On the morning of April 11, a press conference to mark the start of “Produce 101 Japan” was held at Ebisu Act Square to announce the recruitment of applicants for the program. The audition for “Produce 101 Japan” will be open for 101 trainees who make it through the first and second round of screening. An 11-member group will be formed with goals for debut in 2020.
Mnet stated, “‘Produce 101 Japan’ will be co-produced [by CJ ENM and Yoshimoto Kogyo] with a producing director (PD) from the ‘Produce 101’ series participating in it. We are currently discussing the details. Since the program will be held in Japan, the plan is to create a boy idol group targeting the Japanese pop market rather than the Korean one.”
When asked if PD Ahn Joon Young will be participating in the Japanese version of the program, Mnet replied, “Currently, Ahn Joon Young has no spare time due to ‘Produce X 101.’ Another PD will participate [instead].”
Popular Japanese entertainers Ninety-nine (Nainai) were chosen to be the hosts.
Japan’s male idol market is dominated by Johnny’s Entertainment, which produced national boy groups SMAP and Arashi. It will be interesting to see if the upcoming joint Korean-Japanese production of “Produce 101 Japan” changes the Japanese male idol market.
“Produce 101 Japan” is scheduled to air locally in the second half of this year.
Source: Soompi 1 2, PRODUCE 101 JAPAN 1, Naver 1