational business conglomerates, and their Shakespearean power struggles. To give one example, the Lee family, which controls Samsung—and 17 percent of South Korea’s GDP—has been embroiled in many scandals over the years, most recently seeing son and VP Lee Jae-yong sentenced to five years in prison on corruption charges in August.


According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show, described as “a multi-cultural soap,” will open in Los Angeles, with a female protagonist who grew up unaware that her family controls a politically influential, fabulously wealthy conglomerate in South Korea. When she finds out that she’s poised to inherit the company, she’s thrown into a world of corruption and intrigue led by her newfound siblings.

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