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Daily evening dramas on the chopping block at SBS

Love Is Drop By Drop

The programming for dramas on the Big 3 broadcasters tends to be fairly stable, without a lot of changes to scheduling blocks or format, so it’s a bit of a surprise to hear that SBS is seriously considering eliminating their daily evening drama slot entirely, as reports stated on April 6, according to a source with the broadcaster.

The source stated that SBS had tentatively decided that the currently running Love Is Drop By Drop would be the station’s last daily evening serial. Production has halted on Would You Like a Taste, which was planned to follow in May after Love Is Drop By Drop ends its 120-episode, six-month run. That show has not begun filming yet, but recently lined up a full cast that includes Lee Tae-ran (Make a Woman Cry, King’s Family), Shim Ji-ho (Passionate Love), Ryu Jin (Run Jang-mi, Prime Minister and I), and Jo Yeon-woo (Dazzling Temptation). The show hasn’t officially been cancelled yet—the Would You Like a Taste producers are in talks with SBS over the status of their drama—but it seems inevitable.

We don’t cover daily dramas very much here on Dramabeans, but they are a staple of drama programming on all three broadcasters, so it’s a pretty big move to cancel something so fixed in the landscape. The dramas typically run for over 100 episodes and air Monday through Friday in an earlier hour than the prime-time miniseries that get the bigger budgets, bigger stars, and often bigger stories. They’re often based around families and large casts, somewhat like weekend family series, and their stories tend to be familiar and often skew makjang. (I think of them as easy watching that you might catch casually while preparing dinner, which you might follow regularly without necessarily being hooked.)

2016 daily drama You Are a Gift

The reason for the decision appears to be dwindling returns on these productions; SBS reportedly has been losing money, and the deficits have grown over the past year. In response, the broadcaster has been considering alternate programming for that timeslot. It makes sense to try a new approach when the old one is no longer working, and SBS does seem to be the broadcaster that’s most willing to entertain change, and I’ve seen them create and eliminate several slots over the past few years.

SBS began running daily dramas with 1991’s sageuk series Yoo Shim Cho, although that drama was moved into the Wednesday-Thursday slot; its former daily slot then disappeared for a few years. In 1995, Love Anthem revived the daily drama format until 2004, when SBS once again eliminated the format. It resumed it again in 2007 with the drama That Woman Is Scary, starring Yoo Sun (Our Gap-soon), Kim Yoon-seok (Blood, My Neighbor’s Wife), and Choi Jung-yoon (Cheongdam-dong Scandal, Could We Love).

On one hand, there’s some disappointment that SBS is about to cancel a format that it successfully revived and kept alive for the past decade, while on the other hand, I suppose its history of cancellation and revival gives hope that this may not be a permanent loss.

2015-16 daily Witch’s Castle, aka The Three Witches

Via Donga


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