Running Man Yoo Jae Suk to discover Korea's forgotten 'Sugarmen' on new show

 JTBC's new programme 2U Project - Searching For Sugarman.
JTBC's new programme 2U Project - Searching For Sugarman.SCREENGRAB FROM JTBC WEBSITE

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK )- Running Man comedian Yoo Jae Suk is teaming up with TV host Yoo Hee Yeol for a new entertainment show.

Rediscovering old songs, talking about music and recreating old songs into new versions -- at first glance, the format of Korean cable channel JTBC's new programme 2U Project - Searching For Sugarman seems familiar.

But, according to chief producer Yun Hyun Joon, it is something different.

"The idea for the programme began with the documentary Searching For Sugar Man," he said at a press conference on Tuesday, referring to the 2012 Swedish-British documentary about American musician Sixto Rodriguez, who faded into obscurity in the United States but somehow ended up as a megastar in South Africa.

"We didn't think of it as an old concept. In the process of turning that idea into an actual programme, we ended up bringing in those familiar elements."

The basic framework of the programme is a battle in which each team brings back a "Sugarman" - a singer who is a one-hit wonder, but has since disappeared from the public eye.

After talking about what the Sugarmen have been up to and listening to their songs, the two teams recreate their songs with today's hottest artists to relive their glory.

Each team is led by a "Yoo" - Yoo Jae Suk, who is making his first appearance on JTBC, and Yoo Hee Yeol.

Music producer Shin Hyuk, who has worked with artists such as EXO and Shinee, will reinterpret the old hits for Yoo Jae Suk and Shinsadong Tiger will do the job for Yoo Hee Yeol.

For the pilot episode, the two artists recreating the songs are EXID's Hani and Girl's Day's Sojin. The artists are to change with every episode.

"We wanted to find people who could recreate these old songs and make them appealing to today's music market," Yun said. "Some people might be surprised at the choice of Hani or Sojin because they aren't necessarily known for having powerful voices or wide ranges. But they're great singers, and they can pull off the type of songs we're creating in a trendy way."

2U Project - Searching For Sugarman has finished filming and it was to start airing yesterday on JTBC.