Drama Casting & News
Jin Gu offered new drama Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek
by | December 28, 2012 | 35 Comments

New drama alert! We’ve finally got the next KBS Monday-Tuesday drama on the roll call: Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek is the series slated to follow School 2013 and has begun casting rounds. I’d sing the song about how that’s cutting it awfully close, but such is the way in dramaland. The offer is out to Jin Gu (26 Years, Moby Dick) to star, and though mixed reports say that Lee Jia (Me Too, Flower!, Athena) is up to co-star, her camp says she turned down the role. So it looks like the field is wide open for his leading lady.

The 16-episode drama will be a success story about a man (named Lee Tae-baek, of course) who’s got nothing to his name but a high school diploma and a gift for drawing. He comes up to Seoul from the countryside and starts out as the guy who hands out ads in the street, wearing those sandwich boards, and eventually he’ll fight his way to become an ad man in the other way, as a hit genius ad executive. It’ll be an uplifting story of a hardworking young man who starts out as a hopeless loser, and ends up as the best ad man in the biz.

I just hope it actually is an uplifting success story about a bright, hardworking underdog. Because so many (So. Many.) dramas SAY that’s what they’re about, but then you get to Fashion King and Bachelor’s Vegetable Store and the like, and you find out the painful way that that’s not what they’re about at all. Drama trickery is what that is.

Jin Gu is having a great run lately with the success of his latest movie 26 Years, and though he hasn’t done a drama in a while, a headlining role is definitely the way you want to come back. The drama will be helmed by PD Park Ki-ho, who has worked as secondary directors on You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly, Runaway Plan B, and Merchant Kim Man-deok.

Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek is set to premiere February 4 on KBS.

Via Osen, Joy News


35 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. rainbow

    I was also thinking about fashion king while reading the description…. ๐Ÿ˜€
    well, I haven’t seen any of his works, so waiting for the announcement of the leading lady…..

  2. Mystisith

    Haha. Love how everyone has become cautious toward SK “business dramas”. Indeed, we’ve been burnt quite often. Don’t know, I may give it a try: One of the few projects which fit my taste for the months to come. It would have been cool to have LJA on board though.

  3. adette

    The title makes me think of “Baker King Kim Tak-gu.” ๐Ÿ˜

    • 3.1 houstontwin

      Your right! That really was about working hard to succeed. That aspect of the drama was very enjoyable even though all the melo-machinations surrounding it were the same old tired tropes.

  4. Ivoire

    Thank you for the news!

  5. rubie

    Awesome news, thanks for the cool highlight! JG finally in his first lead drama role. Finally, way to go Jin Goo-ssi!

  6. Nallali

    Of cuz the description ‘genius’ had to rear its ugly head again!

  7. oi

    thanks for the good news
    would love to see more of this guy

  8. tc-noona

    Been waiting to see him as the lead in a drama! Hope there’s lots and lots of romance too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Annie

    I’m kind of happy Lee Ji Ah turned down the role – I felt really bad for her during her scandal but I’ve never liked her as an actress, period.

    Also, there’s no chance of this going melo/makjang because it’s based on a real life story.

    • 9.1 Z

      So was Bachelor’s Vegetable Store.

      • 9.1.1 Annie

        Was that based on the person’s autobiography? I never watched Bachelor’s Vegetable store, so I’m not too familiar with it.

        • pabo ceo reom

          Yup, it was based on a real life story, so don’t just assume there won’t be any melo. Bachelor had makjang up the hizzy. Bleh.

        • Z

          I didn’t watch it either but from what I understand it was the most makjang melo that ever dared to go makjang.

          Come to think of it, Miss Ripley was also based on a true story and also went totally makjang.

  10. 10 Adrianna Lewis

    thanks gf,

    I am so glad Ejiah turned down this drama, she knows

    there are better dramas yet to come for 2013 !!

    Smart move girl !!

  11. 11 dulcedeleche

    Can we find a production company to do a drama challenge?

    Make Dramas without:

    1. Birth secrets
    2. Corporate takeover plotlines
    3. No amnesia or cancer or incurable disease.
    4. No first loves

    Any others I should add?

    • 11.1 dulcedeleche

      Just realized the double negatives. Just take out the “No”s from 3 & 4.

      • 11.1.1 Mystisith

        He! Sometime, redundancy is the way our brain says “enough is enough”.

    • 11.2 Annie

      DDL, as I wrote above, this drama is based on a real life story – someone’s autobiography. I can’t promise there won’t be a first love, but you don’t have to worry about cancer or birth secrets.

    • 11.3 J

      5. jealous ex-girlfriend
      6. screechy grandma who goes “aigoo, aigoo” ALL the time
      7. spineless heroine

  12. 12 Z

    So you’re saying he’s a genius? How original! That’s never been done before!

  13. 13 Danna

    I thought this show was called Ad genius Lee Soon Shin?….anyways so glad Jin Gu is headlining a drama…he’s a talented guy…also since the writer wrote Coffee Prince and Triple it won’t be anything like Baker King or Fasion King even though the guy rising up from poverty and becoming a success is such an overdone storyline

    • 13.1 Danna

      Ok nvm…its not that writer

  14. 14 jusash

    Whoa, realisation just dawned that this dude was that younger Lee Byung-hun version in ALL IN.

    Don’t recall seeing him in any significant role.

  15. 15 nom nom

    yay! is he finally going to return to drama-land again?

  16. 16 canxi

    “Jin Gu is having a great run lately with the success of his latest movie 26 Years”

    He’s also having a great run in my heart! LOL, I had to. I’ve never seen him in anything but he looks cool and so I’ll check that out before this drama premieres. I also hope this is the inspiring story. The one with laughs and heartfelt moments along with the disappointment and not just the disappointment.

    Also can’t wait to see how they dramatize the battle for billboard space or commercial time-slots!

  17. 17 Farpavilions

    I’m grumpy for two reasons:

    1. School 2013 has to end? Whyyyy??? *wails*

    2. Hey, it’s Mad Men, the Candified version! (ok, just riffing on this one … goodness knows Korea has its own equally troublingly sexist ad agencies that have nothing to do with 60s Manhattan)

    • 17.1 Fab

      I know right! Shouldn’t School go for more seasons like the original one?!

      All I can say about Jin Gu is that for a sec he reminded me of Kim Nam Gil(where is he??)…

  18. 18 magnus

    The mention of School 2013 has me sad and grumpy again because of the damn awards preempting the episodes next week.
    But I’m eager about the drama and cautious as well. I refuse to get my hopes up about this type of drama ever again. Fashion King burned me too hard, as you pointed out just as I was thinking it. I hope for the best, I really do. I’m loving good dramas on Mon-Tues to brighten up the beginning of my weeks.

  19. 19 cynkdf

    GF, thank you so much for your write-up. Good luck to Jin Gu and his new drama (assuming he accepts the role)!

  20. 20 WM

    Fashion King should have been described as: “Wanna be Cinderella drama with a script which supports abusive relationships (both man/woman and family), a heroine whose lines are 80% sobs, a non-existent hero, a revenge plot line that makes no sense, only 1/2 a brain which is passed around between the characters (but never stays with one person more than 5 minutes), and an ending that will have you smacking your head into the floor begging for those hours of your life back.” I don’t see uplifting anywhere in there.

    I just hope to heaven this one doesn’t turn into the Show Which Shall Not Be Named, because it sounds so interesting I know I’ll have to watch.

  21. 21 Lisa

    Haha is it just me or is it that when I read the title, I automatically thought of jin gu as in YEO jin gu? From I miss you and moon sun. Haha

  22. 22 Simple Orange

    Love Jin Gu, especially in “Truck” and “All In”. I’m thrilled that he’s finally a lead in a drama, about time this happens. One of my favorite actor. ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. 23 eargasm_and_eyegasm_to_leehyuk

    Never saw his earlier works – All In, etc but I remembered him in Dirty Carnival with Zo In Sung, especially his apperances with him in the variety shows like Sang Sang Plus, Come to Play.. But it was the movie Mother that I finally took notice of him.

    I guess he is truly an underdog like the character Lee Tae Baek… but not a genius in the genius department yet. If he really confirmed on this drama, I will be curious to check him out as a leading actor in drama land..

  24. 24 Kstylick

    Nice. Good for him. I hope he’d be back for good.

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