Wed, Apr 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan-produced series ‘The Teenage Psychic’ making a splash in Asia

Staff writer, with CNA

The Teenage Psychic (通靈少女), HBO Asia’s first original series in Mandarin and its first made in Taiwan, has received widespread positive reviews since its release early this month.

The series of six hour-long episodes about a 16-year-old girl born with the ability to see spirits was jointly developed by HBO, Public Television Service (PTS) and Singapore’s InFocus Asia.

It debuted on April 2 on PTS and across 23 territories on HBO, with subtitles in English.

In Singapore, the first episode came in as the top program across all of StarHub’s English movie channels and had higher ratings for a series premiere than any HBO Asia Originals to date, HBO Asia said in a statement.

In Taiwan, the fourth episode aired on PTS on Sunday and had an average rating of 2.72. It exceeded 3 at certain points in time, an unusually high rating usually reserved for top-rated primetime soap operas.

One rating point is roughly equal to 1 percent of the population watching a program at a given time.

PTS international department director Jessie Shih (施悅文) said The Teenage Psychic has demonstrated the nation’s strength in TV production and given people a glimpse into the talent of Taiwanese actors and TV crews.

It is also an important cornerstone for future cooperation between PTS and foreign companies, such as Netflix and Amazon, she said.

Andrew Chin (陳威聖), vice president for programming and production at HBO Asia, said the series is indeed very popular and HBO will study the story’s development potential to see whether to produce it for another season.

The Teenage Psychic is directed by Chen Ho-yu (陳和榆) based on his award-winning short film The Busy Young Psychic (神算).

The entirely Taiwanese cast includes Kuo Shu-yau (郭書瑤), Kent Tsai (蔡凡熙), Chen Mu-yi (陳慕義), Alina Cheng (鄭茵聲), Nana Lee (李千娜), Michael Huang (黃仲崑) and Sylvia Hsieh (謝翔雅).

The series’ final two episodes air on Sunday.

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