Saturday, 24 December 2016

Running Man: and then there were none!

Well, only days after I write about Gary leaving the show, I found out that the series would finally end in February 2017.

(EDIT 30/01/2017, Well, it seems that it will continue after all.)

This announcement came at the end of a confusing week in which SBS, the channel which makes the show, revealed that Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook would be leaving the show to make way for new cast members in Running Man 2 in January 2017.

Was this when they got the idea
for Running Man 2? (From ep 305)

Unfortunately, SBS didn’t reveal this to Song Ji Hyo or Kim Jong Kook until the day of the news release, which left them hurt and the fans angry. In the end, plans for Running Man 2 were dropped and the two regulars were reinstated with the announcement that Running Man would end for good in February 2017 with no second series.

My feelings on the series ending are mixed: I was still enjoying it, but at the same time I’m quite relieved. The cast aren’t getting any younger and both of the two mentioned above have had recurring injuries (Song Ji Hyo’s wrist and Kim Jong Kook’s knee). I’d been wondering how long it could go on for.

RM national rating 2010-2016

It seems that the high overseas sales wasn’t enough to save Running Man’s poor run (a ha ha) in the rating’s battle. As I mentioned previously, RM hasn’t been able to shift much from 6%-7%, no matter what it does.

There was a sudden drop in November 2015 when RM got squeezed between two shows: the massively popular new show Real Men 2 and the suddenly revitalized long-running 1 Night 2 Days. Since then, RM has never been able to claw back its share of the viewers.

Former regular Lizzy let's slip that she was sacked.
She's not the only one.

It’s not as if the show suddenly got worse. In fact, I thought that period (272 onwards) saw some very imaginative episodes. But public taste had left it for other shows and eventually SBS thought something had to be done.

It’s just a shame that they did it so badly. Sacking and then un-sacking members of the cast is never a good idea. However, The Korea Times says that the news was leaked and wasn't actually part of an official statement. Even so, it's a grand example of miscommunication. All of this nonsense happened around the 16th of December, so in a couple of weeks I’ll be looking very closely at those episodes that were recorded soon after the scandal broke for any signs of awkwardness. I hope they’ll mention it on air and have a good laugh about it, but I don’t think they will.

Whatever happened to this attitude?

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