Drama Casting & News
Script readings galore for spring’s upcoming dramas
by | February 5, 2013 | 76 Comments

Lots and lots of dramas are gearing up for production in the upcoming wave, which means we’ve got lots and lots of casting announcements and table reads. We’re just swimming in casting news these days, with some rumors falling through or others changing their minds and jumping productions, which means it’s all I can do to keep my head on straight about who’s doing what and when.

Let’s start off with one of our highly anticipated upcoming dramas (though I wouldn’t say any of these aren’t anticipated): Gu Family Book. The MBC fusion fantasy sageuk about a half-gumiho hero boasts a solid cast and crew, from its Secret Garden and Gentleman’s Dignity director to its Baker King Kim Tak-gu writer to its lead stars to its supporting lineup.

Headlining the project is (and is there a way to say this without being a jinx?) ratings hitmaker Lee Seung-gi, pictured here at the drama’s script reading a few days ago. His co-stars in the photos below are Suzy (Dream High), Choi Jin-hyuk (Panda and Hedgehog), guest star Lee Yeon-hee (Ghost), Jung Hye-young (Playful Kiss), and Yoo Yeon-seok (Wolf Boy).

Gu Family Book will be a Monday-Tuesday series and premieres in April.

Next, we have KBS’s upcoming You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin, which held its script read on February 4 and assembled an even bigger cast. Makes senseβ€”it’s a weekend family drama, so there’ll be multiple generations and lots of characters.

In the lead role is IU as Lee Soon-shin, whose leading man is played by rising star Jo Jung-seok (The King 2 Hearts). The character is an aspiring actress, and her older sisters are played by Yoo Inna (Queen In-hyun’s Man) and Sohn Tae-young (Two Wives).

Other faces you may recognize in the crowd: Lee Mi-sook (Can We Get Married), Kim Young-chul (Nice Guy), Go Joo-won (Kim Suro), and Go Du-shim (Twinkle Twinkle).

You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin follows current mega-hit My Daughter Seo-young and premieres on March 9.

Ah, here’s more on the cable series The Virus, which has been flying under the radar a bit. In keeping with OCN’s darker, thriller bent (its drama lineup includes Vampire Prosecutor and Ten), The Virus is also going for mystery-thriller vibes as a deadly contagion spreads, giving victims a mere three days from infection to death.

The series centers around a specialized task force working to stop the virus, and is led by scientist Eom Ki-joon (Scent of a Woman). His team includes Lee Ki-woo and Park Min-woo, both of Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, while Wonder Girls pop star Yubin plays a genius hacker on their side.

The 10-episode drama premieres in March.

Last but not least, here we have the stars of Jang Ok-jung, Live For Love, SBS’s sageuk series telling the B-side to a familiar story. Kim Tae-hee plays the much-maligned Jang Ok-jung, though it remains to be seen whether her heroine will be misunderstood by history or simply made a more sympathetic femme fatale in this telling. Yoo Ah-in is the king who makes her queen consort after getting rid of his first one (to be played by Hong Soo-hyun). Yeah, history didn’t like that either.

Included in the cast (but difficult/impossible to make out in the photos) are Jae Hee (May Queen), lovelorn Lee Sang-yeob (so faithful to Moon Chae-won in Nice Guy), and Han Seung-yeon of KARA. Ha, every drama on this page has an idol starlet in a prominent role. At this point we should just expect it.

Jang Ok-jung will follow Monday-Tuesday drama Yawang and premieres in April.

Via My Daily, TV Report, Osen, Mk.co.kr


76 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ace


    • 1.1 gg


  2. manassuper

    looking forward to”gu family book”…….can’t wait for april for the drama to air…..just confused with 2nd lead who is lee seung gi’s first love first it was reported to be han che ah but now many are saying it’s lee bo yi……..anways as long as LSG is there i am damn excited…..hoping the drama will be “DAEBAK”

  3. Mystisith

    Of all those projects, The Virus is the one which appeals to me the most. I’ll prolly try the WE drama with JJS and Yoo In Na too. The rest is not for me…

    • 3.1 canxi

      Agreed! Though, I do want to see Yoo Ah In again, too. But not enough to sit through a drama with Kim Tae Hee’s sorta-acting, so I might just stay away.

  4. JoAnne

    Looking forward to all of these, and having these thoughts while I look at the pictures:

    Puppy Jeonha already looks tired. Suzy is SO VERY PRETTY. The cute level with IU and Yoo Inna as sisters is through.the.roof. YOO AH IN!!!!!!!!

    That is all.

    • 4.1 ilikemangos

      Im sure there will be lots of unni chemistry between yoo inna and IU since they’re really close in real life too!

      • 4.1.1 JoAnne

        oh I didn’t even know that – but that is great news. I had never really cared too much for Yoo Inna before QIHM but I completely fell for her there, and I loved IU in Dream High so I look forward to watching them together. They are both ridiculously cute without seeming fake, somehow.

  5. scbound

    Seung Gi !!!!! cannot wait ….

    Virus is the only other project to catch my interest… enjoy that type of genre.

  6. maewenl

    JO JUNG SEOK, GUYS, ITS JO JUNG SEOK! /FANGIRLS. Really anticipating his lead role here!

    • 6.1 Mehkko

      Too bad he’s way too old for IU. I like the both of them, but together….ew.

      • 6.1.1 canxi

        I didn’t realize how young she was! lol

      • 6.1.2 Ash

        No way I’m not watching because I adore Jo Jung-seok, but yeah, that’s a monster of an age gap. She’s young enough that I’m a little put off, too.

        I have to say, though, I find it fascinating how little outrage I’ve seen. if a show cast an *actress* with that many years on her co-star, entire sections of drama fandom would have a meltdown. Maybe it’s just the weekend drama flying under the radar; but then again, I haven’t seen a whole lot of complaining about the gap between Seung-gi and Suzy either. :/

        • lemondoodle

          I’ve seen more complaints that IU and Suzy being idols than their age. SG has worked with older people in pairings and so has Suzy so I don’t think it’s a big deal. IU and Jo Jung-seok are 13? years apart. It’s a little much for me, but he doesn’t really look his age. And it’s a family drama on the weekends. They aren’t going to get hot and heavy.

          Though it’s probably more neither Jo Jung-seok or Seungi gi are seen as ugly and can pass for younger and of course have lots of fans unlike someone like someone like Choi Kang Hee who is bashed every episode for her age and looks. And sexism obviously.

      • 6.1.3 skelly

        Don’t get me started.
        Sorry too late. All of these young girls are way too heavy on the cute, way too light on experience. I know everyone will leap to their defense, saying “just give them a chance!” or worse, “she’s so great on [insert variety show here]!”. But WHY do I have to give them a chance, watch their blank faces and hesitant attempts at passion and buckets of tears from a bottle when there are already fabulous actresses out there who would do much better, and they would do it right now, not three or four shows from now when they have “learned their craft”?
        I am really supposed to believe that IU is a struggling actress, and that she can carry out a relationship with an obviously older man? She looks like my 13-year old, a lovely blank face without any trying experiences yet written across it.

        • Annie

          Would you say the same about the plethora of wooden pretty boys that nab lead role after lead role in drama land?

          • skelly

            Absolutely. If you look around, you can find my posts on this; if anything, I am more critical of the idol boys.

        • jann

          I wouldn’t leap because I totally agree…coz though I like kpop, I feel real actors and actresses should be given main roles…esp idols in their first ever role should not be cast as main…why bother go to drama school??? It’s like I practised singing to be good at acting…yes I know some idols are good…but let them start small and learn from real actors first…

    • 6.2 JoAnne

      I knew I was forgetting something in my list of thoughts up there. Can they just randomly burst into song even once, please?

    • 6.3 goldeng

      JO JUNG SUK!!!!!!!!!! KYAAAA~~~~~!!!! KYAAA~~~!! ALL MY FEELS~~ :’))) omg im really looking forward to him/yoo in na/IU and i hope they get sky high ratings!! in th beginning, i nearly fainted cuz i thought the leads of Lee bon shin were yoo in na and lee jong suk… theyre my ultimate biases but then they said IU was the lead.. its not a bad thing but man, im just crossing my fingers everything goes smoothly and she can shut the haters mouths even tho im a little nervous :S
      – The Virus sounds interesting!! OCN is my bias! I loved TEn and VP! and the fact theyre making those seasonal dramas makes me even more happier… I read TEN season 2 would start shooting this month, i cant wait!

  7. Mashimomo

    Seung-gi ya and Earnest Bot for spring viewing?! OMG my drama watching quota is getting full again. Looking forward to the new dramas! Also, I’m currently watching Ghost and really enjoying Eom-ki-joon play evil Phantom genius, so maybe a 10 episode series wouldn’t be so bad to add to the mix.

  8. Eye Candy

    So I found Gu Family Book interesting based upon the synopsis but then I finally watched King2Hearts, and I looked back and was like “Wah! Lee Seung Gi is in this too!” So now I’m just super excited πŸ˜€

  9. lemondoodle

    Here for Seunggi and Suzy. They both look especially adorable. I love you Jo Jung-seok and Yoo Inna though and will watch your drama when it finishes.

  10. 10 Mrs Lee

    Gu family Book !! Lee Seung Gi!! You’re the best~!

  11. 11 snow_white

    Four reasons for being so excited for all these shows:

    Lee Seung Ki πŸ™‚
    Jo Jung-seok πŸ™‚
    Eom Ki-joon πŸ™‚
    Jae Hee πŸ™‚

    And ya, LOL @”every drama on this page has an idol starlet in a prominent role” πŸ˜€

  12. 12 notsolittlej

    I’m seriously anticipating all of them!Even though I don’t like Seunggi I can’t wait to see Suzy in Gu Family. AND Yubin in The Virus and Seung Yeon in Jang Ok-jung, Live For Love.
    But I think out of all these dramas my favorite is You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shi in terms both of casting and plot. I love family dramas and I love dramas with an extended cast. Spring season is gonna be amazing.

  13. 13 HT

    Definitely gonna watch The Virus. I hope the show gives off a movie vibe. The plot reminds me of Deranged. I love the cast too! Please be good!

  14. 14 Gom

    Jo Jung Suk! I can’t believe it’s him. I’ve never seen an episode of King 2 Hearts but I just watched Architecture 101 last week and I CANNOT, FOR THE LIFE OF ME, BELIEVE THIS IS HIM! He was so hilarious in that movie. It never occurred to me that this is him in real life.

    • 14.1 random person

      Watch K2H! It’s worth it. Jo Jung Suk was great, so glad that he moved to male lead this time.

      • 14.1.1 JoAnne

        Earnest Bot was a fabulously, heartwarmingly, remember-forever wonderful character, and the best part is that he was far from the only wonderful thing about that show. It’s a little schizo, in that James Bondian evil character way, but for thrills, heart, and comedy as well as the amazing growth of Seung Gi as a leading man (emphasis on MAN) – worth the watch. Well, well, WELL worth the watch.

        Plus Ha Ji Won!!! And his sister. And his mom and his brother. Oh man and the two soldier-teams. I need to rewatch this.

  15. 15 aa

    Excited for IU’s drama!!

    Love all the cast and of course the PD!

    Seungi and Suzy, so cute together. Aw.

  16. 16 jomo

    My heart sped up a bit seeing

    Jo Jung-seok
    Eom Ki-joon
    Go Joo-won

    I am very excited to see the KTH and YAI pairing.
    It could and should but won’t blow all our socks and other underthings off.
    I always love the weekend family shows, but weep for the slowness of subs.

  17. 17 Trina

    eeny meeny minny moe which kdrama will I be watching. It depends…

  18. 18 myra

    Does anyone know what’s going on with Yoon Sang hyun new drama, I LOVE YOU, AHJUSHI, or something like that? there’s no news about this drama anymore, and I really, really want this to air soon!

  19. 19 axonie23

    i will watch gu family book!!
    the plot is really interesting….
    seunggi,suzy 5ting!!

  20. 20 haha

    Seung Gi and Suzy! They looks good together!
    So exited for Gu Family Book. Hope this will be good one.

    • 20.1 bd

      Except only one is actually good-looking.

  21. 21 jubilantia

    WOW. Here’s hoping they all deliver! Although, I guess for your guys’ sake, that only one or two do…

  22. 22 Noemi

    Really excited for Gu Family Book! Sounds fun. I’ve been wondering about Nine: Nine Times Travel, though. Has anyone heard any updates about that recently?

  23. 23 canxi

    Excited for Eom Ki Joon/Lee Ki Woo/Park Min Woo! and that drama in it’s entirety. Awesome awesome.

    Also, pretty excited for Jo Jung Seok in his lead role even with his way younger leading lady, lol.

  24. 24 ran

    I can’t remember the last drama i finish w Lee Seung Gi, I just know how popular they were and how they end. Idk why but it never made me interested until the end.

    On other hand, I’m more intrigued by the cable drama The Virus, because man, TEN, VP1 both dramas I loved. and ngl, I also wait for JOJ Live for Love, idk why when they say it somehow had BBJX feel, my interest skyrocked lol even though i KNOW it’s never gonna be anything near of that drama, but if the relationship between the leads are like that, man, I’d just want to see it at any cost, even just an attempt.

    • 24.1 manassuper

      but the fact remains the same there were all huge hit dramas..i don’t know about you but the dramas were great for me both from beginning to the end…so much so that i can watch them over and over again specially TK2H….All the drama were different one being a family melodrama(B.L),one being romantic comedy(MGIAG),one being how should i describe it it was a lnon-conventional k-drama(TK2H)different from the conventionalk-drama which we generally encountr….now looking forward to”gu family book” …after the reading the plot it so refreshing and compelling……………hoping the drama will be “DAEBAK”

  25. 25 Quiet Thought

    Nice shot if IU conferring with In Na. “Noona, tell me please how I still be pushing the adorable button with my fans when I’m your age?”

    • 25.1 Quiet Thought

      Sorry, I garbled the sentence, I’m not trying to do broken English. There’s no edit button here.

  26. 26 jennie

    looking forward to Jang Ok Bin: Live for Love!!!!

  27. 27 aya21

    huuuu fortunately shikyung not resist his puppy chonna in ratings battle..

  28. 28 skelly

    I really like the premise of Virus, but the thought of some newbie and undoubtedly bubble-headed idol playing yet another “genius hacker” gives me the shivers.

    I will take a look at “Lee Soon-Shin” solely out of loyalty for Yoo In-Ah (yay I got the QIHM header for the first time!) – yet another singer with scent experience thrust into the lead because she has a name – at least she is playing the part of an aspiring actress, so it shouldn’t bee too much of a stretch for IU (who I get confused with Uee…)

    I will watch Gu Family Book for Jung Hye-Yung; again, some may be talented but I also see some cringeworthy possibilities in that line-up.

    Where did they stick all of the actors and actresses over the age of 25? Under a rock? It’s positively chilling how few roles, especially romantic roles, there are for women after 30… after that, it’s all moms and victims. Sigh. I’d really like to see someone who actually might know something about love and know how to show it, unlike Park Shin-Hye, who obviously still can’t reciprocate a kiss if her life depended on it.

    • 28.1 scarecrow

      Thank you.
      When I saw Lee Seunggi was up for another lead role I was excited – then I realised Suzy was playing leading lady so I scrolled on…
      Then IU…and then Yubin (although I don’t mind idols too much if they’re playing side roles).

      To be honest, regardless of the amount of experience each has, seeing an idol playing the lead in a drama seriously puts me off. I’ll never understand why somebody would hire a young, inexperienced singer who may have appeared in a couple of bubblegum dramas in the past over a professional actor or actress who has been trained and excels at their craft.

      Obviously there are a fair few robotic, dead-behind-the-eyes, passionless professionals in the industry too (and like Skelly said, don’t get me started on Park Shin-Hye), but honestly there are so many convincing, captivating and lovable actors and actresses out there that there’s no need to turn to idols to take over the show.

      Where I’d potentially be interested in the majority, if not all of these dramas without idol leads, I’ll only be able to stomach giving Virus a shot, and that’s because Yubin is a “genius hacker” not a leading lady.

  29. 29 kaye

    Never noticed Lee Ki-woo until this post. He’s smoldering hot.

    • 29.1 Aqidah

      On the contrary.. i only noticed him..!

  30. 30 Avery

    Lee Seung Gi and Suzy fighting !

  31. 31 anaro

    I’m anticipating Gu Family Book.

  32. 32 ck1Oz

    Ju Jung Seok!!!!
    Why IU?Loved her in the Milk Couple but to put you next to an actor with the most expressive eyes. And you trying to emote.
    It’s going to be painful to watch since I actually love her as a singer.

  33. 33 sponge

    Really excited for the seunggi suzy drama and the pairing even though im always a bit iffy with large age gaps. Im still suprised that iu is the lead of her new drama even though the idol trend is so prominent

  34. 34 whatis

    I really wonder what the other actors/actresses are thinking when they see idols taking over the leading roles…

  35. 35 orenji

    woot~~my Dream High ladies back in action. I’m just excited and nervous to see their drama. Anyone notice the sweet coincidence between IU and Suzy’s drama?
    IU and Suzy are real life BFF and Lee Seunggi and Jo Jungseok are BFF in K2H. IU with Jo Jungseok and Lee Seunggi with Suzy. Luckily,they are not broadcast at the same time. XD The script reading photos for both drama came out at the same day. Jo Jungseok,Suzy and Yoo Yeonseok are all in movie “Architecture 101”. It’s interesting~ What a small world indeed.

  36. 36 Annie

    Kim Soo Hyun is 7 years older than Suzy (he’s counted amongst people born in 1987) and I don’t think anyone really mentioned it so I’m not sure why people would have a problem with Suzy and Lee Seung Gi.

    • 36.1 Mystisith

      I must be one of the few persons who never check the age of the characters or of the actors/actresses for a show. Just because I don’t care at all. Some pairings work on screen and others not. It’s more about the looks and the compatibility of “energy”.

  37. 37 kfangurl

    Woo, something to look forward to in each of these shows! Me likey πŸ™‚

  38. 38 magnus

    I’m looking forward to all of these πŸ˜€ hope they don’t disappoint.

  39. 39 eternalfive

    Heh, aww, IU and Yoo Inna are looking adorable together in that pic. <3 And Lee Seung-gi is just looking adorable in general.

  40. 40 Mini

    woot! IU and Suzy! I can’t tell bad/wooden acting apart from good acting. So I’ve never minded idols in dramas

  41. 41 bd

    While I like Suzy and LYH, don’t think their acting will be enough to overcome my distaste for LSG (Shin Mina was worth it for MGIAG).

    • 41.1 manassuper

      as long as drama taste right for us we don’t care even if LSG distaste you …looking forward to gu family book for lee seung gi in particular………….

      • 41.1.1 bd

        If you don’t care – then why bother to respond to my post?

        Sorry, if not everyone has the same opinion of LSG as you.

        • Anon

          Lee Seung Gi fighting ! Love and support you forever.

  42. 42 Lilly

    Gu family and Virus do look interesting.

  43. 43 hot_saranghae

    Go Joo Won finished his army duty? I didn’t realize that^^~

  44. 44 foulou

    So who is supposed to be the 2nd female lead in Gu Family Book?

  45. 45 Kitchel17

    YUBIN!!!! definitely go to watch virus!

  46. 46 gaea

    My dear sister, just don’t πŸ™‚ everyone has their own opinion, though I can’t understand hatred & dislikeness πŸ™‚

  47. 47 cimori

    god help this one,

    i hope suzy will not do some fatal failure, since she is a nwebie in acting, just a reminder of her role in Big, she is really annoying and unnecessary in Big.

    and just cross finger that suzy will not bring a bad dam luck to lee seung gi.

    and why suzy in there, until now i am clueless, what the hell are they doing to put suzy for leading actress, just wish that lee seung gi drama will not be a failure in kdrama history, finger cross

  48. 48 cimori

    edit : Newbie for nwebie

  49. 49 ruro

    Waiting for Gu Family Book the most, because of my beloved Seung Gi :D, I dont trust Suzy acting at all since I watched all of her projects & she acted all the same, boring & poker face. Hope her role is not that significant, dont want to be mean but if she decides to be a pretty flower vase in the drama, just do a good job as a flower vase & dont ruin the whole drama. Really dont understand why they have to cast idols into dramas & movies so much lately, acting shouldnt be learnt during the filming, if it is, then whats the point of opening acting schools?

  50. 50 Muljen

    I’ll definetely watch Gu Family Book for Lee Seung Gi. His acting is very good at The King 2 Hearts. Can’t wait for april to come soon

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