Drama Casting & News
Jo Hyun-jae’s new drama, Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek
by | January 13, 2013 | 81 Comments

Oh, finally a reason to perk up about new KBS drama Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek! Yes, I am completely aware that this is motivated by nothing more than shallow reasons. And your point is…?

Jo Hyun-jae is one of the last (or perhaps THE last) main cast member to be added to Ad Genius, playing a likely rival to our hero in the Monday-Tuesday drama that sounds a lot like Baker Bachelor Ad King — in that the drama is really a success story celebrating hard work, contrary to the “genius” in the title.

Calling him a genius might lead to expectations of a rich, brilliant hero to whom success comes easily, but thankfully the story focuses on a more interesting characterization of Lee Tae-baek (Jin Gu), painting him as the underdog who comes to Seoul from the sticks and climbs his way up the ad-world ranks through dint of his blood, sweat and tears. The heroine is Park Ha-sun, whom I love for her one-two punch of sweet sincerity and bulldoggish ferocity, while Han Chae-young plays to her glamorous, sophisticated image as a cool, pragmatic top ad executive.

Jo Hyun-jae sounds like he’s her perfect match, also playing a cold-hearted advertising exec… Oh wait. Only You reunion! I wonder if Jo Hyun-jae will have a romantic pairing with Han Chae-young again, although I suppose their roles are miles apart since this time she won’t be the plucky Candy that the chaebol heir loved and left (and knocked up!). Still, they were cute together in that drama which was all kinds of bleh otherwise, and I’d love to see them back in fictional love.

Jo’s character is a team leader at an ad firm and is named Andy Kang… and you know what that means: More excuses to bust out with “Kang-ah!” Yeah, it doesn’t quite work the same way when it’s his last name, but just try and stop me.

Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek takes over the Monday-Tuesday timeslot from School 2013, and premieres February 4. It’s a 16-episode drama — woohoo! And here I was worried that those were all but going extinct.

Via Chosun


81 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Daisy

    Yay I miss him! But I wish he wasnt playing second πŸ™
    Kang Ah!

    • 1.1 KANGly

      Just want to share Kang ah’s latest picture http://johyunjae.net/gallery/view.asp?pageno=1&field=0&keyword=&boardID=1&seq=668

      drool… drool… drool…

    • 1.2 hester

      My EXACT thoughts…why do so many of my favorites end up playing the guy that gets a broken heart?? *sigh* πŸ™

      • 1.2.1 KANGly

        So we can fantasize about mending that broken heart for him… ack so corny! JHJ makes me go corny and cheesy…

    • 1.3 bimbobunny

      Aw, second lead syndrome here I come. I will sink along with this ship. ;_;


  2. Rashell

    And just like that this has become a drama I’ll at least check out. Because it never can be said enough…Kang-ahhhh!

  3. myweithisway

    The only reason I will watch this: Kang-ahhhhh!

  4. bb

    KANG AHHHH!! You just made me feel like watching 49 days and crying all over it again~

    • 4.1 zoe

      sooo true! Never njoid crying so much…only coz of kang ahhh β™₯

  5. Lois

    Yay I love 3 out of 4 leads!! KANG-AHHHHH! <3

  6. annedramaaddict

    Kang-ahh! Nuff said. I’ll at least check it out!

  7. raindrops

    I was worried about that too(the length πŸ˜‰ )….
    Anyways, I’m excited about this show…..and ya, it would have been so good if there was Jae Hee in this πŸ™‚

  8. dulcedeleche

    Is it me or can he and Jung Ui Chul (Shut up! Flower boy Band) pass off as bros?

  9. eternalfive


    That is all.

  10. 10 goldeng

    ohh im a little side eyeing the genius thing… because from all the “geniuses” we’d seen in dramaland lately the only real geniuses were like joseon player Kim Bung Do and joseon power ranger song man bo… but well, im still looking forward to this story :)))

  11. 11 Smile134

    Me 11th!!!


  12. 12 SH

    Came here to say the same thing: Kang ahhhhhhhhh πŸ˜€

    I miss him!

  13. 13 KANGly

    Kang-ahhhhhhhhhhhh is back… so KANGly is back too!

    • 13.1 YY

      Hi, Kangly, altogether now:

      • 13.1.1 KANGly

        Kang ahhhhhhhhhhh LOL

    • 13.2 pipit


    • 13.3 Linda165


  14. 14 Annie

    He should be getting lead roles imo. Sigh.

  15. 15 linda


    I missed him so much. His character in love letter is my favorite second Kang-ahhhhh.

  16. 16 Kiara


  17. 17 rheina07

    aaaa welcome back kang-ahhh !!!!! <3

  18. 18 canxi

    It’s a 16 episode drama!!!…for now. LOL, I’m sorry I am jinxing it. But the way things are going in Dramaland with the B3, I’m just taking the episode counts with a grain of salt.

  19. 19 Poisontale

    Gorgeous pic of him up there! I miss Kang-ahhh!

  20. 20 Minnetter (aka: Min)

    I love you JB^^ haha I am also ready to call out Kang-ah!!! I might see this drama now… I haven’t seen a Jin Gu drama so I don’t know much about him, but Jo Hyun Jae I love ^^

  21. 21 lovedramas

    OMG – I actually watched Only You a few more times than I care to admit. So cute those two were.

    I will at least give this a try.

  22. 22 djes

    Jin Gu and Jo Hyun Jae….
    after School 2013.

    so after flower boys ( sort of ), we get real men.

  23. 23 Ace

    Haha. He’ll always be “Kang-ah” to us, huh? That was my first thought too when I opened db and saw his very sexy pic. πŸ˜‰

    • 23.1 Ace

      I clicked on the link above because one Kang-ah article is not enough apparently. And so I scrolled down to the comments and burst out laughing (started with #1.1 fm pipit and at # I can’t scroll down coz I was laughing so hard). Ah, the Kang-ah love is

      • 23.1.1 ck1Oz

        I clicked because you clicked. And man,did I laugh.Hahaha way to see how a fangirly love has passed.But it was funny reading her comments.

        • YY

          I clicked because Ace clicked and ck clicked and it’s so funny with the meditation guru and pipit’s backache hahahaha

    • 23.2 Ace

      …gonna stay for a long time.

      • 23.2.1 KANGly

        yeah, that was such a crazy, fun time! I hope the Kang ah love will continue in this new drama.

  24. 24 Jess

    I love this cast! (Yes, ALL 4 OF THEM!) Sooo I will be jumping onto this drama ship! Let’s just hope it won’t sink!

  25. 25 JC

    This made me so excited: here’s hoping the drama will be good.
    I was totally in love with this guy in 49 Days, but nothing else of his seems good, unfortunately.

  26. 26 jyyjc

    Well ya never know JB, it could get extentions which seems to be happening for every other drama lately.

  27. 27 Danna

    Yay! Kang-aaaaah is back…I’ve been wondering where JHJ was gone?…Even though I like the fact that Jin Gu has his lead role in a drama, this does feel like a step down for JHJ who’s only done lead roles the last few years

  28. 28 beppu10

    Yessss!!! Two things that perked me up by this:

    1) Kang-aahhh is back, and
    2) he’s back with Han Chae Young!

    Bring it on, drama! xD

  29. 29 Diaz

    Kang-ahhhhhhhhhhhh. .

  30. 30 Gaeina Lee

    Ahhh Kang-ah~~~~!!!
    It’s about time you come back to Kdland after venturing Cdland for a year.. Miss you, darling, me and the rest of DBers.. ^^

  31. 31 Amberscube

    Ahhhhhhh…. I miss you, Kang-aahhhh!
    My heart just went crazy!

  32. 32 Trina

    welcome back Kang-ahhhhhhh! I do hope he will romance Han Chae Young again!!! So far soo good… I am loving this drama so far.

  33. 33 SD

    Oh yeah, I remember that Jo Hyun Jae and Han Chae Young acted as a couple in Only You. It would be awesome if they act as a couple again in this drama. πŸ™‚

  34. 34 YY

    B-But isn’t Kang-ah going to be the hero here? I couldn’t bear it if Kang-ah played the second lead. Kang-ahhhh you my herooooooooooo pls pls be the herooooooooooooo Kang-ahhhhh*crying* ah ah ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  35. 35 bishbash

    Oh damn I wasn’t at all interested in this but now…Kang ah!!! And Only You mini reunion is good!!! Though I preferred HCY and Jae Hee.

  36. 36 pipit

    I have no interest in this particular drama. But that is one genius ad they put up there! I’m so gonna still that picture.

    My man is back! Kang ah is back! Back! Back! (Never realise before that the word back is my favourite word).

    This is the best new year’s news ever. But how could they put him as second male lead? As far as I know he always plays the lead in everydrama he’s in.

    Praying for a twist but even though there’s no twist and this one turns out to be a bore. Nothing will turn me off with JHY on the screen.

    Kang ahhhhh!

  37. 37 Link

    Han Kang is back!!! πŸ˜€ Loved this guy back in Seodongyo <3 I haven't seen Only You but he broke my heart in 49 Days so I hope he'll keep it in one piece this time. Can't wait till After School ;D

  38. 38 Im not diana34 btw

    The thing Kang-ah makes you think..
    check out comment no. 44.1


    (I can’t believe I just looked it up, going back to my works now..)

    • 38.1 pipit

      You’ve got our thanks Not Diana34! It’s the blow job slip! The best slip of tongue ever ^-^

    • 38.2 KANGly

      OMG… best slurp of the tongue on DB ever!

    • 38.3 Rach^^

      Warning: do not read that comment while drinking water. It will create a mess and you will choke.

    • 38.4 Amberscube

      Omo! Omo! There’s an “edit” in FB but not in DB.. Best slip of tongue EVER. Thanks Diana for sharing and the laughs!

    • 38.5 ricky trh

      *chokes on popcorn* *smacks chest repeatedly*

  39. 39 bd

    JHJ has such a great offbeat delivery which he put to great use in the delightful black comedy – “My Scary Girl.”

    • 39.1 KANGly

      “My Scary Girl”? I don’t remember JHJ being in a drama with that title. Does that drama have another name/title?

      • 39.1.1 YY

        I would kill any girl who dares to scare my Kang-ah…just saying.

        • pipit

          YY are you trying to compete with Hitler or trying to commit suicide? That’s us YY. Us. We would scare the hell out of him if he knew how crazy we really are.

  40. 40 Nokcha

    What a striking picture…..

  41. 41 Bu Young

    Han Kang! It’s been too long!

  42. 42 bella

    SO,this drama is what??? new style?? Letting Bigger names play the second roles to get people interest???? or that Jin Gu guy & Park Ha-sun-teacher of High Kick 3 is unbelievably popular & ridiculously great in acting???

    • 42.1 pipit

      I know! So strange isn’t? It makes me wonder whether the story might be a little different than our regular kdrama’s story where there’s a clear cut between the first and second male lead. But it will need a stellar writing and compelling character for the second male lead to outshine the first male lead. Rather like the second male lead in Hotelier who makes me root like hell for him instead of Bae Yong Jun.

      • 42.1.1 Prissymom

        JHJ has done 2nd lead roles in the past – First Love and Sunshine (the one with Song Hye Gyo). In both dramas he outshone the male leads.

        First Love DVDs are sold with JHJ’s face on it, not the male lead. Sunshine’s ending was re-written because they could not

      • 42.1.2 Prissymom

        Oh my, how did that happen?

        Anyway to continue… First Love DVDs are sold with JHJ’s face on it and not the male lead’s because his role is more memorable than the male lead’s.

        Sunshine’s ending was re-written because they could not allow SHK’s character to end up with the male lead because her fans protested against that. Granted, she didn’t end up with JHJ, but she didn’t end up with the male lead either.

        Whether he is 1st lead, 2nd lead, 3rd lead, or no lead (in Daemang he wasn’t even listed in the credits and was supposed to die, but the script was rewritten where his character could live to become King) I am sure he will shine.

      • 42.1.3 Prissymom

        Oh, forgot to mention that JHJ did both First Love and Sunshine after he did Love Letter where he is 1st lead.

        • pipit

          Wow, I’m totally in awe of your knowledge of Jo Hyun Jae Prissymom. Thanks for the info it makes me want to watch both First Love and Sunshine. *adding those two and Love Letter as must find out DVDs*

  43. 43 sky

    Yay Im excited that he’s back with a new drama. But why is he playing second lead? Why?! With the second leading man so good looking it will be hard to cheer on the hero of he drama. So shallow. Haha

  44. 44 Rach^^

    OMG KANG AH… KANG!!! ***hyperventilates***

  45. 45 Rach^^

    OK now I’m finding it weird that he’s playing second lead???

  46. 46 Cindy

    Omg! Kang-ah!

  47. 47 Abbie

    Yeah, I wasn’t following the new of this drama closely, nor was I interested in it until I saw the name Jo Hyun-jae. I may have to check this out, if only to oggle my oppa.

  48. 48 Steph

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, my love. It’s been too long. Mama’s all in now!

  49. 49 Ree

    Speaking of Only You, will you guys ever recap old dramas? I liked Han Chae Young in Choonyang and I’m thinking about watching Only You…
    It would be great if you do recaps for the older shows too, you know, if you ever find the time to do that ^^

  50. 50 dany

    Kang ah! Welcome back!

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