LIFE&STYLE

JYP, Bae looking further ahead

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  • Published : Mar 30, 2010 - 17:59
  • Updated : Mar 30, 2010 - 17:59
Korean music mogul Park Jin-young and Hallyu star Bae Yong-joon announced a partnership to form a media contents corporation earlier this week.
Park`s JYP Entertainment and Bae`s company Key East, will venture into television production with a drama tentatively titled, "Dream High," under the banner of their new enterprise. This will be the duo`s first foray into TV production.
The series will begin casting and auditions later this month, which also includes general pre-production preparations. Projected to air in the first quarter of 2010, "Dream High," is set in an entertainment academy where students dream of becoming the next continental superstar.
The drama will showcase actors in dance training and acting rehearsals that should pique the interest of those interested in the inner-workings of Korean entertainment.
Park will take charge of the drama`s music and its direction, while production responsibilities will fall on Bae.
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Six years ago, KBS drama "Winter Sonata," starring Bae and Choi Ji-woo, dramatically changed the way Korean television dramas were made.
The 20-episode drama turned Bae and Choi into Asia`s favorite on-screen couple. Following its immense success, domestic broadcasters began producing television dramas aimed specifically for export to other Asian markets by investing more into their programs.
With the "Winter Sonata" craze Bae turned into an iconic figure in Japan and became known as "Yonsama," or Prince Yong.
Soon, he became the Korean Wave figurehead.
In Japan, "Winter Sonata" garnered viewership of 20 percent throughout its three-month run, trumping many Japanese dramas in the process.
Although the actor has kept a low profile, this new venture might signal his total withdrawal from the spotlight, or he might be taking a break to focus on expanding his horizons outside of acting and hocking male cosmetics.
At the other end, JYP Entertainment`s eponymous head has always dabbled in ventures outside of his initial profession as a hip-hop/R&B artist.
Since debuting in 1994, the music mogul has been one of the central figures in the Korean music industry.
JYP Entertainment has been the architect of several of the nation`s top acts such as G.O.D., Park Ji-yoon, the Wonder Girls, and of course Rain, who left JYP in 2007 to start J. Tune Entertainment.
A graduate of Yonsei University, as a teenager Park spent two years in the United States. During that time he became obsessed with Michael Jackson. Even after his return to Korea, he continued to meticulously research American pop music.
Since moving out of the spotlight, Park has produced more than 27 No. 1 singles and 19 No. 1 albums. He has produced hits for Taiwan`s top boy band F4 and Hong Kong`s Jackie Cheung, as well as AI of Japan.
As if Asia were too small a playground for the tall, dark, and "ugly-sexy" Park, he began targeting the United States.
He became the first Asian producer to successfully cross over into the American music industry and composed and produced hits for Will Smith, Mase and Cassie.
In 2006, JYP Entertainment generated $16.3 million in revenue and $10 million during the first six months of 2007.
JYP Entertainment is valued at more than $100 million, making it the richest independent entertainment company in Korea.
By Song Woong-ki

(kws@heraldcorp.com)