Big Hit and CJ ENM join hands to look for next BTS through audition show

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : May 15, 2020, 10:33 | Updated : May 15, 2020, 10:33

[Mnet K-POP YouTube channel]

SEOUL -- Big Hit Entertainment, the agency of K-pop band BTS, and South Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM have joined hands to launch a cable TV audition show in an effort to find the next K-pop sensation that would capture the hearts of global music fans.

Mnet, a music cable TV channel operated by CJ ENM, unveiled a teaser video for "I-LAND," the audition show that would have BTS' creators as producers, on Thursday. In the video, popular actor Namgoong Min, the main M.C. of the show, described the 20 billion won ($16.3 million) project as the most evolved survival game to be watched globally.

The first episode of I-LAND will be aired at 11:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) on June 26.

I-LAND is a collaborated project by Big Hit and CJ ENM, which have established Belift Lab, a joint venture to nurture K-pop idol groups. Big Hit has also acquired Source Music, a domestic label which manages girl group GFRIEND, to expand the spectrum of artists.

CJ ENM, the entertainment wing of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, has nurtured tens of K-pop idols through Mnet's seasonal music survival show series. Survivors have formed project bands such as I.O.I, IZ*ONE and WANNA ONE with a life span of about a year.

However, Mnet's reputation as a successful K-pop boot camp was tarnished in November last year when police arrested two producers on charges of rigging votes cast by fans. Votes for two shows, Produce X 101, a boy band survival show that created X1, and Produce 48, a girl band audition show that produced IZ*One, were rigged.

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