Produce 101 is the nation’s first agency-collaboration unit girl group project, which brings together 101 trainees from different entertainment companies both inside and outside of South Korea. From the 101 trainees, 11 will be selected to form a unit girl group. The unit group will perform four songs together for a year and release a debut album under the record label of CJ E&M but may later join a girl group that their agencies are planning. The trainees began dorming together on December 5, 2015. They took to the stage for their first group mission at the CJ E&M studio in Ilsan on December 27, 2015.
For the girls’ training, several artists were recruited for the show: actor-singer Jang Keun-suk as a mentor, Brown Eyed Girls’ vocalist JeA and Kim Sung-eun as vocal trainers, soloist Kahi with choreographer Bae Yoon-jung as dance trainers, and rapper Cheetah for rap training. Additionally, trainer Ray Yang was in charge of the girls’ fitness training.
Produce 101 Season 2 (Hangul: 프로듀스 101 시즌 2) is a 2017 boy group survival reality show on Mnet. It is a large-scale project in which the public (called ‘national producers’) “produces” a boy band by choosing 11 members among 101 trainees from 54 entertainment companies. The public also chooses the group’s concept, debut song, and group name. In the season finale on June 16, 2017 which was broadcast live, the show announced the final 11 members who would debut as well as the official group name Wanna One.