The Korea Herald


‘Cheongdamdong 111’ captures K-pop stars off the stage

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 18, 2013 - 19:26

    • Link copied

FNC Entertainment CEO Han Sung-ho (center, second row) poses with members of the label’s artists at the “Cheongdamdong 111” press conference in Seoul on Monday. (CJ E&M) FNC Entertainment CEO Han Sung-ho (center, second row) poses with members of the label’s artists at the “Cheongdamdong 111” press conference in Seoul on Monday. (CJ E&M)
For those who have ever wondered what the work atmosphere is like behind the closed doors of a big time K-pop entertainment agency, then the soon-to-be-aired new reality drama “Cheongdamdong 111” may help shed some light.

Starring label mates CNBlue, FTIsland, AOA and Juniel, the new reality TV show follows the daily routine of the artists and staff of popular talent agency FNC Entertainment, from the CEO to the managers to the trainees. The agency recently moved its headquarters to the affluent neighborhood of Cheongdam-dong, which also just happens to be home to some of the nation’s largest entertainment agencies including S.M., JYPE and Cube Entertainment. 

FNC Entertainment CEO Han Sung-ho (CJ E&M) FNC Entertainment CEO Han Sung-ho (CJ E&M)
“Through this drama I believe people will have a very unique opportunity to get a sense of what the entertainment industry is actually like,” said FNC Entertainment CEO Han Sung-ho at a press conference held in Seoul on Monday. “When you talk about entertainment, you usually only get to see the glitz and glamour of it on TV, but I wanted to show the audience the other side; it’s playful and funny, but it’s also sad and dramatic.”

The viewers will not only witness the dynamics that the artists of FNC have with one another but also the relationships they share with the management.

One of the agency’s head directors Kim Young-sun, who is often referred to within the company as “The Witch,” will also be featured in the behind-the-scenes reality program. Kim is the petrifying, strict boss who brings back cinematic memories of Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly from the “Devil Wears Prada.” She is bound to give audiences both a good laugh and goose bumps at the same time. In one episode she is shown yelling at the members of girl group AOA for standing around eating snacks instead of practicing, and singling out a member because she seems to have gained weight.

“You can think of this overall program as a drama, but in terms of the conversations and interactions that these artists are having while we were filming, we really are showing people their true colors and personalities,” said tvN head Lee Duk-jae. “So for people who are asking how much of this is actually reality, what I can say is that we have basically taken these real life situations and dramatized them into a show.”

“At first I just thought, ‘Dear lord why do we have to do this?’ when we are so busy already and now you’re just adding to our schedule,” said FTIsland member Lee Hong-gi, who in the show is revealed to having a good humored, yet very open and blunt relationship with his CEO.

“I actually fought about this with the CEO, but after we started filming I began to realize what a great experience it was turning out to be ... we really are like a family here and I think people will be able to sense this while they’re watching.”

“Cheongdamdong 111” will air in eight, one-hour episodes with the first airing on Nov. 21 on tvN.

By Julie Jackson (