Tiger Startups

Source: Tiger Startups, May 31, 2012


"Asian Jersey Shore" Reality Series K-Town Premieres Only On Youtube 

In 2010, MTV reality series Jersey Shore was riding upon a wave of popularity. Viewers turned in weekly to see the misadventures of the show’s self-proclaimed “guidos” and “guidettes,” and like a trainwreck that can’t be looked away from, the show continued to rise in popularity until inevitable talk of imitations began to emerge. Chief among these was the self-proclaimed “Asian Jersey Shore,” also known as K-Town. The show, oddly promoted and produced by actor and model Tyrese Gibson, promised to document the fast lives of a bunch of 20-something Korean Americans in Los Angelas K-Town, offering viewers a substantial amount of booze, drama, and requisite sexual tension. After gaining a large amount of buzz on the internet, particularly from Asian Americans, a pilot episode of the show was filmed. And then, strangely enough, all news of the series vanished off of the face of the Earth for about two years.

K-Town, however, has now risen up from the depths of development hell, with a recent press release stating that the first episode of the show will premiere this July 2nd. There is, however, one big difference in this recent resurrection of the series--instead of premiering on primetime television, it will instead be broadcast strictly on Youtube, through the LOUD pop culture channel owned by media company Electus. According to the press release, the LOUD channel “will be the newest home for fresh, edgy, entertaining series featuring celebrities as well as popular Youtube talent,” and Tyrese Gibson, still promoting the show after two years, promises that aside from the show being exciting, “LOUD  is the perfect platform for chronicling the social rituals of this unique Asian American subculture.”

While K-Town has now fully embraced its online-only status with a raunchy new trailer that takes pride in advertising “the reality show that no TV network could show you,” one has to wonder why no primetime companies ended up purchasing the show. While the show’s promotional material promises a questionable portrayal of Asian Americans, similar to the party-all-day stereotype of Italian Americans that Jersey Shore successfully pushed into the mainstream, the intentions of the show’s creators seem to be in the right place, at least. The show’s executive producer, Mike Le, states that K-Town is meant to shatter preconceived notions of Asian Americans, showing the world that “it's not just about playing the piano and being great at math. [Asian Americans] are also sexy, stylish, have swagger, and can party with the best of them."  So why, then, did no TV network choose to pick this up, especially after the success of Jersey Shore? Is the world not yet ready for this new portrayal of Asian Americans, or is it better that this show remain Youtube-only, instead of promoting new ethnic stereotypes?

In the end, however, one thing is for sure: With Asian Americans currentlydominating the Youtube scene, K-Town will surely find the audience it craves online. But with other Asian American reality shows also popping up in internet-only form, one just has to wonder what it would take for these shows, however borderline insulting they might be, to break free of their niche online constraints and actually make it onto American television. Apparently, the time just isn’t right yet.

LA News Talk Radio

Source: LA News Talk Radio, May 31, 2012


LA Reality: Preview the K-Town Reality Show, Premiering This Summer

Oh, this will be glorious: the Koreatown reality show K-Town is officially a go and will launch on July 2online. We first reported on the kids-leading-crazy-lives-in-Ktown concept way back in April 2010 (asJersey Shore fever ravaged America) and met the cast in July that year, around the time the pilot was shot. Finally now The Hollywood Reporter reports that the studio Electus has greenlit the show for 10 episodes to run on its new LOUD YouTube channel; executive producers will also include former model Tyrese Gibson (and his partners Mike Le, Eugene Choi, and Eddie Kim) and Liz Gately and Tony DiSanto of Jersey Shore and The Hills. Meaning this will be some damn good trainwreck TV. Here’re some of the people we’ll see falling down drunk at Bobo’s in just a few months: “a trouble-making former exotic dancer,  a gossip blogger who moonlights as a bartender and a club promoter.” Episodes will only be 10 minutes each, but the show could eventually “cross over into television.”


Source: Kineda, May 30, 2012


K-Town Reality Series to Premier July 2 on YouTube Channel LOUD

After months of trying to get signed onto a cable TV network, the producers of the K-Town reality series will instead premier on YouTube. The unscripted show has been greenlighted by production company Electus, and will launch on July 2nd on their new YouTube channel LOUD. TV programming executive Liz Gateley’s comment about the K-Town reality series to The Hollywood Reporter:
“Everyone is looking for subculture, subculture, subculture, and no one has really ever explored this sort of Asian-American world in L.A., so it was just perfect timing,” she said. “We’re so excited about it.”
There will be 10-episodes of K-Town with each running about 10 minutes long. The goal is to hopefully show enough potential to cross over into TV.


USA Today

Source: USA Today, May 29, 2012

Mobile Devices Star in Prime Time at Home

His kids might commandeer the TV before bedtime, but online game designer John Comes still gets his prime-time fix. Just on a smaller screen.

Using his iPad, he can watch content from traditional TV and cable channels such as ABC, TBS and HBO, as well as newer options such as Hulu and Netflix. As for the family's 46-inch HDTV at their Seattle area home, "I watch it when (they) are asleep for items I can't watch on my iPad," says Comes, 37.

Internet video is changing the face of prime time. Online junkies are no longer turning to cyberspace just to watch cute clips of kids, pets and movie trailers on YouTube.

New research made available exclusively to USA TODAY shows how consumers are using tablets, smartphones, game consoles — and, yes, Internet-connected televisions — to devour live sports, network TV and cable fare. And most of this is happening during the same prime-time hours that were dominated decades ago by the major networks' over-the-air TV broadcasts.

Meet the new prime time. Same as the old prime time. What is changing is that smaller screens on mobile devices are being used at home more than ever expected. And, surprisingly, people are watching longer and longer videos on their mobile devices, even the smallest screens.

This new cyber audience that has grown up with on-demand video and DVR time-shifting scorns appointment TV in favor of a user-generated viewing experience in which they are in control. "People are consuming their content at the time they prefer, on the devices they prefer and increasingly in the context they prefer," says Jay Fulcher, CEO of Ooyala, the video management company for networks, broadcasters and content providers that shared its user consumption data with USA TODAY.

The newfangled prime time extends beyond weeknights. To the digital viewer, Saturday night is increasingly a prime viewing time. Those watching aren't necessarily glued to the 50-inch television in the living room, and if they are, they still often peek at the tablet on their lap.

Video viewing on tablets rises in the morning, tails off midday, then surges again in the evening, according to first-quarter data compiled by Ooyala. On a typical weekday, one-third of tablet video-watching occurs from 7 to 11 p.m., with only about 17% of computer video viewing taking place at that time.
Viewers on connected TVs watch nearly one-third more video from 4 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays than on a typical weekday evening. Ooyala's takeaway: Programmers should remember this when they plan content and monetization strategies.

Whenever and wherever you are
ESPN is among the more than 1,000 global clients that rely on Ooyala to help power their online video, and it takes the findings to heart. If you already subscribe to ESPN through the likes of Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon or Bright House Networks, you can take advantage of the free Watch ESPN app on an iPad to watch the network's sports programming on the go.

"The way we look at this is about trying to serve sports fans whenever and wherever they are," says Damon Phillips, who heads ESPN's digital/Web video content strategies and product development. To Phillips, that means delivering programming, often live sporting events, to the "best available screen."

During the workday, he says, that's likely the computer at your office. If you're commuting, it could be an iPad or smartphone. But even at home, it might not be the traditional TV, especially if you lose the battle over the remote control to your spouse or your kids. "We call it subways and sofas," says Ooyala's Fulcher.

The trend of mobile devices serving up prime-time video at home is corroborated by a survey from research consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates. More than half (52%) of all smartphone video is viewed at home, according to its survey of 1,010 adults who watch video weekly on smartphones, tablets or Internet-connected TVs. The peak viewing happens from 8 to 11 p.m.

"Mobile isn't just mobile anymore. It is happening in the house," says Doron Wesly, head of market strategy for online advertising company Tremor Video, which commissioned the Magid survey. "When they are on their couch or watching something else, they are actually watching video as well on their mobile device."

While the in-home TV and computer remain the most popular devices for watching video content, more than half (56%) of people with online access say they watch video on a mobile phone at least once a month and 28% at least once a day.

Another mobile-viewing shift: Smartphone viewers have historically gravitated toward short-form content, but long-form video — full-length TV shows and movies — now accounts for nearly 40% of smartphone video viewing every week, Magid found. In a similar finding, Ooyala found that videos lasting longer than 10 minutes accounted for half the total time folks spent watching online video. And video viewing on tablets jumped 26% after Apple released the latest iPad in March. In all, iPads account for 95% of all tablet viewing, Ooyala says.

Smart thinking
All this runs counter to what we thought Internet-connected devices would be used for: snacking on short videos while (mostly) away from the home TV. It also makes the strategies of Netflix, Hulu and YouTube — to create original content for their networks — look smart.

Netflix led the drive to create original content with its resurrection of the acclaimed-but-canceled Fox series Arrested Development with new episodes scheduled for next year. It has already released Lilyhammer starring Steven Van Zandt (The Sopranos) and has three other original series in the works.

YouTube is spending $100 million to create up to 100 channels with the likes of Jay-Z and Madonna. Among the upcoming launches is the July 2 debut of K-Town, a reality series based in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles. The show, from actor Tyrese Gibson's HQ Productions, will play on the Loud pop-culture channel masterminded by Ben Silverman, former NBC Entertainment president and The Office executive producer.

Across all devices, more than half of YouTube viewing in the U.S. takes place during traditional prime-time evening hours. "In prime-time hours, you're more inclined to kick back and watch for a while," says Shiva Rajaraman, a director of product management at YouTube.

Video game entertainment network Machinima, which has one of the most-viewed channels on YouTube, has been adding longer, episodic series, such as zombie action show Bite Me and sci-fi series RCVR, to its steady stream of game demos, reviews and tips videos. More and more viewers are watching content on the iPad and tablets, says CEO Allen DeBevoise.

"The old television model was: You go home and watch TV when they want you to," he says. "Our model is: You can be anywhere in the world, on any device you want, and we'll let you watch the content whether it's on a mobile phone, a tablet, a computer or a connected television."

The lean-back experience of regular TV compared with computers or even smartphones is why Alok Ranjan, the founder of ifood.tv, says viewers of the company's connected TV channels — delivered via Samsung connected TVs, Google TV and Yahoo television platforms or on Roku and Boxee set-top boxes — are likely to watch three to four instructional cooking videos for 15 to 20 minutes. That compares with a website or app viewer willing to devote about five to seven minutes to watch one or two video recipes.

Video snacking still persists on Hulu, and the best Saturday Night Live skits are favorites, says Andy Forssell, senior vice president of content. But Hulu is also investing in long-form programming with the half-hour series Spoilers, a show about movies starring filmmaker Kevin Smith. Its debut is Monday.

A forum for new ideas
Net video is a bit like the independent film scene a decade ago, Forssell says, where "a creator has an idea and wanted to get the story told. In traditional TV, that hasn't (usually) been the case. Here, there's a chance for that (idea) to bloom."

As mobile devices become more entrenched, he says, "I think you are seeing the U.S. start to edge toward something like the Japanese situation where you have kids watching a movie on a smartphone 10 feet from a 60-inch TV."

Ooyala's Fulcher says, "We see traditional media businesses who didn't necessarily want to embrace this (online video) trend now being motivated to make investments and get their state of readiness around reaching consumers more effectively." And there's untapped opportunity for online video publishers to grow revenue by serving more digital ads, especially on the longer-form content.

Gartner media analyst Mike McGuire agrees. "In terms of advertising, TV is still the king," he says. "Advertising dollars are increasingly social and going online but are fractions of (regular TV)."

More programming and better mobile apps will lead to increases in video viewing. Smartphone users plan to increase consumption by 36% in the next 12 months, tablet users by 32%, Magid found. People with smartphones find themselves "folding the smartphone into the media ecosystem in (their) living room," says Magid senior analyst Andrew Hare.

A smartphone and iPad help Dallas event coordinator Mike Duchock keep the peace with his girlfriend. When she wants to watch Grey's Anatomy on his 50-inch plasma HDTV, he uses his mobile devices. "Just the other night I watched my South Carolina Gamecock baseball game on the Watch ESPN app while I half-watched Glee with (her)," he says. "There have even been occasions where I had one game on my iPad, another on my iPhone, and something else on TV."

Networks ultimately benefit by making content available in multiple ways. That way viewers don't have to choose between beloved content and their beloved. "Watching shows on my iPad," Duchock says, "means we still get to be together, vs. me going to another room to another TV."


C21 Media

Source: C21 Media, May 28, 2012

Fashionable thinking

Ben Silverman of Electus talks to David Jenkinson about his frustration with the lack of creativity around deal-making in the digital age and his plans to roll out Fashion Star globally as a locally produced format.

Ben Silverman
Ben Silverman

Electus founder and chairman Ben Silverman is bidding to create a next-generation content production business. Whether he will manage it or not remains to be seen, but the template is certainly fit for purpose.

It is significant that he highlights the company’s YouTube channels initiative and his views on connected television at the start of our conversation, before moving through his development slate, rather than getting to the digital bit at the end.

“We’re a young company with ambitious plans,” he says. “We’ve put a great team together and brought in a number of assets quickly. We are launching three YouTube channels in association with Google targeting popular culture, Hispanic and food [via the Loud, Nuevon and Food channels, respectively] and have a robust amount of business with Yahoo! in addition to owning College Humor. So at the heart of the company is a strong digital presence and an understanding of how streaming media works, which will be a real differentiator as time goes on.”

With Loud going live on July 2, content for the diginet was announced this month: K-Town is a reality show that will follow the lives of Asian Americans living in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and is being made by HQ Productions, Electus and DiGa.

Fashion Star
Fashion Star

“Additionally, we are one of the few companies to not be bound by any specific genre but produce across all genres,” adds Silverman. This approach sees a diverse production slate nurtured at the LA-based operation.

On the programming front, Electus is making music specials for NBC with Michael Buble’s Christmas Specials and the primetime reality competition Fashion Star, featuring Elle McPherson, Nicole Richie and Jessica Simpson, among others. NBC renewed its commitment to Fashion Star this month by confirming it in the Sunday 20.00 slot for mid-season 2013.

On the drama slate, Marco Polo is being developed for Starz (in association with The Weinstein Company), while the company’s latest unscripted cable bid, King of the Nerds for TBS, has recently been greenlit.

Elsewhere, Mob Wives on VH1 (with a spin-off show based in Chicago pending) and I’m Not Dead Yet for TV Land (from writer John Sherman, of Fraiser fame, and based on Israeli drama Zanzuri) and Blue Natali for Lifetime (written by Dexter’s Wendy West) are also rolling.

Meanwhile, Oxygen is developing Longest.Date.Ever from Electus and 5x5 Media, a show that sends couples on first dates that last an entire week, and Silverman’s team is also developing a reality series called The Hero with action movie star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Silverman will be looking to push the business out further this year, backed by former Reveille colleagues Chris Grant, now CEO of Electus, and John Pollak, appointed president of Electus International in January. Also on the team are exec VP of advertising Laura Caraccioli-Davis, previously at Starcom, and former Yahoo! Originals head Drew Buckley, now chief operating officer and head of digital at Electus.

This month, two more executives crossed over from Shine International to work for Electus: Cyrus Farrokh has been hired as executive director of international distribution and production and Diego Piasek is now director of international distribution and production. Furthermore, Tim Puntillo has joined the team, after Electus acquired his one-man New York production outfit Mannahatta Productions.

Fashion Star will be the focus this year, with McPherson on hand to convince the international market of the format’s remake potential, following a raft of finished programme sales. “Fashion Star is really fresh and has incredible promise as a local adaptation,” says Silverman.

Electus International has concluded sales of the US show in Australia (Network Ten), French Canada (TVA/Mlle), Korea (CJE&M) and Brazil (Globosat), Latin America (Fox International Channels Latin America), Canada (CTV2) and Asia (Diva). In the local production space, IAC-backed Electus has also secured format deals with Ten, as well as Germany’s Tresor TV, Shine France and Turkey’s Sera Films

King of the Nerds is a recent addition to the catalogue. “It is a celebration and reality competition around nerd culture,” says Silverman. “Nerdom is the new hipdom, and this show celebrates smarts and their quirkiness.”

Aside from rolling out its new shows, Electus will also be on the hunt for ideas to package and roll out globally. “But that’s getting more difficult,” admits Silverman. “It is a more mature market and therefore a more sophisticated market. You really need the right talent to make the idea happen.

“When I look at what we did with Ugly Betty I realise now how key it was to bring in Salma Hayek and cast America Ferrera to make that possible. I felt the same way when I found and bribed Greg Daniels into The Office, and cast Steve Carell. Those were moves that were uniquely available to us as producers with relationships, which continues to give us an advantage.”

So assuming talent is the key, along with pushing more into digital and developing a broad slate, what are the barriers to growth in the current content market?

“In the current market the approach people have to digital is frustrating. Everyone is trying to control everything, and it is all a little bit fear-driven, which makes deal-making a total pain in the ass. People are being so difficult on the deal, rather than just being fair. I feel ‘fair’ usually should be the way deals get made, where both sides feel good. More and more people are fighting hyper-aggressively. People need to recognise that being partners in something that is successful is much better than owning 100% of things that don’t happen.

“We are now in the second innings of what technology-enabled opportunities are presenting – like streaming, compression technology and broadband distribution getting better. And this has by no means demonstrated a cannibalisation of television; if anything it seems to be a new form of syndication for TV as you see the robust deals that Netflix and Amazon are offering.

“My instinct is to make the best content possible and people will want it. Will those people be different from the ones that wanted it before? And are we going to shift some of the attention from the traditional networks to the digital platforms? It’s possible. There is no question that over time more and more people will have internet-enabled television sets and they will be able to watch content on them. We want to be at the forefront of that.”


Amoeba Blog

Source: Amoeba Blog, May 27, 2012


K-Town goes to Youtube and the short history of Asian-American TV - Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 27, 2012 05:30pm | Post a Comment
K-Town opening title

After two years of shopping around to various TV networks, the Jersey Shore-inspired Korean-American reality show K-Town has just been picked up -- not by any of them -- but as a Youtube exclusive set to debut July 2nd.

Although the trailer describes it as “The most anticipated reality show of all time” and “the reality show no TV network could show you,” I have to wonder if the people behind it (who brought us Jersey Shore, Mob Wives and The Hills, the trailer informs) aren’t trying to put a positive response on network disinterest. With shows like the Skinemax-meets-Magic the Gathering softcore dorkfest that is Game of Thrones barely raising an eyebrow and what with Youtube’s ban on sexually explicit material, animal abuse, drug use, underage drinking and smoking, and bomb making, I doubt that there’s anything on K-Town that wouldn’t fly on cable… except that the enitre cast is entirely Asian-American.

K-Town cast

American TV has, since its earliest days, never been comfortable with too many Asians (or Latinos, even more glaringly) on the screen at once. Asian sidekicks are cool, Asian guest stars too -- but there have been only a handful of TV shows starring Asians on the small screen and even fewer with largely Asian casts. Meanwhile, Youtube has become the great democratizer, allowing Asian-Americans like Ryan Higa, Michelle Phan, Freddie Wong, Kevin Wu and others to garner millions of followers each and become internet celebrities, if not TV ones. Meanwhile, TV networks drag their feet even as viewers increasingly abandon traditional media.

Here’s a very short timeline of Asian-American TV:

Anna May Wong

The first American show with an Asian lead was obscure The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which ran only ten episodes from 27 August to 21 November in 1951 on the DuMont Television Network (which itself only existed between 1946 and 1956). It starred Chinese-American, former silent film superstar Anna May Wong as a detective. It was cancelled after one season and no episodes are known to exist today.


The second American TV show starring an Asian-American had an even shorter run. Mr. T and Tina, a spin-off of Welcome Back, Kotter starring Pat Morita, ran for only five episodes in the fall of 1976. Morita starred as Taro Takahashi, a Japanese inventor married to a ditzy, white American, Tina Kelly. According to the recollections of the few that remember it, hilarity didn't really ensue.


Ohara, the third American show with an Asian lead again starred Pat Morita, this time as Lt. Ohara. It ran for 30 episodes from 17 January, 1987 till 7 May, 1988. Of course Ohara used martial arts and spoke in fortune cookie/Charlie Chan-esque epigrams.


Vanishing Son was the first Asian-American show made for syndication. It ran from 16 January, following the airing of four Vanishing Son TV movies in 1994. Hunky star Russell Wong played a foreigner – in this case a fugitive Chinese musician named Jian-Wa Chang. It was cancelled after thirteen episodes.

All-American Girl

All-American Girl starred actress/comedian Margaret Cho and depicted her as and her family in TV’s second Asian-American sitcom. It's notable for being the first American TV show with an overwhelming cast (rounded out by Amy Hill, B.D. Wong, Clyde Kusatsu, J.B. Quon, and Jodi Long). It was also the first TV series to star an American-born Asian actually playing an American-born Asian rather than an Asian-born foreigner -- a fact underlined by the series's title. Nonetheless, an "Asian Consultant" was hired to teach the Korean-American star of the semi-autobiographical show how to “act more Asian.”
It ran for nineteen episodes between 14 September, 1994 and 15 March, 1995.


Relic Hunter wasn’t an American series – it was Canadian. However, it did star an Asian-American, in this case, Hawaiian-born Pinay, Tia Carrere. It ran much longer than its American predecessors, lasting three seasons and 66 episodes total between 1999 and 2002. One possibility is that Canadian network officials gave it a fairer shake. Of course, another possibility was Carrere's sex appeal. As Wayne Campbell expressed of Carrere's "Cassandra" character in Wayne's World, "She's a fox. In French, she would be called 'la renarde' and she would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her." I never watched the show but do remember it being promoted with billboards promising "dangerous curves ahead" so I reckon sex was a big factor.

A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila

Tila Tequila (née Tila Nguyen) was a popular import model who starred in the “reality” show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, in which she “played” a bisexual in search of love. She courted 32 contestants -- male and female. It debuted at No. 1 in its time slot and was MTV’s second highest-rated debut series that year (2007), seemingly disproving conventional TV wisdom about Asian-American leads (at least female) and simultaneously re-affirming the ancient adage, "sex sells."

The Cho Show - VH! - Margaret Cho

Perhaps the producers of The Cho Show were encouraged by Tila Tequila’s success when they decided to give Margaret Cho another shot at TV with a reality series/sitcom. The Cho Show debuted 21 August, 2008 on VH1 and concluded seven episodes later, on 25 September.

Nikita promo - Maggie Q

Half-Vietnamese actress Maggie Q stars in Nikita, a CW series that has, to date, aired for 45 episodes, beginning with its debut on 9 September, 2010. In it, Q plays a vengeful former assassin and spy in a role adapted from the French film of the same name.

Hawaii Five-0

Two of four stars of Hawaii Five-0 are Asian-American, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park (who, though born in the US, is a Canadian citizen). Reflecting the fact that Hawaii’s largest racial group is Asian-American, many of the recurring charaters and guest stars are also played by Asian-Americans. It debuted 20 September, 2010 and was an immediate critical and commercial success. In 2011, it entered the Guinness World Records for “Highest-Rated New Show in the U.S.” when the episode “Kai e’e” garnered 19.34 million viewers. And whereas there's a long tradition of fetishization of Asian women in American culture, the fact that a Google search of "Daniel Dae Kim" brings up related searches of "Daniel Dae Kim shirtless" and "Daniel Dae Kim muscles" probably reflects changing mainstream attitudes about Asian-American men as well... at least as far as objectification goes.

Sullivan & Son

Popular half-Irish/half-Korean stand-up comic Steven Byrne co-wrote and co-created the pilot for Sullivan & Son with with Rob Long. In it he stares as the son of an Irish-American father (played by Dan Lauria of The Wonder Years) and a Korean-American mother (played by Jodi Long of All American Girl). His sister is played by Vivian Bang (best known as Soo-Mi in Yes Man). TBS ordered ten episodes in February, 2012 with a premiere date set for this coming summer.

So there you have it, eleven American shows (and one Canadian) in roughly 65 years of TV. The fact that six made their debut in the last decade suggests that things on the small screen are very slowly changing.

In Los Angeles, where most American TV series are filmed and many (if not most) shows are set, Asian-Americans make up roughly 14% of the population compared to Anglo whites, who make up 28% and blacks, who make up 9%. That reality isn't even close to represented on TV which more than sixty years after the introduction of color remains stubbornly black and white.

As some who loves sociological schadenfreude spectacles like Jersey Shore, Shahs of Sunset, Mama's Boys of the Bronx (and all the much-missed dating shows), I personally hope K-Town moves to TV... or that our TV otherwise begins to reflect the diversity of our country (not holding my breath, however). Also, please bring Geordie Shore to the US – maybe PBS. PBS viewers love British TV. Thanks!

The New York Times

Source: The New York Times, May 17, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Electus Announces K-Town, the First Unscripted Series from its Pop Culture YouTube™ Channel, LOUD, Set to Launch on July 2nd


The Korea Times


Source: The Korea Times, May 19, 2012

한인타운 배경 리얼리티 쇼‘K-타운

유튜브 채널 7월2일 방영

한인타운을 배경으로 제작된 리얼리티 쇼 ‘K-타운’(K-Town)이 유튜브 채널 ‘라우드’(LOUD)를 통해 방영을 앞두고 있어 화제가 되고 있다.

IAC/인터액티브가 지원하는 멀티미디어 엔터테인먼트 회사 ‘일렉터스’(회장 벤 실버맨)는 오는 7월2일 개국하는 신규 팝 컬처 채널 ‘유튜브 라우드’의 첫 시리즈로 아시안 아메리칸의 신문화를 다룬 ‘K-타운’을 방영한다.

‘K-타운’은 타이리스 깁슨의 HQ 프로덕션이 한인타운의 아시안 아메리칸 남녀 8명의 일상을 소개한 리얼리티 쇼이다. 특히 이 쇼는 이제까지 알려진 것과는 다른 아시안의 모습을 보여준다는 기획 의도에 따라 MTV 인기 쇼인 ‘저지 쇼어’를 모델로 한인과 아시안 젊은이들의 화려한 밤 문화를 보여주는데 치중해 우려를 샀던 프로그램이다.

그러나 유튜브로 미리 공개된 이 프로그램의 티저영상(bit.ly/KtownRealityShow)은 소주를 병째로 들이키는 미모의 여성, 근육질 몸매의 남성, 과감함 포즈의 거침없는 여성 등이 등장하고 있어 한인타운 전체를 유흥타운으로만 왜곡해 묘사할수 있다는 우려가 나오고 있다.

<하은선 기자>

▲ 유튜브에 미리 공개된 리얼리티쇼‘K-타운’의 티저 영상 중 한 장면.




Source: Racebending.com, May 23, 2012

K-Town, the “Asian Jersey Shore” reality show
Donny Tru wrote:
Hey guys! Not a Tumblr user but I keep up with this blog as often as I can. 
Just wanted to know your thoughts on the K-town reality show. I saw their trailer: http://youtu.be/LqMh0IAJo20
My feelings are still mixed about it but I’m not articulate enough to explain why exactly. I’m really happy for them coming out with their own reality show especially since Angry Asian Man recently tweeted that the Real World has never casted an Asian American male and don’t get me started on the lack of Asian contestants on such shows as The Bachelor/ette. But at the same time, it feels exploited, you know? Perhaps I’ll be wrong once the episodes air this July. Anyhoo, would love to read an educated response to the show and also see other readers’ response on it. Thanks, keep up the good work!
I (Marissa) am not that familiar with K-Town but I know that Mike (who also works on Racebending) has spoken a lot about it with Michael Le, who is one of the producers of the reality series.
I think any time there are going to be depictions of Asian Americans on TV it is totally legit to be nervous, especially after seeing how crappy depictions can do so much damage to the community. There is an entire generation of Asian Americans still reeling from the inaneness of Long Duk Dong, for example. (The Asian American’s glorious contribution, as dictated by white Hollywood, to the John Hughes movies everyone waxes so nostalgic about. Yay?)
It’s also true that Asian Americans are not cast on reality shows as often. People of color aren’t cast as often in general which is why there is currently a lawsuit against the show The Bachelor pointing out all 23 seasons were incredibly white. Things have gotten better for Asian Americans on reality TV since Yul Kwon won “Survivor”. Several years back the Media Action Network for Asian Americans and other groups in the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition asked studios why they were not casting Asians. The studios responded that Asians did not respond to casting calls. The APA groups challenged them to target casting calls to Asian Americans (hence why Angry Asian Man posts them sometimes) and since then they’ve been able to cast Asian Americans if they want to (so there’s almost always Asian Americans on “The Amazing Race”!) But it hasn’t been easy to get Asian Americans on screen, it is something we have had to struggle for…as evidenced by the fact that “K-Town” couldn’t get any networks to distribute the all-APA show and is distributing episodes online instead.
What I find interesting about K-Town is that it challenges not only depictions of nearly all-white reality shows but also challenges depictions of Koreatown in and of itself. In a lot of other television series, especially procedurals, there is always the “Chinatown” episode where the intrepid white heroes go to an Asian ethnic enclave where they run into the only Asians that entire season to troubleshoot some of the Asians’ problems (triad related murders, arranged marriages, snakeheads, prostitutes in sweatshops, honor killings, honor, honor, honor) with a handy helping of Asian American actors forced to affect a heavy accent and scripted to act like pathetic victims or inscrutable, unscrupulous business people. Someone who bases his preconceived notions of Koreatown on that kind of media would, by watching the series or hearing about it, learn that K-town is something different…a diverse area of mid-town LA with a hopping night scene and Asian Americans who can speaka English and are not victims or criminals.
I think all reality shows are exploitative to some degree. The worry would be if “K-Town” is racially exploitative, but I think that speaks more to the limited amount of roles available for Asian Americans in entertainment media more than anything else. White actors are depicted in a broad range of roles ranging from heroes to villains, so when reality shows depict people who are white as say, reckless partygoers with interpersonal drama, no one would ever say “ah, all white people must be like that” or worry if there will be new stereotypes formed or repercussions on how white people are perceived or treated. There are enough other different and nuanced depictions of white people that it isn’t seen as a threat or something that might have sweeping racial repercussions.
The same is not true for Asian Americans because we are not depicted in a way that allows us to showcase our community’s full diversity. There are restrictions imposed on by Hollywood as well as our community’s own—completely understandable and considerable—anxiety over radical depictions of Asian Americans. To me, the issue isn’t that K-Town might depict Asian Americans as _____, ______, and ______ people, so much as that when contrasted against other depictions of Asian Americans in media, it is clear that our full diversity is no where near represented.


LA Curbed


Source: LA Curbed, May 22, 2012

Preview the K-Town Reality Show, Premiering This Summer

Tuesday, May 22, 2012, by Adrian Glick Kudler
Oh, this will be glorious: the Koreatown reality show K-Town is officially a go and will launch on July 2 online. We first reported on the kids-leading-crazy-lives-in-Ktown concept way back in April 2010 (as Jersey Shore fever ravaged America) and met the cast in July that year, around the time the pilot was shot. Finally now The Hollywood Reporter reports that the studio Electus has greenlit the show for 10 episodes to run on its new LOUD YouTube channel; executive producers will also include former model Tyrese Gibson (and his partners Mike Le, Eugene Choi, and Eddie Kim) and Liz Gately and Tony DiSanto of Jersey Shore and The Hills. Meaning this will be some damn good trainwreck TV. Here're some of the people we'll see falling down drunk at Bobo's in just a few months: "a trouble-making former exotic dancer,  a gossip blogger who moonlights as a bartender and a club promoter." Episodes will only be10 minutes each, but the show could eventually "cross over into television."