HomePop CultureNBC Orders Pilot for Show Based on Hit Korean Drama 'SKY Castle'

NBC Orders Pilot for Show Based on Hit Korean Drama ‘SKY Castle’

Stories based on Korean dramas are making their way into American network television.

SKY Castle, a South Korean drama, began airing in November 2018 and currently holds the record as South Korea’s highest-rated cable TV drama. The series centers on elite families obsessed with getting their children into competitive colleges. SKY is a common acronym used to refer to the three most prestigious universities in Korea.

Now, Deadline reports that the Korean drama will get new life through an NBC pilot tentatively titled TriBeCa, named after the neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. Like SKY Castle, TriBeCa will feature a group of wealthy families that will go to any lengths to help their children to succeed. 

The 2019 US college admission scandal has made TV projects with related themes “a hot commodity right now,” according to Deadline. 

NBC gave a pilot commitment for the hourlong drama, which means it has agreed to pay a penalty if it does not produce and air the pilot episode. This generally indicates that a network is confident a pilot will be picked up as a series. 

SKY Castle writer Yoo Hyun Mi said she is curious to see how the American version will look, according to The South China Morning Post.

“Korea is not the only country grappling with excessive [focus on] private education,” Yoo said at the 14th Asian TV Drama Conference in Incheon. “When I wrote SKY Castle, I thought people from other countries could empathise with my drama.”

Netflix Asia’s trailer for SKY Castle.

Supergirl executive producers Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller (also known for her work on Gossip Girl) are on board to write TriBeCa. The duo will also executive produce the show alongside others, including Yoo.

Deadline reports that Rovner and Queller said the show will not feature characters based on any of the 51 people indicted in the college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues. However, they do want TriBeCa to explore social issues and the pressures of living in a modern urban environment.

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