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.