From the city that catapulted K-pop juggernauts like BTS and Blackpink to global stardom, CBBC and BBC iPlayer announce 'Gangnam Project'—a brand-new dramedy that offers audiences an exclusive glimpse behind the curtain of OME and what it takes to become a K-pop superstar.
Told through the eyes of 16-year-old Korean-Canadian Hannah Shin, 'Gangnam Project' follows her journey into the world of K-pop, where every dance move, every note sung and every social media post is precisely choreographed, practiced and perfected -leading her to discover new things about herself with each new experience.
Keen to learn more about her heritage, Hannah embarks on a journey to Korea, where she takes on a tutoring role at the renowned K-pop academy OME However, her visit takes an unexpected turn when her infectious enthusiasm and undeniable musical talents catch the attention of OME's CEO. Before long, Hannah finds herself transitioning from tutor to trainee as she embarks on a transformative path fuelled by her unique potential.
Gangnam Project also explores the journey of Hannah’s older brother, Leo, from aimless slacker to disciplined go-getter, as well as revealing a shocking family secret.
This coming-of-age dramedy is full of heart, culture and humour while dealing with themes of identity, belonging, acceptance, and discovering your truth - all set to an original soundtrack composed by recording artist, songwriter, producer and musician, August Rigo. Rigo has written songs for global K-pop sensations BTS (Black Swan and On, amassing over 1 billion views combined on YouTube), U Smile for Justin Bieber and Gotta Be You for One Direction.
Gangnam Project is co-commissioned by CBC Kids, the children’s programming division of Canada’s national public broadcaster, and CBBC, produced by Pillango Productions and Aircraft Pictures with the financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund. It is executive produced by co-showrunners Sarah Haasz and Romeo Candido. Aircraft’s Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen also Executive Produce along with Cottonwood Media’s David Michel. The series is directed by Romeo Candido, Justin Wu, and Gloria Kim.
For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports; Marie McCann is Senior Director, Children’s Content, CBC Kids; and Swin Chang is Executive in Charge of Development and Production, CBC Kids.
For CBBC, Sarah Muller is Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+, Aubrey Clarke is Commissioning Executive 7+ and Desiree Peeters is Assistant Commissioner – Submissions Lead 0-12.
The series is being produced with the financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund. Federation Kids & Family is handling worldwide sales.
Julia Kim Caldwell, star of Gangnam Project (“Hannah Shin”), said: “I’ve always been a massive K-Pop fan. For me, K-Pop was a way to connect to the Korean heritage on my mum’s side and I love how it’s been a bridge for people to discover more about Korean culture. I’m so excited for anyone who’s always been a fan of K-pop, like myself, to get to live out their trainee fantasy with Hannah’s journey and for newcomers to fall in love with everything K-Pop. Being a part of Gangnam Project has been a dream come true for me and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!”
Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Commissioning and Acquisitions 7+, BBC Children’s and Education, said: “Korea is the modern centre of the creative world and K-pop, K-drama and K-cartoons continue to rise in popularity across the globe, especially amongst younger audiences. That’s why we’re bringing CBBC viewers their very own K-pop show combining brilliant, high quality storytelling with this huge cultural phenomenon!
Marie McCann, Senior Director, Children’s Content, CBC Kids, said: “From the beginning, we’ve been excited to bring Gangnam Project to life for audiences in Canada and around the world. Sarah and Romeo’s storytelling has tapped into K-pop culture in an authentic way, with an incredible soundtrack performed by a talented young cast, while also managing to be thoughtful and relatable, with a sense of humour. This fun and upbeat series will appeal to viewers of all ages.”
Episode 1 of Gangnam Project is available on CBBC and BBC iPlayer from 26th February 2024.