HBO Asia, a regional home for premium cable programming, is getting set to premiere its first original comedy-drama series, and in doing so, it will give a local YouTube star a chance to shine. Haresh Tilani, the co-founder of the Singaporean sketch comedy hub Ministry of Funny, is the star of Sent, which will premiere on HBO Asia on September 17.
In Sent, Tilani will play Jay, a man who vents his frustrations by writing out nasty emails he never sends. When he accidentally airs all his dirty laundry for the public to see, he must navigate the fallout while encountering many of the people he “wrote” to. A behind-the-scenes look at the show is available through the HBO Asia YouTube channel, and it gives potential viewers an idea of the blend of humor and earnest emotion they can expect.
Tilani launched Ministry of Funny alongside Terence Chia in 2011, and the two partners have spent the past six years skewering the conventions and cultures of South Asia. In 2016, HBO Asia noticed Tilani and Chia thanks to the videos on their YouTube channel, and the network recruited them to be Associate Producers on Sent. Tilani signed on as the show’s lead as well, with comedian Alaric Tay serving as its director.
“We are thrilled to be producing HBO Asia’s first comedy drama series, a genre that is one of the perennial favorites of viewers across Asia,” said HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink back when Sent was first announced. “We are proud to again be collaborating with Asian talents to bring more Asian content to the global stage.”
Beyond Sent, Tilani and Chia plan to continue creating videos for Ministry of Funny, which reaches more than 112,000 subscribers.