Drama Casting & News
What’s up, What’s Up?
by | April 17, 2011 | 44 Comments

Time to check in on several dramas-on-hold, although info is scarce: There’s been a noted lack of updates on the futures of What’s Up and Poseidon, which continue to languish in limbo. It doesn’t exactly bode well for their fates, especially considering that The Musical and Birdie Buddy are both in the same position, with no sign of being picked up.

One source with What’s Up’s production company, Zero Plus, explained that they’ve been talking with MBC and SBS for a possible broadcast. The drama had initially been given a place on SBS’s Monday-Tuesday 9pm schedule, but lost that when that timeslot was cancelled. What’s Up began filming last July and was to have premiered in March; the cast and crew even held a wrap party in late February when filming was completed.

The production company took an optimistic view, saying, “The drama is good, so it’ll be able to get scheduled somewhere.”

Birdie Buddy, The Musical, and What’s Up have opted to go the 100% pre-produced route, meaning that they’ve continued with filming despite the lack of commitment from broadcasters. That’s great if they eventually get aired (like Paradise Ranch after being stuck in limbo for a year), since they can use the time to polish up the product and make it glisten. (Speaking of which: Have you seen the extended Birdie Buddy trailer? It actually looks kinda awesome.) But on the other hand, if these dramas never get picked up, they’ve just invested tons of time and money into a very expensive dead weight.

Poseidon has gone the opposite route; rather than proceeding with shoots, it has stopped production entirely. That’s also a consequence of the troubles that have plagued the drama that have kept delaying filming in the first place.

(Putting my tinfoil hat on: I find it curious and suspicious that the drama keeps citing “unusually cold weather” as the big culprit for their repeated shooting delays. Yes, this production involves shoots at sea, but weather as the reason to throw away a big-budget production? Pfft. If I’ve learned anything about the K-entertainment system, it’s that these productions would sell their time, their souls, their grandmas and more in the name of churning out product with which to buy more time, souls, and grandmas.)

That’s despite a relatively strong lineup of stars, idols, and producers onboard the various projects. We’re not dealing with no-name, wild-card entries: There are name stars and hot up-and-comers involved (Eric, Kim Kang-woo, Gu Hye-sun, Daniel Choi, Daesung, Im Joo-hwan, UEE), as well as respected directors and writers (Song Ji-nah of Sandglass, Yoo Chul-yong of All In).

A source at SBS’s drama department said regarding Poseidon, “Even with flashy casting and star directors, it wasn’t able to earn a consensus [internally] regarding its plot and development. Even if they were to make it pre-produced and turn out a higher-quality result, these days the drama trends are constantly changing, so making a drama in advance isn’t always a good thing.”

Too bad the alternative — live-shooting — is plagued with its own set of pitfalls. Ya just can’t win, either way.

All in all, it seems like Poseidon is dead — just awaiting the final declaration — and its cast members are either gone or looking for new projects while waiting out their contracts. Likewise Birdie Buddy. The Musical seems to be heading in that direction, while What’s Up producers seem to carry a bit of hope. As do I — but I’m not holding my breath.

Via Newsen, Star News, DongA


44 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mskololia

    Why not try a cable network to p/u What’s Up?

    • 1.1 javabeans

      Money and ratings.

      It seems like an easy fix, since there are other timeslots elsewhere. I believe Someday was initially supposed to be a broadcast drama before it went to OCN.

      But also consider that a drama on a broadcast station will get at least 5% ratings — and that’s considered a failure. A middling one gets 7% to 10%. On cable, a smash hit gets 1%, tops. (Joseon X-Files‘ premiere did 1% which was great, and recently Manny’s 0.5% premiere was considered solid.)

      Also, cable dramas air mostly outside of the prime-time hours, which are the money-generating timeslots. tvN is exploring the option, but most of the cable dramas are on late at night, or on Fridays/weekends. Bottom line, it’s complicated.

      • 1.1.1 Melissa

        I love Someday (even though both male leads were nut cases). I just finished watching it a while ago.

        • belleza

          Originally, Someday was going to be broadcast on MBC. However, the production company Yellow Arts Entertainment decided to go with OCN, because they wanted to target the same Korean audience who prefers watching American fare like Gray’s Anatomy. Also, Someday got a sweet Hallyu distribution deal, even though it was not a “hit” — I actually caught Someday yet again on our local foreign TV station.

          That isn’t to say that MBC doesn’t take chances with pre-produced shows. It’s just that after 2007, it seems MBC kinda gave up on programming sophisticated romantic stuff.

  2. tegami

    Wow, reading this just made me feel kinda bitter, lol. I don’t want Poseidon to die! I did see the extended trailer of Birdie Buddy at Dramafever and yeah, it seems like it’s pretty frickkin’ awesome. I hope Dramafever will be able to air the entire series online.

  3. tegami

    I shudder to think that this whole world of K-Dramas which I love and adore is really just being generated by money hungry capitalists. Aren’t any of these broadcasting network execs K-Drama fans?! lol

  4. Twilight

    I think the disease of “budget consensus” is plaguing the k-drama world same with any other entertainment business all over the world even Hollywood. Bottom line: it’s the cost of production – even w/ big name stars, up & coming actors – that won’t be a guarantee for a hit and return investment. One good example is “Athena” even with big name stars and flashy budget – the ratings were mediocre. It’s business after all w/ so much influx of k-dramas, korean production companies will rather spend wisely in small dramas w/ more return revenues than having blockbuster type series that will flop in the ratings game .

  5. whatis

    yea I saw the trailer of Birdie Buddy over at Dramafever.. it looks REALLY good… I’ve been waiting for the show to come on! I would totally watch it… although I gotta say, the extended trailer sorta gave everything away didn’t it?

    • 5.1 kay

      awesome! i thought i was the only one that actually thought the trailer looked promising. albeit, cheesy, i’m actually quite interested. but yea, we basically know the entire plot now hah. i’m still holding out hope for what’s up!

  6. Rachael

    Now if only there could be an extended trailer for What’s Up on there….Or maybe the entire drama >.>

    Yeesh, I would hope MBC at least picks ’em up as this is a prime drama to put in-between any “Oh crap we need more time to film X Drama!” They seem a tad plagued by that lately, though it at least did Queen of Reversals good.

  7. dalia

    Poseidon. T___T i was so looking forward to Eric’s comeback drama. T_____T

    • 7.1 sleeplessinwgtn

      I know… I read it’s gonna be both funny and action-filled so I was really looking forward to it; sep. with Eric in there.

      • 7.1.1 sleeplessinwgtn

        I mean especially (sep)…

    • 7.2 syrena

      Me too. Waited for him for 2 years to finish his military duty.

      All our excitement built up for Poseidon and then now this – Poseidon in limbo land.

      We’d like to see Eric back!

  8. jose

    people this is quite off topic,but tell me how can all of you,even the bloguers of dramabeans watch dramas?i don’t anything like dvd’s or blu ray’s because i live in a small city in mexico,america !and here is not common the broadcast of dramas in tv (only 1 time in cable i watched something of dae jang geum,apart from that nothing in tv of my country about dramas 🙁 )but is true the online fanbase in my country is growing too,i know the only option is watching them online,but can you tell me the pages you know?i know already dramafever,dramacrazy,mysoju,crunchyroll and umaianime,then someone know other source or page?from what country?

    • 8.1 Alvina

      those are basically the same sources I look to as well. But, we also have a subscription to KBSW and my parents have a cable box that streams these shows haha, so I wouldnt know.

      I know some people download them through torrents.

    • 8.2 Joannw

      Answer is simple. Direct downloads from websites (google shows individually and I’m sure you’ll find lots). There’s am-addiction.com/forum, kpopella.com, etc. Or if it’s fansubbed, just go to their websites and download the hardsubs or softsubs (e.g. WITHS2.com, darksmurfsubs, isubs for Running Man, haru2subs, etc).

      I stopped watching steaming online a long time ago because 1) quality is not as good and 2) it’s not alwys dependable.

      And I never liked using torrents because my laptop is my baby….never gonna take the chance that it might get something bad.

      Hope that helps, and happy watching.

    • 8.3 Sara

      have you tried downloading
      few great sites like amaddiction, myasiancinema even soompi have the download link

    • 8.4 x0mi07

      I watch from most of the above (also stopped watching streaming recently) and download eps from http://mediumquality.blogspot.com/ cuz the files are only 350mb per ep (good enough for laptop watching). I also watch from kimchidramas.net.^^ Goodluck with watching!^^

      P.S. I live in Saudi Arabia (no KBS world since we stopped cable) and my dad deleted the only korean channel we have so I watch all my dramas via my laptop!^^

    • 8.5 Lisa

      Hola compatriota,

      There are several Spain based groups that sub to Spanish Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese dramas. They upload them through torrents and other sources. There`s an uploader of Spanish subbed dramas from KBS through torrents.

      Unfortunately, right now I am on vacation and have very limited internet access, so please send me an email at
      coronado_lm(arroba)yahoo (punto)com

      I will be very happy to send you the links to those websites and assist you as much as possible.

      I should be back home by the middle of next week.

  9. hpn88

    woah that birdie buddy trailer was pretty good. unexpected.
    if they don’t get anyone interested, they should try cable or maybe just stream it online with commercials. Its a shame to have the entire show go to waste.

  10. 10 jinkzz

    just finished watching birdie buddy’s extended trailer… looks pretty good …hopefully the entire drama/storyline is just as good, or better…i agree that it is such a waste if this drama doesn’t get aired

    … I am hoping that what’s up will be able to secure a timeslot.

  11. 11 danna

    I’m positive What’s Up wil make it to air eventually….I highly doubt Birdie Buddy and Musical but I can care less about the Musical though Birdie looked ok in the preview (though still not that appealing)…it’s Poseidon’s fate that I’m more worried about

  12. 12 E

    Actually if they never air in Korea…but end up airing on DramaFever…that would be awesome. Not a total waste…

  13. 13 sunshine

    I would be very VERY bitter if What’s Up doesn’t air.

    • 13.1 Stacy

      I’m with you…I am SO wanting to see Daesung in a drama!

  14. 14 Butet

    Speaking on Birdy Buddy, who in the world is that hot piece of meat, ahem, I mean the handsome man who plays the male lead?

    I NEED MY ‘WHAT’S UP”!!!

    • 14.1 kay

      LOL that hot piece of meat would be Lee Yong-Woo. he’s a model. i know he was in the drama style and the new yoon eun hye movie, my black mini dress.

      • 14.1.1 favegirl13

        LYW is very hot but his acting is pretty non-existent
        couldn’t finish watching “style” then again style was a really bad drama

  15. 15 J-star

    what a waste of hot actors. i don’t understand why they can’t get a broadcast though? that’s why producers should slow down a bit with making dramas. there are numbers of dramas lately that i don’t even know where and what to start watching. i think the increasing numbers of dramas are the reason why some dramas have low ratings-the viewers are divided even more or perhaps confused like me.
    i’d say: set up another broadcasting company!!

  16. 16 Carmie

    I hope What’s Up can get an air date. I really want to see it. The drama looks really good based off the three minute preview. I don’t even care if it pulls a Paradise Ranch I just want it to come out somehow so I can watch it.

  17. 17 jessie

    This is one of my most anticipated dramas! It’s just feel so refreshing, not too cliche and overly dramatic, not so so Kdrama typical.
    Aish.. why can’t they just give them a chance to broadcast!

  18. 18 aznboy

    How do broadcasting companies make money?

    I am not really familiar with the Korean entertainment. Drama tend to be 1 hour long without commercials, and i think they get 1 hour slots like 8-9PM.

  19. 19 aznboy

    I would hope these drama all find a home. Just to make the pre-production model viable.

  20. 20 yellomello

    i too really hope that What’s Up will air!!

  21. 21 theedie

    Will any of the dramas that are already 100% finished at least be able to sell the drama overseas with either international broadcasting rights and/or dvd sets? It would be a darn shame if they couldn’t recoup a little of their money back and an even bigger shame if the people who worked on these dramas weren’t able to show their finished product to anybody.

  22. 22 kims

    i’m waiting for What’s Up like forever…waaa pls air it very sooon!!!

  23. 23 saaandra

    Somehow, i kinda blame SBS for my lack-of-dramas-to-watch period of time now. if they were to broadcast What’s up as per what they wanted to initially, their mon-tue timeslot may still be in the competition with the other 2 stations. And now, they choose to just give up… and there goes my more look forward drama of 2011 T__T

    So…now i just hope MBC to take up the drama quickly! KBS is kinda unlikely to do so since they already had a school and music themed drama in their portfolio.

    pray hard for What’s Up!

  24. 24 xiaoSxin

    Give me my “What’s Up” please. Been waiting for this baby for almost a year now GDI. I want to see Im Joo Hwan <3

  25. 25 hahaha

    But Eric already took a paycheck of over $600,000 (when using 1000won = $1 scale).

    Poseidon’s agency is in major trouble. Big losses.

  26. 26 leddik

    That’s too bad for all the dramas mentioned. All that time and money, esp for Bye Bye Birdie and What’s Up. It has to be frustrating for those funding the project. Not to mention all the actors and directors plus crew involved.

    This maybe a weird question, but did they ever consider just putting it straight to video. Does it have to be aired first on the tv before they can do that? I know in the US they do that alot to movies that don’t quite perform up to snuff, but I don’t know if they do that there. I’m only saying this because if airing them is not an option at all, it would such a waste not being able to view them. Esp after seeing that long trailer of Bye Bye Birdie. It really did pique my interest and I’d be really sad if I wasn’t even given the chance to find out what it’s all about. Besides the golf thing and all that.

  27. 27 am

    I’m still waiting for What’s Up and Birdie Buddy to air. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  28. 28 @.@

    i hope what’s up gets aired soon.
    paradise ranch was a great drama, and it was stuck in limbo for a year. there’s hope.
    hopefully birdie buddy finds an air date. even though i don’t find it interesting, if it eventually airs, i will watch it, if only to judge whether pre-produced dramas are actually better than those that aren’t.

    • 28.1 jess

      if it is true paradise ranch is very good, did not know he had been so long delayed. In terms of Poseidon, was looking forward to seeing you soon but it seems to be a long wait

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