Get ready! Lee Min Ho to Return to TV!

2013 is going to be a busy year for Lee Min Ho. The star recently announced an upcoming album and tour in May, and today he confirmed he'll be making a return to acting this year in K-Drama tentatively titled "The One Trying to Wear the Crown, Withstand the Weight - The Heirs."


Lee Min Ho will return to TV in 'The Heirs'
The Heirs will be written by Kim Eun Sook, writer of Secret Garden and A Gentleman's Dignity. The new show's script and character will be tailor made for Lee Min Ho.  

Lee Min Ho's hugely successful dramas like Boys Over Flowers, Personal Taste, City Hunter, and most recently Faith (and good looks) have helped catapult him into worldwide fame. Following the announcement Lee Min Ho said: I have personally seen Kim Eun Sook’s productions, and have always wanted to collaborate with her at least once. I will finally get my wish fulfilled this time. It will be a meaningful experience to be able to work with a screenwriter and director that I respect a lot.”

Producers are currently auditioning actresses for the role of leading lady. Who would you like to see cast beside him?

Until the show airs, fans can look forward to Lee Min Ho's upcoming album and tour in May. See more about his album and tour below!

Under the Media Microscope: Celebrity Break-Ups

When we go through a break-up we can do so in the privacy of our homes -- in pajamas on the couch eating ice cream. But stars have it much harder as they have to deal with the ups-and-downs of their relationships in the public eye. These hot young couples have lived every moment of their relationship under a media microscope, including their break-ups.

Kara's Goo Hara and BEAST's Yong Jun Jyung

Kara's Goo Hara and BEAST's Yong Jun Jyung
The popular Korean idol couple caused a stir amongst Korean entertainment fans when they began dating, just broke up after a two-year relationship. Hara's agency claimed that the pair grew apart since their busy schedules prevented them from spending time together, but stated that they want to remain good colleagues. Goo Hara made her Korean drama acting debut with "City Hunter."

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
American pop-star couple Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber split up for the second time at the beginning of the year, after a heated argument while on vacation. Sources say that Justin was upset about Selena partying without him. Their decision to part ways was reportedly due to too much time apart, and Justin getting too close to Victoria's Secret model Barbara Palvin.

Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus 

Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus
Earlier this month, gossip blogs jumped on the chance to speculate about a breakup between Miley Cyrus and her fiancé Liam Hemsworth, after Liam flew to Australia and Miley was spotted without her extravagant engagement ring. Miley has denied break-up reports, but watch the below video to come to your own conclusion.

Taiwanese Drama, Princess Stand In, Now Available!

We have some exciting news for Taiwanese drama fans. Princess Stand In, a drama from Sanlih E-Television, one of the top television stations in Taiwan, is now available on Viki. And more are on the way!


Princess Stand In (aka King Flower / Substitute Princess) Now On-Air!

All her life Jin Da Hua (Nikki Hsieh) has not been pretty girl. But when her gambling father chalks up a huge debt of NT$2 million, she's given the chance to get the money and save her family. She meets Ou Yang Tai (Chris Wu) who recently lost his fiancé, and who sees a resemblance between Da Hua and his beloved. He offers to pay for her plastic surgery to make Da Hua look like his dead fiancé, if she helps him further his career by entering into a contract marriage with him.


Kris Wu and Nikki Hsieh in Princess Stand In


The first 11 episodes are available now, and the first episode is already available with English subtitles, thanks to our fantastic volunteer team! Watch episode 1 below, and follow the channel for updates. New episodes will be available every Monday.




Other Taiwanese titles such as Love Now, Lady Maid Maid, Autumn’s Concerto, Inborn Pair, The Fierce Wife and more are
coming soon, so stay tuned!


All shows are available in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Australia,
Philippines, Indonesia and India. Select titles are also available in Thailand. Stay tuned here on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook for the latest news on all our upcoming Taiwanese shows!

Can You Believe These Stars Are the Same Age?

Good genes, pricey beauty products, and lifestyle choices all factor into how young we look. But what keeps most celebrities looking so great? Is it the dedicated skincare regimen, featuring products like volcanic ash face scrub (burns off blackheads) and snail-essence moisturizer (slows down wrinkles)? Or is it a superior set of family genes (example: siblings Kim Tae Hee and Lee Wan)? We also can't forget the role of a certain kind of "doctor's visit" in keeping our favorite stars looking fresh.

To get some perspective on this question, we've compared celebrities born in the same year.

Moon Embracing the Sun actress Han Ga In is the same age as pregnant Duchess Kate Middleton

Han Ga In and Duchess Kate Middleton are both 31 years old

Reply 1997 's Eun Ji Won and  Princess Stand In's James Wen both starred in hit dramas, and were also born in the same year.
Reply 1997's Eun Ji Won and Princess Stand In's James Wen were born in 1978

See the first episode of new Taiwanese drama Princess Stand In below and judge for yourself how good James Wen looks at 35.


It's nearly impossible to believe that American pop culture icons, Lindsay Lohan and Carly Rae Jepsen are born in the same year! 
Lindsay Lohan and Carly Rae Jepsen are both 26 years old
 Are you surprised by the ages of these stars? Which celebrity do you think has the most youthful look?

COMING SOON: A new and improved Viki

Hi everyone. This is Rohit, VP of Engineering, and Howie, head of User Experience.

The great thing about building a popular product is that many people learn about it and tell their friends. The challenge comes when you try to scale that product to accommodate tens and even hundreds of millions of users.

Over the last year, we’ve been hard at work doing just that: making Viki easier to scale so that we can bring you a better performing, faster site and apps, as well as an easier-to-use set of APIs for partners of all kinds.

We’ve already started rolling out some of these products, including a new video player and subtitling and segmenting tools. But the most visible change will come in the next few weeks, when we start rolling out a redesigned viki.com.

The changes will enable better discovery, navigation, video viewing and much more. We’ll let you know (via the website, blog, Facebook, Twitter) exactly when the changes will take effect, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of the home page:


And the video page:


We can’t wait for you to try out the new Viki! In the meantime, leave a comment here or through the Help Center - we’d love to hear from you!

Follow us on Twitter for updates on the new website!

Beauty & Brains: Celebrities With Academic Achievements

These famous faces are most often recognized for their attractive good looks and acting talents. But they aren't just blessed with good looking genes, they're also smart! Their scholarly accomplishments, and educational pedigrees prove that you can have both brain and star power. 


Ha Yun Joo 

This lovely lady is a member of the highly exclusive Mensa Society, certifying that her IQ qualifies her a genius. Her IQ is reportedly 156. She's is best known for her roles in K-Dramas like I Need Romance 2.



Ha Yun Joo is a member of Mensa
Kim Tae Hee 

She has beauty and brains. She attended the prestigious 
Seoul National University, and had perfect report cards in high school. She's is best known for her roles in K-Dramas like Iris, and My Princess, and will be in Jang Ok Jeong, Lives in Love, starting April 8. 




Aishwarya Rai

The Bollywood beauty and star of dozens of hit films such as Action Replayy, won the 1994 Miss World Pageant. She's been declared the most beautiful woman in the world by countless publications (and Oprah!) but this star doesn't rely on just her good looks. She attended the prestigious Ruparel College in India where she was an A student. She's also fluent in several languages including Hindi, Marathi, English and Tamil and her native language, Tulu. 



Aishwarya Rai speaks several languages
Hedy Lamarr

The 1930s film star was often cast as a seductress because of her stunningly good looks. But she was also a brilliant mathematician. Hedy's idea for a secret communications system led to a joint patent, with composer George Antheil, for an early version of spread spectrum communication technology -- a concept that served as the basis for modern technology such as Bluetooth, wireless telephones and Wi-Fi internet. Watch her in the classic Algiers where she meets a jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah. 



Hedy Lamarr helped create modern WiFi

2PM's Taecyeon

Taecyeon isn't just satisfied topping the K-Pop charts with his group 2PM. The idol recently was accepted to Korea University's Graduate School, which is considered one of the 'Big 3' prestigious schools in Korea. Check out our exclusive interview with the guys of 2PM:



NEW: Viki Video Player 2.0 Makes Watching Videos More Fun

Hey, everyone. This is Nerses, the lead engineer on the video player project. Over the last several months, we've been working hard on updates to our video technology so that you can start watching videos faster, find and do things you want directly from the player itself, get bugs fixed quickly and much more.

Viki Video Player 2.0 has rolled out to a small percentage of viewers already, but if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what you can expect:
  • Faster load times (start watching ASAP!)
  • New design, including “next video” button (easily move forward to the next episode)
  • More social features (share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ directly from the video)
  • Better cool engineering stuff that allows us to make updates and identify issues faster



Key visual changes:
  1. Timed Comments will appear on the left side, along with the commenter’s profile image; this will make it easier to distinguish one comment from another and show the conversations happening on any given scene. To turn Timed Comments on or off, click on "Timed Comments" above the comments.
  2. Changing the subtitle language will be easier through a drop down on the top right. Move your cursor over the two character symbols to change it.
  3. Sharing the video with friends will be easier directly from the video. Move your cursor over the “network” symbol to share via Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as well as find an embed link.
  4. This is where you can view the next episode in the series. Move your cursor over the "next" arrow and you’ll see a small preview icon.

Even more updates to come, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we hope you love the new player as much as we do. Let us know what you think - send us a note through the Help Center or leave a comment here!

Announcing the Playful Kiss Photo Caption Winners!

Last week, in celebration of White Day, we asked our readers to come up with a funny or clever caption for a scene from the K-Drama Playful Kiss. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry - we received so many great ones! 

Fans have voted for their favorites and, without further ado, we give you the winners!

1st Place: Gabriela

Prize: Palace (aka Princess Hours/Goong) DVD

1st Place

 

2nd Place: Madalina

Prize: Playful Kiss Original Soundtrack

2nd Place

 

3rd Place: Céline & Henny

Prize: Viki T-shirt

3rd Place: Henny
3rd Place: Céline

For more news about upcoming games, keep checking our blog, Twitter, and Facebook!

When Our Favorite Celebrities Find Love On Set

Mixing work with pleasure isn't always the best idea. But these celebrity love stories prove that sometimes office romances can succeed! For them the long hours on set brought them more than fame and a paycheck - it also brought love. 

Filipina actress Marian Rivera met her current boyfriend, Dingdong Dantes, on the set of Dyesebel back in 2008. The clock is ticking for them to tie the knot! She says that when she knows he is tired and filming, she likes to surprise him by baking banana bread and bringing it to him on set.


Marian Rivera met boyfriend Dingdong Dantes on set of "Dyesebel"
Queen In Hyun's Man stars, Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na, are in a steady relationship. Fans sensed the connection between the actors right from the start of the show, but no one expected actor Ji Hyun Woo to confess, “I love Yoo In Na” at the fan-meeting for Queen In Hyun’s Man after filming ended. Even Yoo In Na was surprised! Shortly after the confession the two were spotted on a late night romantic date, and shortly after that, Yoo In Na confirmed their relationship. 


Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na

The most recent celebrity couple is Kim Tae Hee and Rain. Kim Tae Hee, the star of upcoming drama 'Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love' met her boyfriend Rain two months ago, after filming a commercial together. She's expressed how supportive he is of her new show and career. 


Long time celebrity couple Han Jae Suk and Park Sol Mi will be getting married on April 21 in Eastern Seoul. What a great-looking wedding it'll be! They met on set of the 2010 KBS drama, “Merchant Kim Man Deok.” Don't miss Han Jae Suk  in Oohlala Couple."


Actors Han Jae Suk and Park Sol Mi are to marry after a 3-year relationship
When you watched these real life couples on screen could you sense the chemistry? 

Get ready for Lee Min Ho's album and concert tour!

Have you ever wished you could see Lee Min Ho in person, or that he would sing to you from across the room? Start saving for your tickets because your wish could come true!

Lee Min Ho's management agency just announced that he will be releasing his first music album worldwide and kicking off a concert tour in May. The Korean Wave star, who rose to fame through his lead role as Gu Jun Pyo in the 2009 Korean drama Boys Over Flowers, has sung at fan meetings in the past, but never released any songs officially until now. The actor will begin his 10-city concert tour in Korea and continue to Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and other countries from May to July. The agency also said that Lee Min Ho has received a lot of love from fans in South America, Europe, and the Middle East, so who knows what other concert locations might be announced!


The actor explained his motivation for releasing this special album. "My goal is to become an outstanding actor, being a singer is beyond my abilities. This album is a small present to thank my fans."

The album has been in the works for two years now, and is an answer to fans' numerous requests for the songs from his fan meetings to be put into an album. As if you needed another reason to be excited about a Lee Min Ho album, a portion of the proceeds from album sales will be donated to charity.
Lee Min Ho sings to his fans
Lee Min Ho has starred in some of the hottest Korean dramas of the past few years including Faith, City Hunter, Personal Taste, and smash hit Boys Over Flowers.

NEW: Viki TV Interviews Linsanity Director Evan Leong

We all have our favorite shows and actors. But wouldn't you love to know more, and even get behind the scenes access to the stars, musicians, choreographers and others -- the people behind the hits? Now you can with Viki TV, which launches today with our interview of Evan Jackson Leong, the director of documentary film, "Linsanity."

Viki TV kicks off with CAAMFest (formerly the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival), an annual celebration of Asian and Asian-American film, music, and food. At the CAAMFest opening party, we interview Leong about what it took to produce the wildly popular movie amidst cultural and language barriers, the importance of social media, and the impact of Jeremy Lin's achievements. Watch the video!



We'll bring you more exciting interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of CAAMFest over the next few weeks. Be sure to follow the Viki TV Channel to keep up with all the latest episodes. Remember our Google+ Hangout with K-Pop boy group, Lunafly? You can look forward to more online fan meetings like these, too.

Who would you like us to interview next? Let us know in the comments!



Are you ready for White Day?

White Day is a cute tradition in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China, where it's celebrated a month after Valentine’s Day, on March 14th. 

In Japan and South Korea it's tradition that women give chocolates to the men in their lives on Valentine's Day. In Japan, there are two types of chocolate gifts that women can give: giri choco (“obligation” chocolate) given to male co-workers, friends, or family members, and honmei choco (“true feeling” chocolate) given to one’s romantic, or potential, partner. On White Day, men reciprocate by giving candy, marshmallows or other gifts to the women who gave them chocolate on Valentine’s Day.
Other typical gifts given on White Day include stuffed animals, flowers, jewelry, and “white” gifts such as marshmallows, white chocolate, or white lingerie. In accordance to the Japanese rule of sanbai gaeshi (“triple the return”), the gift given by men should be triple the value of the original Valentine's Day gift!

In Korean dramas, one very memorable White Day scene comes from “Iris.” While out on a date at a restaurant in Japan, Seung Hee (Kim Tae Hee) is disappointed to find out that Hyun Joon (Lee Byung Hun) doesn’t have a gift for her. Hyun Joon responds by running out of the restaurant, and when he returns, he surprises her by sharing the candy that is in his mouth with her through a kiss! Watch the scene here!


White Day follows Valentines Day


Caption this "Playful Kiss" image for White Day!

This Thursday is White Day! It's a cute tradition celebrated in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China, a month after Valentine’s Day on March 14th, and is the day when men repay women for the gifts that they received on Valentine's Day.

In celebration of White Day, we are having a "Playful Kiss" photo caption contest with some great prizes! Can you think of a clever caption for this photo? 

Caption this image from Playful Kiss for a chance to win some great prizes!

For a chance to win a prize, you must enter the contest through our Facebook page. The top three captions will be chosen by fan vote, and will be announced on Friday, March 16th.

You can submit an entry anytime from March 11 to March 13 PST. Fan voting on the submissions will begin on March 14 and end 24 hours later.

The Prizes

Palace/Princess Hour DVD set
Playful Kiss OST
Viki t-shirt

COMING SOON: 3 Filipino Dramas

We are happy to announce that three popular Filipino dramas (also known as teleseyre) are coming to Viki!

Only You (2005). Long-lost sisters who were separated at childhood find the same road to love in adulthood. Nea and Jasmine were separated when their father, Larry, abandoned their mother, Elena, to live with the wealthy Yolanda. Nea was left behind with their mother while Jasmine went to live with their father and new stepmother. Nea grew up with nothing but always knew that she would become successful so that she give her mother the comforts she so richly deserves. Jasmine was well provided for and grew up with a strong moral character, despite enduring cruel mistreatment from Yolanda. Many years later, the sisters cross paths, and they are determined to rebuild their bond as a family and support each other as they pursue their individual dreams. They also each fall in love with an Ynares brother. Shy Jasmine falls for the carefree Oliver, while independent Nea is drawn to the darker Ivan. Can the two sets of siblings find happiness together or will family secrets tear them apart? This title is coming soon to viewers worldwide. Follow the Only You channel for updates!


Stand for Love (also known as Gulang ng Palad) is the 2006 Filipino soap opera starring Kristine Hermosa and TJ Trinidad. Childhood friends Carding and Luisa are from two different social classes. After they are separated and reunited ten years later, their childhood friendship turns into love, but their relationship faces many challenges including interference from Carding’s mother and Mimi, the daughter-in-law she would prefer. With all the betrayal and misunderstandings that follow, will Carding and Luisa’s relationship survive? This title will be available to viewers worldwide.


Stolen Moments (also known as Hiram) is the 2005 Filipino drama which tells the story of friendship and rivalry between a melancholy and self-sacrificing woman, Diana, who agreed to raise her friend's daughter Margaret before she passed away, and an ambitious and hateful woman, Sofia, who is enslaved by her past. Their rivalry continues in the next generation as best friends Margaret and Stephanie, Sophia's daughter, let a man come between them. This title will be available to viewers worldwide.

Which of these shows are you most excited to watch?

Rock Out Tonight at Music Matters Asia

San Francisco has always been a hub for international talent and entertainment. Starting tonight, the city will welcome 11 amazing musical artists to perform in Music Matters Asia, part of CAAMFest. From hard rock to love ballads, this concert in the heart of downtown San Francisco will display the many talents of Asian artists. Viki will be live-tweeting from the event, so follow us on Twitter for real-time updates.

Drunken Tiger and M.I.B. performing at Music Matters 2012
Viki is proud to be a sponsor of CAAMFest, a celebration of Asian and Asian-American film, music, food, and culture. Music Matters, the premier pan-Asian music festival, has teamed up with CAAM and Viki to bring musicians like No Brain, SG Wannabe's Kim Jin Ho, and The Chairman to the United States for SF Music Matters Asia.

Last night, we invited Kim Jin Ho to the Viki office, where he serenaded fans for our live Google+ Hangout.



SF Music Matters Asia will start tonight at 7:00PM at Broadway Studios (435 Broadway), and tickets are available here. You can learn more about the concert by checking out the Facebook event page here.


Celebs Open Up Their Hearts And Wallets to Charity

It's easy to forget how fortunate we are. And it's important to remember that there are millions of people on this planet that don't have access to so many of the things that we sometimes take for granted every day, like water, food and shelter. It's great to see that some of our favorite stars recognize this, and are using their fame to help and bring awareness to those who are less fortunate.

 

Psy and Yoon Shi Yoon have announced that they'll be traveling to Africa to volunteer. Psy has donated money to the Nepal Hope School and has signed up to volunteered and mentor as well. The international star says that he was inspired to help children in need while traveling around the world promoting “Gangnam Style.”

I was already falling for Yoon Shi Yoon's endearing character in "Flower Boy Next Door" but after hearing about his charitable personality, he climbed up my "love" list even more! Yoon Shi Yoon will be heading to Africa this month to work with starving children. Over the past 8 years, he has also hosted the event "Food Truck of Love" and has volunteered in other capacities often.

Song Hye Gyo, star of the currently-airing drama “That Winter, The Wind Blows,” donated all her earnings from her work on a public interest campaign, to the establishment of a Chinese elementary school. The star said she wanted to return the love that Chinese fans have given her in the past!


Song Hye Gyo donated money to a school
Yoo Ah In donated US$77,000 to a campaign to help children in shelters get proper nutrition. The actor also expressed his belief that, although anonymous donations are good, public donations are better because more people will be aware of it, and follow the lead. Look out for Yoo Ah In's drama "Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love," which will be live in April. 


Yoo Ah In donated $77,000 to children
Some of our favorite charitable American celebs are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who spend almost as much time supporting humanitarian efforts as they do filming blockbuster movies. Just a few other big-name celebrity philanthropists and activists include George Clooney, Sir Elton John, and Matt Damon.



It's very heart-warming to see these celebs doing trying to do their part to make the world a better place for everyone. Is there something that a celebrity has done that has especially moved you? Share it with us in the comments!