Korean TV channels are canceling entertainment shows to show their condolences to the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster that happened Wednesday morning.

Public broadcaster MBC yesterday decided to cancel all of its weekend entertainment shows, including live music program “Music Core” and reality shows “We Got Married” and “Infinite Challenge.” They were originally scheduled for today.

MBC will instead screen the documentary film “Hello?! Orchestra” at 5 p.m. The rest of the agenda will be used to deliver the latest breaking news.

Sunday reality shows “Dad, Where Are You Going?” and “Real Men” on MBC are also being postponed, but the weekend drama “Jang Bori Has Come!” and “Hotel King” will air as usual.

Music programs of other public broadcasters such as KBS’s “Music Bank” and SBS’s “Inkigayo” will not be aired, and cable channels Mnet and tvN are halting shows such as “M Countdown,” “Grandpas over Flower,” “SNL Korea” and “Comedy Big League.”

“It is an unwritten rule in the business to not broadcast entertaining shows when such a big tragedy happens,” said one industry insider. “It was a similar situation in 2010 with the Cheonan case.”

JoongAng Daily

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When one is asked to define Cha Seung-won as an actor, the first thing that comes to mind is the 2011 megahit romantic-comedy “Greatest Love.” Cha’s character Jin Dok-go helped shape his reputation as the “King of rom-com,” but at the same time, Cha seemed thirsty for change.

Yesterday, a 30-second teaser video clip of Cha’s new film “High Heel” was revealed on YouTube. Dressed in a classic black suit, the 43-year-old hinted that his new work will be an action film.

In the film, Cha teamed up with celebrity filmmaker Jang Jin, who he worked with in the 2007 film “My Son.” Jang also wrote the recent play “December: Unfinished Song,” which follows Korea’s legendary folk singer Kim Kwang-seok’s story. He also produced Saturday Night Live Korea from 2011-12.

In the film Cha will play a detective who encounters a mysterious situation.

In addition, he will also be back on the small screen in SBS’s new drama series “You are Surrendered.” By no coincidence, he plays a veteran police officer at Gangnam Police Precinct in southern Seoul, where he will guide the fledgling detectives Lee Seung-gi and Go A-ra.

While “High Heel” will be released in the latter part of the year, he will first return to the television by the end of April.

JoongAng Daily

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Super Junior-M, the Chinese-language subunit of veteran K-pop idol group Super Junior, won three major awards at the 2nd Yin Yue Tai V Chart Awards held in Beijing on Tuesday.

The awards are organized by Yin Yue Tai, an online video-sharing website, considered to be the Chinese equivalent of YouTube.

Super Junior won the awards for best Korean performer and best Korean group, while Super Junior-M won Chinese album of the year.

“Thank you for your support,” said the group in a statement. “We hope to show you our best in our coming albums as well.”

Super Junior-M is comprised of Super Junior members Sung-min, Eun-hyuk, Si-won, Dong-hae and Kyu-hyun, along with ethnically Chinese members Zhou Mi and Henry. It is focused on the Chinese market.

They celebrated their awards by singing their latest songs “Break Down” and “Swing” at the award show.

In addition to Super Junior-M, another K-pop group to win on Tuesday was Exo, which took home the award for Korean album of the year, for “XOXO: Kiss & Hug.”

JoongAng Daily

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With the nation reeling from Wednesday’s ferry disaster off the southwest coast that has nearly 300 people feared dead, the Korean entertainment industry canceled major events yesterday to offer condolences over the accident.

R&B singer Lena Park, also known as Park Jung-hyun, had been readying a large press conference for her new album “Syncro Fusion” for weeks. But because of the tragedy, Park decided to cancel both the press conference and the release of her album.

“It is a national disaster we’re talking about,” said an official at her agency, Blueprint Music. “We are still discussing how to reschedule the album’s release date.”

Many other high-profile K-pop artists also canceled events. Rapper Junggigo, famous for the recent hit love song “Some,” said that he also plans to hold off releasing his new digital single “I Want You.” The song, a collaboration with the hip-hop artist Beenzino, was supposed to hit music stores yesterday.

Similarly, singer G.Na dropped plans to launch another teaser yesterday for her new song “Pretty Lingerie.”

Some industry analysts said that the entertainers’ response was in part due to the criticism they have encountered during past tragedies. When a national disaster happens, the public gets extremely sensitive about celebrity behavior.

For example, the rookie fashion model Hur Jae-hyuk posted a photo on his Facebook page yesterday of himself submerged in a bathtub full of water, and many Internet users were outraged, calling the image “thoughtless.”

“I had no intention to upset anyone,” apologized the model, “I wasn’t aware of the accident because I don’t have a TV at home.”

He deactivated his Facebook account afterward.

But the most striking event happened on Wednesday night around 8 p.m., when the most-searched term on the popular search engine Naver turned ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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It's been pretty quiet on the 2AM front, especially regarding the leader Jokwon. Once a fixed face on a majority of the TV variety shows, Jokwon has been pretty hard to catch. Well, fans can now see him in an upcoming musical.

According to reports, Jokwon will star in "Priscilla", a musical adaptation of the movie "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert". The singer's appearances will start from July 3rd at the LG Arts Center in Seoul.

The story line for the comedy musical revolves around three cross-dressing men who embark on a journey together across the Australia outback, that will eventually change their lives forever. Hit songs from the 1980's and 1990's, including those from Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, are used in the show.

Jokwon will play the role of one of the three leading cross-dressers, Adam. Adam is known to be a troublemaker, played by Guy Pearce in the original Australian movie in 1994.

This is Jokwon's return to the musical realm, after playing Herod in the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" last year.

KBS Global

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The popularity of EXO hasn't slow down. If anything, it's sped up. The group's upcoming concert in May was sold out in less than two seconds.

According to reports, ticket sales opened at 8 PM (KST) on April 16th, and in a mere 1.47 seconds, "From, EXO #1: The Lost Planet In Seoul" show was completely sold out.

Fans had apparently even practiced their speedy clicking sills through an online game called "Ticketing Practice Game", where they sharpen their skills in clicking on the screen. The incredible influx of web traffic on the ticketing site even caused the site to crash.

EXO's now sold-out Seoul concert will take place on May 24th and the 25th at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.

KBS GLobal

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After the success of her latest SBS drama series “Thrice-Married Woman,” actress Lee Ji-ah will appear on the late-night talk show “Healing Camp” on Monday to discuss her private life.

Her decision to appear on the talk show is sure to impress fans because she hasn’t been interviewed on a popular talk show since her debut in 2007. The 36-year-old actress managed to keep her private affairs a secret until it was revealed in a 2011 divorce lawsuit that she had been married to iconic rock star Seo Tai-ji for 14 years.

Media insiders speculate that she will be asked about her ex-husband, but SBS has not confirmed any details about the coming interview.

The episode in which she will feature, according to the broadcaster, will be aired by the end of the month.

JoongAng Daily

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Actor Song Seung-heon will return to the big screen to play a Vietnam War hero in “Obsessed.”

In the film set in Vietnam in 1969, Song Seung-heon plays an elite military officer who gets embroiled in a forbidden love affair with a woman married to a subordinate officer. Yesterday, the film studio posted a 30-second video clip to tease the story, conveying a hint of R-rated plot.

Director Kim Dae-woo is known for writing many successful romance films, including “An Affair” (1998), “Untold Scandal” (2003) and “The Servant” (2010).

The film is slated to hit theaters on May 15

JoongAng Daily

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They say that the Korean Wave is sweeping across the world. For many people in Korea, the term is so overused that they rarely pay attention to it anymore. But if one stops to think about the whole phenomenon, it doesn’t take long before the 27-year-old K-pop icon BoA comes to mind.

Having debuted in August 2000 at age 13, BoA has pioneered the path of Korean pop in the overseas market over the years. In 2002 she became the first Korean singer to top the Oricon music chart of Japan - which a lot of K-pop stars now seem to take for granted.

As her Hollywood debut film “Make Your Move” comes out today in Korea and tomorrow in the United States, the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, sat down with BoA.

Q. What is the film about?

A. The film follows a Korean-Japanese girl named Aya who moves to New York City to achieve her dream of being a dancer. Aya then somehow picks up a hint of romance with American tap dancer Donny, played by Derek Hough. People ask me if it was difficult to learn new choreography and dance it all through the film, but for me, acting in English was way harder.

How did you first decide to join the film?

I was asked to play in the film back in 2011, when I still did not have any thoughts about starting an acting career. But as the director came to my concert in Japan and asked me about the project, I thought that I could give it a go. And as it was a dance film, I had ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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An MBC staff member has caused outrage in the international K-pop fan community.

Last week, a picture was uploaded to Facebook that featured foreign candy and chocolate sitting in front of a desktop computer. The post read: “Some K-pop fans from Poland sent gifts to Jong-hyun of SHINee. Perhaps naïve fans thought Jong-hyun would be able to open the box if they simply delivered it to the broadcasting station. But, unfortunately, those precious gifts were sent to my boss, Kim Jong-hyun, who has the same name as the famous K-pop idol. Although you might be frustrated, I will enjoy the gift. Thank you, Polish fan girls.”

Domestic fan communities turned indignant after learning that MBC staff deliberately ate Jong-hyun’s gift and demanded that the uploader compensate the Polish fans. Local media outlets covered the situation extensively, and some said that the staff member at MBC is “tarnishing the national reputation.”

However, the staff member simply deactivated their Facebook account without an official apology.

The foreign fans sent the gift to Kim Jong-hyun at MBC, [without an explicit note to SHINee] because the 24-year-old singer regularly hoststhe MBC radio program “Blue Night” there.

The four Polish fans in their late teens said that they hoped there would be a “happy conclusion,” and asked for the DVD included in the package be sent to Jong-hyun at least.

JoongAng Daily

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