Produce 101 (Hangul: 프로듀스 101, stylized as PRODUCE 101) is a 2016 reality girl group survival show on Mnet. It is a large-scale project in which the public “produces” a unit girl group by choosing members from a pool of 101 trainees from 46 entertainment companies as well as the group’s concept, debut song, and group name. The show has the second-largest budget of all shows produced by Mnet at about four billion won (approximately $3.4 million).
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, and 11 trainees 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 members have begun living together on December 5, 2015. They took to the stage for the first time to face off in a group mission at the CJ E&M studio in Ilsan on December 27, 2015.
For the girls’ trainings, several artists have been recruited for the show. Actor-singer Jang Keun-suk serves as a mentor while Brown Eyed Girls‘ vocalist JeA alongside vocal trainer Kim Sung-eun, soloist Kahi with choreographer Bae Yoon-jung, and rapper Cheetahare respectively in charge of vocal, dance and rap training. In addition, trainer Ray Yang is in charge of the girls’ fitness training.