Drama Casting & News
Period drama Basketball to premiere in October
by | September 18, 2013 | 39 Comments

Finally, an update about Basketball, the period drama from tvN set in the 1940s that is about basketball in one sense, but really about so much more. The drama has been given the Monday-Tuesday timeslot on the October broadcast schedule, where it’ll run for 24 episodes.

There are a few reasons for the heightened interest in Basketball, like the reportedly high production values. PD Kwak Jung-hwan of Chuno and Conspiracy in the Court is aiming to raise the bar on visual quality from his previous works, which were already fairly brimming with directorial style. The drama has been in pre-production for seven years and will be half pre-produced (meaning, half the series will be filmed prior to its premiere), which ought to cut down on the live-shoot nonsense.

Then there’s the backdrop, taking place during the Japanese occupation years and up through the division of the peninsula into North and South. Unlike dramas like Gaksital and Capital Scandal, however, the Occupation and independence movement are not the show’s central premise; instead, the characters will look to basketball as their hopes and dreams and, in some cases, pathways to a better life.

Most of the main cast members are new faces, which I’m actually a bit excited about; it’s always exciting to be alerted to fresh faces, but also, I have the completely unproven belief that if a rookie is given the lead, he’s probably gotta be good. (Is not a naive hope, right?) Do Ji-han (Incarnation of Money) takes the lead as the young athlete who grows up in a poor village and makes it to the national team of the 1948 Olympics, the first and last time a unified basketball team went to the Olympic Games representing the name “Korea.”

The other central roles go to Jung Dong-hyun and Lee Elryia (sp?), both of whom are in their drama debuts and playing a star player teammate and the love interest, respectively. Among the familiar faces are drama vets Gong Hyung-jin (All About My Romance), Lee Han-wi (Level 7 Civil Servant), Ahn Seok-hwan (Scandal), Jo Hee-bong (Good Doctor), and the Wonder Girls’ Ye-eun.

This also means that tvN will be expanding its drama programming with a pretty ambitious lineup—Basketball on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Answer Me, 1994 on Fridays and Saturdays. On one hand, I’m looking forward to both shows. On the other hand, are you trying to kill me with drama overload, October?!

Basketball is already in the second half of its filming schedule, with its filmed portions in post-production. It premieres on October 21.

Via TV Report


39 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. danna

    This looks like it could be really good and I look forward yo the new faces and the PD

  2. Cam

    Hmm…..OoooOoo….how awfully interesting.

  3. Mystisith

    I can’t help thinking about the Mike He drama, Bullfighting even if the context and the tone are completely different. Right now I’m not really interested but who knows, I could change my mind once it starts…

    • 3.1 daniela

      Mike He -he -he !

  4. snow_white

    I’m so interested in this show……but it’s scheduled for October….Heirs..Answer Me 1994…Mi Rae’s Choice…Ghost Detective….and now this…..aaaghhhh…Drama overload….

    • 4.1 Zfih

      I swear!!! It’s exam week for me too 🙁 This is gonna be one painful month LOL

  5. mj

    what darn I thought it was starting next week since who are you finished airing … is there going to be anything for the next few weeks airing in that timeslot

  6. azurduyy

    Thanks for the update!

    Honestly, all I have to say about this is MY BODY IS READY. Haha, no, but seriously, only drama I’m looking for, one month awayyyyyyyyyyy gaaaaaaaahhhhh october 21st seems to be so far away!!!

    I’ve recently completed my CITC rewatch, and Oh God, crying at the awesomeness all over again.

    Bring. It. On. Nao.

    • 6.1 D

      glad to know that you love CITC 🙂

      hmmm, will i have the time to marathon it (again, i lost count already) this weekend or anytime before this premier?

  7. Kiara

    Looking forward to this drama. I hope it’ll be good.

  8. saralala

    I saw her name being written Lee Elijah, but I wonder if it’s her real name? Weird..

    • 8.1 doomy

      splutters omg LEE ELIJAH. autocorrect at work?

    • 8.2 canxi

      I think it’s spelled E L L I Y A. But, I mean we are bound to get the correct spelling once it actually airs and she hopefully becomes popular or whatever. Or known at least.

  9. djm

    Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IAPC3OQnPuw

    • 9.1 Midori

      Trailer was intense good, thanks for sharing. I’m totally going to watch this!

  10. 10 ilikemangos

    I swear to god october is going to be the busiest yet for k-dramas that piques my interest.

  11. 11 skelly

    Not the usual faces, not the usual plotline – I’m definitely going to give this a try.

    • 11.1 bd


      It looks real promising and raising the bar on visual quality over “Chuno” (which had absolutely lush cinematography/visuals, albeit a weak script)?

  12. 12 lily

    I just hope it won’t go off into typical kdrama cliches with love triangles and incurable diseases. I hope they actually focus on the bball storyline lol

  13. 13 canxi

    Yeah! I’m looking forward to this one. Saw the trailer earlier in the morning and got all pumped.

  14. 14 oneclearnight

    I’m most anticipated drama this year (along with Reply 1994). Talented PD, massive budget, an era I love and a potentially gripping story. Nice to see some new faces too. With a few exceptions this drama year has been pretty bad. Please be good, show. I’m so sad I still have to wait a month ;____________________;

  15. 15 July

    Wow ! Did the Kdrama God suddenly woke up ? Nine months of boring plotlines and just a few exceptions and randomly, in October, we only have potential good dramas. Anyway, I’m not gonna to complain, better later than never ! I look forward this drama more than the other dramas (except for Future Choice) since we have fresh meat and refreshing plots ! I just hope this drama will be the surprise of this fall for tvN since they air their best dramas at fall, I noticed.

    • 15.1 Kiara

      Ikr? Year is about to end and I have no favorite drama for this year.

      • 15.1.1 Kiara

        Well, I just started watching Cruel City and it might be it.

  16. 16 anna

    I’m not really into sport drama, probably won’t watch this one. How tall are these guys anyway?

  17. 17 seersucker

    Period drama? Basketball? Bound to be bromance? I. AM. IN.

  18. 18 Sajen

    On the one hand it’s basketball and a period drama both of which hold very little interest to me, on the other hand the only TvN drama I haven’t loved is Who Are You and I still liked that until the end. Also dramas with unknowns as the leads have been awesome lately, Answer Me 1997, Monstar, and I had more examples but as I started typing they fled my head, maybe I’ll remember later.

  19. 19 whimsyful

    Not a fan of basketball, but other than that, SO IN. Come faster October 21st!

  20. 20 Mawiie

    Do Ji Han looks like a younger version of Won Bin :O It looks super interesting, will definitely tune in!

  21. 21 Jay

    Period drama, feel-good sports, and bromance? Everything that I really want in a drama tbh.

  22. 22 tapioca pearl

    Since Gaksital and Capital Scandal are two of my favorite dramas, and since the 1940’s is my favorite decade historically, I will definitely tune in. Been in a looooonnggg drama slump, have not finished a 2013 drama (started some but…). Hopefully, this will get my drama blood going again!

    • 22.1 Kiara

      Sandglass is unbeatable for me as far as period drama goes.

  23. 23 Lala

    If this isn’t airing until October 21(originally it was suppose to start September 23), what is tvN suppose to air until then? Who Are You just finished and Basketball was suppose to follow it

  24. 24 noona

    is a 3 pt line I see in the 3rd picture? i don’t think they had the 3pt line back then.

  25. 25 Katherine

    I’m definitely checking this drama out when it airs, I like the fact that as a project everything comes across as fresh from the actors, pre-production (at least we know they won’t be stressing or dragging the storyline) , new direction in filming etc. I enjoy period dramas, basketball & I’m a fan of Wonder Girls so Ye Eun is a bonus in this.

  26. 26 Arhazivory

    Oh dear. I haven’t got the time but I want to watch this.

  27. 27 Ethalina

    Oh, you forgot to mention that the lead guy is ridiculously good-looking.

  28. 28 relegated

    Raise the visual aspect beyond that of Chuno? In Pre-production for years? Holy shit! I am sold.

  29. 29 anais

    I loved the beginning of Chuno. Its visuals were just sumptuous. But then, I hated the ending. Seoul’s Sad Song/Conspiracy in the Court, I dropped b/c I could anticipate the frustration. Yup, I’ve already been subject to a lot of people telling me to reconsider Seoul’s Sad Song/Conspiracy in the Court.

    I’m curious about this one since it seems to be about hope, especially hope where hopelessness prevails. Which seems to be the opposite trajectory of Chuno and Seoul/Conspiracy. That PLUS amazing visuals? I could really get behind this one.

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