U.S. Reality TV Impresario Remakes Korean Show

      September 06, 2018 13:25

      The producer of U.S. hit show "America's Got Talent" has trained his eyes on Korean showbiz.

      Craig Plestis, the CEO of Smart Dog Media, has bought the rights of MBC's "King of Mask Singer" for the U.S., and the American version, "The Masked Singer," will air on Fox TV from early next year.

      Craig Plestis

      Plestis, who was in Seoul for an expo at COEX in Seoul on Wednesday, said Americans want to see something new that they have never seen before anywhere, and he plans to purchase two or three more formats.

      The teaser for "The Masked Singer," which was released last month, was met with much delight by Korean viewers who were excited by the grand scale of the production values.

      Whereas in Korea only the contestants' faces are masked, in the U.S. format the entire body is transformed.

      Each costume reportedly costs over W200 million, and the team includes designers who have made outfits for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry (US$1=W1,123).

      Plestis said he worked hardest on casting, which eventually paid off and the cast now includes some of the most talented stars and winners of Grammy and Emmy awards. He was naturally tight-lipped about their identity, adding that there were more security staff than production staff, and everyone who came with the cast also had to wear a mask.

      "When I first saw the show, I was in a Thai restaurant in [Los Angles] with my family. My daughter noticed on the TV that the [show] was playing and she told me to take a look at the TV," he was quoted as saying by the Korea Times. "I looked around the restaurant and everyone was watching TV and no one was eating food. And at that moment, I knew I had to have the show."

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