SBS and MBC, two of the major terrestrial broadcasting stations, are changing the way they commission and broadcast dramas. This is reportedly in response to the increased competition from popular cable dramas.
SBS’s new drama “The Fiery Priest” is scheduled to air on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. KST. This broadcast schedule necessitated moving “Law of the Jungle” to Saturdays at 9 p.m. KST. This was a big move for SBS, as “Law of the Jungle” has aired on Friday nights for 6 years. Moreover, this will be SBS’s first time airing a Friday-Saturday drama.
This is thought to be in response to the fact that tvN and JTBC have been airing Friday-Saturday dramas for a long time. “Goblin” and “SKY Castle” were both Friday-Saturday dramas and topped 20 percent in viewership ratings. Viewers have now become accustomed to dramas airing in the Friday-Saturday time slot.
The three major terrestrial stations (KBS, SBS, MBC) have long been interested in the Friday-Saturday drama time slot, and SBS’s decision to implement this change now will likely affect the way that dramas on these stations air next year.
Meanwhile, MBC has also ramped up its drama department with a focus on acquiring proven talent. They have chosen to air the next project of producing director Ahn Pan Suk, who hit it out of the park last year with “Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food.” The drama will air sometime in May on MBC and both Jung Hae In and Son Ye Jin have been reported to be in talks to star.
MBC has also acquired “The Item,” which is Joo Ji Hoon‘s long-awaited return to the small screen. They have also chosen to shift away from the typical romantic comedy storyline and air projects like “The Banker,” starring Kim Sang Joong, Chae Si Ra, and Yoo Dong Geun, and “Lee Mong,” an ambitious period drama set during the Japanese colonial occupation.
On the other hand, MBC has decided to reduce their amount of weekend dramas and are considering abolishing the Sunday drama time slot entirely in order to focus their resources on competing with cable dramas in other time slots.
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