One of Korea's hottest actors and one of its most successful producers will battle it out for ratings on Friday night.
The first episode of KBS soap "Producers" stars Kim Soo-hyun, while another series of "Three Meals", a reality show by celebrity producer Na Young-seok on cable channel tvN, will be aired at the same time.
"Producers" is the first soap for Kim in 14 months. Kim became a top star in Chinese-speaking countries with "My Love from the Star". The new drama deals with the life of the producers of successful shows on a TV station.
Soap operas have gone through something of a fallow patch in the last couple of years, and even top stars like Zo In-sung and Hyun Bin struggled to get decent ratings. The industry has high hopes for Kim's appeal to get them out of the doldrums.
"Producers" has already amassed W1.6 billion from advertising (US$1=W1,092). Chinese online streaming site Sohu.com paid US$2.4 million to secure the streaming license, and talks on exporting copyrights to other Asian countries including Japan are underway.
Expectations are equally high for a new series of Na's "Three Meals". The plot is simple: celebrities cook three meals a day in a country or seaside village, but the previous two seasons were a big hit with the highest ratings out of all programs aired at the time, including terrestrial channels.
The main cast remains the same with actor Lee Seo-jin and singer Ok Taecyeon and various celebrity guests.
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