Produce 101 is a reality girl group survival show that will air in mid-January 2016. It is a large-scale project in which the public “produces” a unit girl group by choosing members from a pool of 101 trainees from 46 entertainment companies as well as the group’s concept, debut song, and group name. The show has the second-largest budget of all Mnet-produced shows at about four billion won (approximately $3.4 million).
Produce 101 will be the nation’s first agency-collaboration unit girl group project, which brings together 101 trainees from different entertainment companies both inside and outside of South Korea, and 11 trainees will be selected to form a unit girl group. The unit group will stay together for a year and release an album under the record label of CJ E&M, but may later join a girl group that their agencies are planning. The members have begun living together on December 5, 2015. They took to the stage for the first time to face off in a group mission at the CJ E&M studio in Ilsan on December 27, 2015.
For the girls’ trainings, several artists have been recruited for the show. Actor-singer Jang Keun-suk serves as a mentor while Brown Eyed Girls’ vocalist JeA alongside vocal trainer Kim Sung-eun, soloist Kahi with choreographer Bae Yoon-jung, and rapper Cheetah are respectively in charge of vocal, dance and rap training. In addition, trainer Ray Yang is in charge of the girls’ fitness training.
Director: Mnet, CJ E&M