Mnet's latest idol survival program 'Road To Kingdom' is slated to begin filming this week, on March 20, with aims to premiere some time by the end of April.
According to media reports, Mnet is currently in the final stages of meeting with entertainment agencies in order to confirm the 7-8 boy groups who will begin competing later this week on 'Road To Kingdom'.
Among the 7-8 teams who compete on 'Road To Kingdom', one final winning team will earn the chance to advance to an even more rigorous survival later on in the year, titled 'Kingdom'. Originally, 'Kingdom' was expected to consist of popular boy groups who have experience winning 1st place on major music programs. However, insiders say that this criteria may not be met due to entertainment agencies' reluctance to give a firm answer regarding 'Kingdom'.
Most popular idol groups, particularly boy groups, embark on various global tours throughout the year in addition to their already busy schedules in Korea. Mnet will be aiming to air 'Kingdom' by July or August of this year, which means filming takes place in the summer between June-July. Due to these factors, several groups who were "discussing" their appearance on 'Kingdom' have ultimately decided to decline, insiders say.
One insider revealed, "They are telling companies, 'It's just a lighthearted program, like weekly music shows,' but we found out through 'Queendom' just how competitive it will be. In many ways, a group's raw talents are exposed, and so many idols feel pressured. From the perspective of the agency, the program may cause changes or delays in comeback album preparations; this program does not offer only benefits."