The entire worldview seems to be crumbling down by the “billing order.”
Playlist’s new drama Dear. M, which marks their first debut into terrestrial network, got off to a shaky start right from the beginning. This is because Kim Sae Ron, who played the lead female role in the previous season, exited the production. She played the main couple with Bae Hyun Sung in Love Playlist: Season 4. Love Playlist was able to produce four seasons with the help of a strong teenager-centered fanbase, and Dear. M, a spin-off of the series, was finally programmed as a KBS drama.
However, a few days ago, Kim Sae Ron’s agency announced that she would drop out of the drama. The production company and agency’s common position was that they had “a difference of opinion,” but the truth is their conflicts over the “billing order.” One might say what’s so significant about where the name goes, but this “billing order” is critical in the entertainment industry, especially in the drama industry, and the process of determining the order is quite tricky.
Dear. M is a youth romance drama about the campus-wide search for the mysterious “M,” an individual who wrote the post on the online community that turned the entire college upside down. The main point of the drama is the change in the love-relationship between the characters. As the production team introduced, Kim Sae Ron and Ba Hyun Sung are the main characters and key figures in Dear. M that continues the worldview of Love Playlist. NCT’s Jaehyun and Park Hye Soo are the new characters. However, the production team failed to arrange the billing order between Park Hye Soo and Kim Sae Ron, causing a conflict.
If there is a problem over the billing order, it’s most common to go by the length of the actors’ career. Kim Sae Ron made her debut in 2009 with the film A Brand New Life, and since then, she built up a solid career, starring in numerous works. Park Hye Soo, on the other hand, made her debut in 2015.
However, Kim Sae Ron, Park Hye Soo, and the production company failed to reach the agreement, and Kim Sae Ron dropped out.
This is not the first time when the billing order became a problem. Back in 2016, SBS drama Please Come Back, Mister cast many prominent actors, sparking a battle over whose name goes first. In the end, they decided to put the name in order of age. Even now, the order of characters in Please Come Back, Mister are listed not based on the main character, but on the order of age.