ABS-CBN produces original content for iQiyi

TWO romance stories and a musical series are among Chinese on-demand streaming service iQiyi’s first Filipino originals shows after sealing a content deal with ABS-CBN.

Founded in China in 2010, iQiyi International is an on-demand video streaming service providing pan-Asian entertainment. It is currently available in 191 countries with more than 106 million subscribers worldwide.

The content deal with the network adds to iQiyi’s growing library of content from Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

“This partnership allows us to bring the best of Filipino content to an international market with iQiyi’s current reach of 191 territories,” Cory Vidanes, ABS-CBN Chief Operating Officer of Broadcast, said at online press launch on Nov. 23.

Negotiations with ABS-CBN began almost two years ago while the streaming platform was slowly building its brand in the country, said iQiyi country manager Sherwin dela Cruz.

“We’ve always known that we would go hardcore with local. We were just really waiting for the right time. [In as much as] all the Asian titles are very relatable, but nothing is more at home and authentic as our own Filipino stories,” Mr. Dela Cruz said.

Premiering on iQiyi this December is the ABS-CBN shows Saying Goodbye and Hello, Heart, while Lyric and Beat will premiere in 2022.

The young adult drama series Saying Goodbye stars Andrea Brillantes and Seth Fedelin whose characters meet at an old record store and fight over the same album. After that less than auspicious start, a friendship, then love, bloom. Joining the cast are Andi Abaya and Kobie Brown. Saying Goodbye premieres on Dec. 4, 8 p.m., with new episodes released weekly.

The romantic comedy Hello, Heart follows the hardworking yet unlucky Heart (played by Gigi De Lana) and the very serious Saul (Gerald Anderson). Heart is hired to pretend to be Saul’s wife to please his grandmother who has dementia. Hello, Heart premieres on Dec. 15, 8 p.m, with new episodes released weekly.

Lyric and Beat is a romantic musical series following the students in a music conservatory who are pitted against each other for the chance to represent the school at the prestigious National Music Competition. The series stars Andrea Brillantes, Seth Fedelin, Darren Espanto, and AC Bonifacio. Also in the cast are Nyoy Volante, Agot Isidro, Joanna Ampil, Sheena Belarmino, Jeremy Glinoga, and Angela Ken. Lyric and Beat premieres in 2022.

The shows will be streamed exclusively on the iQiyi app and www.iQ.com. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman