K-pop’s largest boy band (no really, there are 23 of them, you can take a count) NCT is about to get even larger—and they’re heading stateside. As per The Hollywood Reporter, MGM Television is teaming up with NCT’s label SM Entertainment for a reality competition series that will ultimately result in the formation of a new subunit called NCT-Hollywood.
The K-pop genre is no stranger to reality competition shows—or “survival shows” as they are called in the fandom—and many of today’s most popular groups (e.g. Monsta X, Stray Kids, Seventeen, Twice etc.) were formed on a show before their debuts. And the upcoming series seems like it’ll stick to a pretty traditional format; the main difference is that contestants will consist of “America’s most talented emerging artists” who are males aged 13 to 25.
If they have a successful audition, the trainees will jet off to Seoul and undergo the notoriously grueling idol bootcamp at the SM campus. They will also compete, be judged, and subsequently be eliminated one by one until the winner is added to the new subunit.
“I look forward to making an unconventional audition show that all music fans around the world can enjoy,” Lee Soo-man, SM’s founder, says in a statement. “I hope the audience enjoys watching the journey of new stars being born in Hollywood, that will be promoted as NCT-Hollywood in the global market in the future.”
In a statement of his own, MGM television chairman Mark Burnett says, “This series is exactly the type of innovative programming that MGM is committed to creating on a global scale. K-pop is more than a genre of music; it’s a cultural phenomenon and we’re so excited to partner with the incredible Soo-Man Lee and the team at SM to bring K-pop to the U.S.!”
NCT’s entire concept as a group is to have an “unlimited” number of members from across the globe and since their debut in 2016, they are well on their way to doing just that. Currently, the 23 members hail from cities in Korea, Japan, Thailand, Canada, China, Macau, and the U.S, and there are four main subunits: NCT 127, NCT Dream, WayV and NCT U.
Lee Soo-man, is also the mastermind behind K-pop supergroup SuperM, who had their American debut at the end of 2019 and consists of a few NCT members (Taeyong, Mark, Lucas, and Ten), a few Exo members (Baekhyun and Kai), and a Shinee member (Taemin).
There’s no word yet on when filming will begin or when the show will air.