Dorama (ドラマ), meaning drama, are Asian television soap operas. They can also be radio dramas broadcast on the air or sold on compact discs. Many theme songs are done by new and established artists and it is not uncommon for a career to be launched or expanded on the success of having a good song attached to a popular show.
Asian dramas differ substantially from their Western counterparts. Whereas American programs are open-ended affairs, running so long as they remain profitable, many Asian shows are intentionally designed to tell a single story from beginning to end. In Japan and Hong Kong, feature programs tend to be succinct, concentrating around a main plot with several side stories. Japanese dramas are the most concise, rarely exceeding a single twelve episode season. In this they share many of the theatrical structures familiar to Western viewers found in mini-series. Taiwanese, Chinese, and Korean dramas, on the other hand, tend to run longer than those found in Japan and Hong Kong. They are more episodic, and will in format seem more familiar to Western audiences.