SM Entertainment, the K-pop titan home to NCT 127, Red Velvet, aespa and others, is throwing its influence behind a new TV format, a collaborative project that locks the Korean company’s passage into the European market.
Revealed this week, SM Entertainment is teaming up with the team at newly launched Moon&Back Media for a “unique” talent show where its producers will find the next superstar boy band and present it to TV audiences across the globe.
The cameras, filming over six months, will follow the journey of a budding band as they leave London in early 2024 “on the adventure of a lifetime”, with the story unfolding in the UK and South Korea.
According to a statement, pre-production for the series has begun and discussions are underway with major broadcasters, record labels and music publishers.
Both parties characterize the collaboration as a “first-of-its-kind” alliance between Korea and Great Britain
“This collaboration marks our first footprint in Europe,” commented Joseph Chang, CEO of SM & Kakao Entertainment America, in a statement. “Our expansion plan will continue to span the Americas, Europe and other key markets, leveraging SM Entertainment’s large artist roster and extensive network for unprecedented synergies ahead.”
Chang adds, “we are thrilled to partner with power players who were critical in the creation and success of One Direction, and together we aim to find the next global sensation.”
Moon&Back was founded by multi-BAFTA winning producer Nigel Hall (Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor, One Direction), head of broadcasting Dawn Airey (C4, C5, ITV, Sky, Getty Images) and head of talent Russ Lindsay (Ant & Dec, Simon Cowell). Asylum Group invested in Moon&Back earlier in 2023.
“This is a global first,” notes Airey, “creating a British boy band and exposing them to the wonders and rigors of the premier K-pop process with SM Entertainment. This alchemy will create compelling television and a boy band that will entertain the world .”
SM Entertainment, which also guides the careers of SuperM and RIIZE, has increased activities in America with several major acts. In March, SM announced that it wanted to acquire a US-based company to expand into hip-hop or R&B, and in August a so-called “locally integrated company” in North America formed by the merger of Kakao Entertainment America and SM Entertainment USA, which would be “completed quickly within this year.”