EXCLUSIVE: The Masked Singer creator Wonwoo Park is developing a Eurovision Song Contest-style format that “will bring people together regardless of their nationality” and addressed the Fox masked singer Rudy Giulani controversy for the first time, stating that it wouldn’t have happened in Korea.
Speaking exclusively to Deadline during this week’s Mip TV, Park, who has has just started a first development contract with Fox Alternative Entertainment and his Seoul-based production company DiTurn, said that due to the conflict in Ukraine, he came up with ideas “for shows that are not related to their country”, inspired by Eurovision.
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The format is being developed on paper, and Park would like to bring it to US networks soon.
“I’m thinking of new shows where we can come together regardless of our nationality,” he said. “It is so important at this time with the situation in Ukraine to think about entertainment programs that will make peace.”
Park’s partnership with Fox has only been in sight for a few months after a similar deal was struck with Universal, but he’s been bouncing around a number of ideas and was at Mip TV in Cannes for the first time and presented Fox executives to global buyers.
Next is Fox’s masked singer episode which will feature controversial former Trump lawyer Giuliani, revealed by Deadline in February, and Park addressed the controversy that caused judges Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke to leave the set, stating that it wouldn’t have happened in the Korean version.
“It would be taboo [in Korea] having someone controversial or political on the show,” he explained. “But it can’t always be nice when the mask falls off and more masked singer seasons [globally] we do, the more we realize that you can’t always have candidates everyone likes.
Since last attending an in-person Mip TV in 2019, The Masked Singer, who was born on MBC in Korea, became a global phenomenon and, having never expected the show to travel beyond China, Park is now vocal about the trust American networks place in Korean formats.
He’s most excited about my boyfriend is better and revealed Lotto Singer, the first show from its development deal with Fox, is about to go green as Park “waits for a network to make a decision.”
The former show, which aired two episodes in Korea on Mnet, sees five boyfriends sing to each other as couples recount how they fell in love.
Park gets visibly excited as he explains the show and says there are opportunities for spinoffs such as my girlfriend is better Where My family is better with the potential to feature couples who have already achieved fame on other reality shows.
“Dating is a popular genre all over the world and there is a lot of interest from buyers,” he said.
Lotto Singermeanwhile, sees viewers win cash prizes by betting on contestant performances and airs as a pilot on Korean MBN, proving, for Park, that American gamers are now watching Korean shows earlier in the process.
If ordered, he has big plans for a “reinforced” version of Lotto singer.
“When I talk to the American networks, they show their confidence in our shows and it was amazing to meet Fox executives for the first time this week,” he added.
“When I started the masked singer I only thought it would go to our neighboring country, China, and I had no idea it would explode after so many years. Now, Korean media companies are working hard to target the US and UK with easily adaptable shows. »
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