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HBO Asia Adds Fifth Original To 2016 Slate

HBO Asia has announced its fifth original commission this year, a comedy called Sent, making 2016 HBO Asia's most prolific year for originals by far.

This year, HBO has also ordered two Chinese-language movies (Master of the Drunken Fist: Beggar So and Master of the Shadowless Kick: Wong Kei-Ying), a second season of Indonesian fantasy series Halfworlds, and The Teenage Psychic a drama co-produced with Taiwanese broadcaster PTS.

Before this, the broadcaster made one new title a year, starting with action horror film Dead Mine in 2012. This was followed by three TV series: Serangoon Road in 2013, Grace in 2014 and Halfworlds in 2015.

Sent, produced in partnership with Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority, is being directed and co-produced by Singaporean comedian Alaric Tay.

Tay also played in HBO Asia’s first original drama Serangoon Road, which was co-produced with Australia’s ABC TV.

Press release in full below:


Production Has Begun For HBO Asia’s First Original Comedy Drama Series, Sent

Singaporean comedian Alaric Tay to direct and co-produce

SINGAPORE, December 08, 2016 – HBO Asia announced today that the network’s first original comedy drama series, SENT, is currently in production. Filmed in Singapore, the eight-part half-hour per episode series will be directed and co-produced by Singaporean comedian Alaric Tay. SENT is scheduled to air exclusively on HBO Asia’s on-air, online and on-demand platforms in 2017. 

Developed and produced by HBO Asia, SENT will feature an ensemble cast of actors who are based in Singapore and Thailand. They include Haresh Tilani (Ministry of Funny), Alan Wong (Tanglin), Adrian Pang (The Blue Mansion), Carla Dunareanu (The Kitchen Musical), David Asavanond (HBO Asia’s Halfworlds Season 2) and Rosalind Pho (Light Years).

SENT chronicles the life of an unremarkable and meek financial compliance officer, Jay Bunani (played by Haresh Tilani), who has a habit of writing searing, and eye-wateringly honest emails to anyone who aggravates him. After he inadvertently sends out drafts of these emails that no one was ever supposed to see, his world turns upside down. He must now deal with the backlash of his actions after his carelessness cost him his job, friends, fiancée, and everyone close to him. Jay goes on a mission to salvage his reputation and relationships, and ends up finding out more about himself than he thought he knew.

“We are thrilled to be producing HBO Asia’s first comedy drama series, a genre that is one of the perennial favourites of viewers across Asia,” said CEO of HBO Asia, Jonathan Spink. “We are proud to again be collaborating with Asian talents to bring more Asian content to the global stage.” 

SENT marks Alaric’s first time directing a TV series and he is best known by audiences for his funnyman antics on The Noose (eight seasons, 2007 to 2015) and HBO Asia’s 2013 drama series, Serangoon Road. Alaric also received an Asian Television Award commendation for Best Actor in a Comedy Series (The Noose) in 2011 and 2012; and an Asian Television Award commendation for Best Supporting Actor in A Drama Series (Serangoon Road) in 2014.

SENT is produced in partnership with the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) with the aim of developing the drama production capabilities of Singapore’s media industry and talent. Under this partnership, HBO Asia will work with local talent and companies, and train them to develop and produce compelling content for international audiences. 

Angeline Poh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Content & Innovation Group), IMDA, said “The partnership between HBO Asia and IMDA created the opportunity for local talent to helm key positions on the production of SENT. They took on lead roles on screen and off screen, working closely with HBO Asia through the development and production process. IMDA will continue to forge such collaborations with industry partners like HBO Asia, to deepen the capabilities of Singapore’s media talent and raise the quality of our drama production.”

Source: HBO Asia