Formats

MGM, Mark Burnett team with Soo-Man Lee on K-Pop competition series

MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett (pictured right) has struck a partnership with producer Soo-Man Lee (left) and Korea’s SM Entertainment to develop a K-Pop music competition series to find ...
May 7, 2021

MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett (pictured right) has struck a partnership with producer Soo-Man Lee (left) and Korea’s SM Entertainment to develop a K-Pop music competition series to find the newest members of supersized K-Pop concept group NCT.

The competition series, open to young men between the ages of 13 and 25, will see emerging U.S. artists compete against each other to win a coveted spot in the NCT Universe.

NCT is currently comprised of 23 members from across the globe, who also make up the sub-groups NCT 127, NCT DREAM, and WayV.

Once selected, the contestants will be flown to Seoul, South Korea to attend K-Pop bootcamp at the SM Campus. In each episode, they will compete in challenges designed to test their dance skills, vocals and style, and will be judged and mentored by legendary K-Pop producer Soo-Man Lee and a variety of current NCT superstars including Billboard Chart-toppers NCT 127.

“This series is exactly the type of innovative programming that MGM is committed to creating on a global scale,” said Burnett in a release. “K-Pop is more than a genre of music; it’s a cultural phenomenon and we’re so excited to partner with the incredible Soo-Man Lee and the team at SM to bring K-Pop to the US!”

“I’m happy to be able to proceed with the global audition project together with producer Mark Burnett and MGM. I look forward to making an unconventional audition show that all music fans around the world can enjoy,” Soo-Man Lee added. “We aim to help the contestants show their unlimited potential in becoming true artists. I hope the audience enjoys watching the journey of new stars being born in Hollywood, that will be promoted as NCT-Hollywood in the global market in the future.”

K-Pop, short for Korean Pop Music, has exploded into a $5 billion global industry. Generating more than 20 billion downloads and streams worldwide and 65 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

MGM Television’s current unscripted projects include The Voice  (NBC); Survivor (CBS); Shark Tank (ABC) and Beat Shazam (FOX) among many others.

Photo: Alex Berliner

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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