HomeBad Ass AsiansNew TV Project: Daniel Dae Kim will produce First Rule of Ten

New TV Project: Daniel Dae Kim will produce First Rule of Ten

Daniel Dae Kim. Photo from Ewen Roberts via Flickr Creative Commons.

Views From The Edge
By Ed Diokno

Let’s hope this TV project First Rule of Ten reaches fruition: A former Buddhist monk trying to balance his beliefs with modern-day Los Angeles. Sounds intriguing.

We’re wishing the producers or the network don’t turn the protagonist into a White guy, (i.e.. Iron Fist) spouting Mr. Miyagi-like sayings.

It’s a good project coming from actor-turned-producer Daniel Dae Kim. He runs production company 3AD, using to full advantage the producer muscle he has gained through the success of his ABC drama series The Good Doctor.

Also, having playwright David Henry Hwang (who wrote M. Butterfly) working on the project gives more support for an Asian or Asian American actor to play the lead.

The television project is based on The First Rule of Ten, the first book in a three-part series by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay.

The First Rule of Ten focuses on a young monk who, after spending years struggling with the teachings of his Tibetan monastery, leaves on a search for his identity in Los Angeles, according to Deadline. “There, he’s forced to reconcile the differences between the Buddhist teachings he’s grown up with and the new fast-paced lifestyle filled with temptations,” writes Deadline. “His path to self-discovery becomes further complicated when he witnesses a brutal crime and becomes inextricably entwined in its investigation.”

“3AD is excited to develop First Rule of Ten as our first collaboration with ITV Studios America,” said Kim. “The books tell a beautifully universal story from a uniquely Asian American perspective.”

Kim, who left his Hawaii Five-0 series over a pay disparity dispute last spring, went into the production end of the business, ostensibly to produce more shows with Asian perspectives and storylines.

His recent project, The Good Doctor, though derived from a Korean series of the same name, had a White protagonist.


In addition to the surprise success of The Good Doctor, one of the top shows of the season, Daniel Dae Kim has also been heading projects that have an Asian American perspective.

  • Re Jane is a comedy adaptation of the Patricia Park novel of the same name and has landed at TV Land. It’s about a Korean American woman trying to reconcile the conflicting values of Korea and America.
  • Exhibit A is a legal drama based on the South Korean series My Lawyer, Mr. Jo, in the works at CBS.  According to Deadline, if Exhibit A is picked up to series, it would be the first U.S. non-action drama to feature an Asian American lead.


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