K-pop Drama Series ‘Idol: The Coup’ Is Hatched by Transparent Arts and JTBC

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Transparent Arts, an Asian-American talent management firm, has come on board as producer of Korean drama series “Idol: The Coup.”

In South Korea, the show will premiere on JTBC this winter. International rights are held by iQiyi, the Chinese streaming platform.

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The series is a 12-episode drama about a failing K-pop girl group called Cotton Candy. The band has just months left on its contract and must face the reality that its dreams may never come to fruition. The members decide to leave on their own terms, showing the realistic side of what being in the industry is like, but also an important message about mental health.

The series is written by Jung Yoon-Jung (“Miseang”) and directed by No Jung-Chan (“The War of Flowers”). Charles Chu, writer-director of “Chu & Blossom,” developed the series with Transparent Arts co-founder Daniel Park.

Development included creating two fictional K-pop groups “Cotton Candy” and “Mars” for the series, producing songs with a group of international writers and producers, and incorporating the choreography for the groups (1 Million). Transparent Arts will also be credited for the original soundtrack production.

The cast includes: Hani (Exid), Exy (WJSN), Solbin (Laboum), Kim Jiwon (RedSquare), and Han So-eun as Cotton Candy members; and Jung Woong-in, Kwak Si-yang and Kim Min-kyu.

Transparent Arts was hatched from under the Far East Movement hip hop and electronic music group. It now has activities that include record labels, music production and distribution, branding, support through festivals, concerts, TV, and film. Its talent management division represents Asian artists including Tiffany Young of Girls Generation, B.I., James Reid, ØZI, and Afgan.

“When it came to telling stories in Korea, I was excited to go into areas that weren’t really being talked about. The idea that we get to tell a story about a failed K-pop girl group and how they cope with that is amazing to me,” said Park.

“It was great to see on what levels storytelling crosses cultural boundaries and where things work and don’t work,” said Chu. “And to work within language barriers and the subtle differences between the American and Korean entertainment industries was at times challenging, but ultimately worthwhile.“

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