Fox to Develop American Adaptation of Answer Me 1997

While ABC’s adaptation of tvN’s Nine Time Travels is stuck somewhere in development, another hit tvN drama has a shot to make its away across Pacific with Fox looking to adapt Answer Me 1997/Reply 1997 for the US.

Deadline reports that Fox has put Answer Me 1999 into development with Step Up 3D writers Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer writing the script and Step Up director John M. Chu at the helm of the pilot with all three set as Executive Producers under FX Productions.

The article describes the series as a “musical drama” and “musical journey,” but unless they’re developing the adaptation as a replacement for Glee, that description could be misleading.

I’d say both Answer Me series are musical dramas in the way NBC’s late, great American Dreams was a musical drama in that the music of the era was used as a way to frame and enhance the events in the characters’ lives and of the world at that time. People aren’t breaking out into musical numbers during the episode.

This Fox adaptation is interesting in many ways. Both Answer Mes definitely had a gimmick (which is not mentioned in the Deadline article and I won’t spoil here), but both were at their best as true coming-of-age and slice of life stories. The characters friendships and bonds in the midst of a changing world were the biggest draw.

Setting Fox’s adaptation in 1999 at the height of *NSYNC, Britney, Christina and the Backstreet Boys is pretty inspired and a good jumping off point. But like most American teen dramas, Answer Me 1999 will probably be a sexed-up version of the original series, both of which were more innocent, even while groundbreaking in many aspects. That innocence and more conservative Korean drama treatment added to both series’ charm and nostalgia, at least for me.

So regardless, it will be interesting to see what Answer Me 1999 would eventually look like.

Still, while this is great news for Korean drama (many deserving of the big Hollywood treatment), I’m more anxious to hear about Nine Time Travels‘s fate.

3 thoughts on “Fox to Develop American Adaptation of Answer Me 1997

  1. I also heard Good Doctor (I think thats what its called) from Korea has also had its rights snapped up for an American adaptation. You’d think at least one of those would at least get a pilot order but so far no dice. Hope AM 99 gets a tryout, thought I will be petrified to see the result, with the numerous ways it could all go so wrong. (Unlike Nine, which was just such a amazing concept that I wanna see more, whereas AM series you have to nail the characters and tone) Thanks for the info!

    • Oh yeah! I forgot, CBS and Daniel Dae Kim were in talks to develop “Good Doctor” too. It wasn’t officially put into development though like “Nine Time Travels” was complete with writers and director.

      A few years ago, Kapital Entertainment actually bought the rights to adapt KBS’ revenge dramas “The Lucifer” and “Ressurection” but nothing came of that either.

      But yeah, there are a lot of Korean dramas that can be easily adapted for the US, but there are some that definitely depend on casting and its Korean-ness that might not work when adapted.
      So we’ll see how “Answer Me 1999” develops. Should be interesting.

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