SM Entertainment’s founding CEO Lee Soo-man, left, poses with MGM Television Chairman Mark Burnett. The two outfits will start a project of carrying out a televised audition to organize a K-pop band composed of American males. Photo courtesy of SM Entertainment

Entertainment giants will join hands to debut K-pop group

South Korean label SM Entertainment announced on May 7 that it will join hands with MGM Worldwide Television to debut a new boy band in the United States.

The two entertainment giants will organize a TV audition series where American boys will compete to take part in an upcoming K-pop group, which will be called NCT-Hollywood.

SM Entertainment is a label behind many famous K-pop artists, including Girls’ Generation and EXO. Short for Neo Culture Technology, NCT is one of them.

Under the NCT initiative, SM Entertainment has picked up global talents since 2016 to combine them into various subunits like NCT 127 in Seoul and WayV in China.

American males aged 13 to 25 will be able to apply for the competition. Eligible candidates will join K-pop boot camp training in Seoul to compete in dance and vocal tests.

An increasing number of K-pop groups have embraced performers from other countries, especially from Asian countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.

But this marks the first time to try to make a K-pop group composed of American talents only.

“I look forward to making an unconventional audition show that all music fans around the world can enjoy,” SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man said in a statement.

MGM Television Chairman Mark Burnett also expressed his hypes on the new project.

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