Drama Casting & News
Is this the end for general-programming cable dramas?
by | May 2, 2012 | 86 Comments


A Wife’s Credentials

If you’ve been following the drama offerings on the various cable channels you’ll already have an inkling, but things are not looking good for the brand-new channels that premiered several months ago under the banner of “general programming.” The situation is so precarious that there are even rumblings of these entities giving up drama production altogether—dire indeed.

According to one report, both Channel A and TV Chosun (homes to Bachelor’s Vegetable Shop and Operation Proposal, respectively) intend to give up drama-making entirely, after they air two upcoming shows already in production, Goodbye Wife and Ji Woon-soo’s Good Luck. Poor evaluations and low ratings are the causes cited.

Just half a year ago, TV Chosun, MBN, Channel A, and JTBC were ushered in with great fanfare and high expectations, with ambitious programming featuring big-name stars, among them Jung Woo-sung, Hwang Jung-min, and Chae Shi-ra. In fact, if you were going on budget and starpower alone, there was little difference between a general-programming cable drama (from one of the four abovementioned channels) and a primetime broadcast one (KBS, MBC, SBS). So where did things go wrong?

First, to explain what the deal is with these channels: Note that “general-programming cable” is not exactly the same as simply cable. General-programming refers to those four channels that were launched five months ago; they are run by national newspapers Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Donga Ilbo, and Maeil Business Newspaper. They are called general-programming because they aren’t restricted to narrow niche content, like sports, music, or movies. Most cable channels are; OCN is a movie channel, MBC Dramanet does dramas (mostly reruns of broadcast dramas), Mnet does music, YTN is news, tvN covers entertainment/dramas, and so on.

The upshot is that these general-programming channels are able to provide a broad range of content similar to the Big 3 terrestrial broadcasters, and thus they were seen as (and meant to be) stronger direct competitors to the Big 3 than other cable outlets have historically been. That’s why you got the huge budgets and blockbuster ambitions of, say, a 10 billion won project like Hanbando.

Sadly, however, the majority of these programs have suffered pretty dismal ratings. Currently 1% is seen as the benchmark for a successful cable show, which is already a lot lower than broadcast expectations, and yet a number of these channels’ shows have only garnered a fraction of that. I’ve seen numbers as low as 0.1%. Yeesh.


Hanbando

Even when a drama is able to break 1%, like Hanbando did initially, that’s not enough to justify the expenditure. In Hanbando’s case, dropping ratings led the channel to chop its running time by a quarter, ending with 18 episodes rather than the planned 24.

In fact, Hanbando’s failure led TV Chosun’s executive director of all drama programming to tender his resignation. The channel refused to accept it, but he was given a different position, in essence a demotion. The content director did resign.

There have been a few hits peppering the myriad disappointments, and most of them come from JTBC. Maybe it’s blessed with better luck, or houses a better PR team, or it’s plain smarter at getting better content, but in any case it’s had the best run with shows like Padam Padam (which hit 2% ratings at one point) and A Wife’s Credentials, which broke 4%. Its Queen Dowager In-soo has been safely in the 1% range and recently broke 2%. (Not everything has been a hit; When A Woman Redoes Her Makeup—terrible title— was cut in half due to dismal ratings.)

But even with its budding reputation for well-made content, JTBC has announced plans to reduce its drama production budget.


Padam Padam

Channel A is in a similar situation and lost its VP, who was the former KBS TV department director and SBS president. Thanks to low ratings, he resigned his position, as did its drama department chief, who had credits as an SBS and MBC PD. Another executive and founding contributor of Channel A was placed on probation due to the low ratings and recently resigned.

That’s too bad, but Channel A had pretty weak programming. Color of Woman and K-Pop Ultimate Survival were both cut from their initial orders; the former ended with 20 instead of 24, the latter was cut to 14 instead of 16.

Not that I blame them; Color of Woman started off cute and fun, but got progressively more plodding. K-Pop Ultimate Survival is a pleasant show, but I find the tone off-putting and overly juvenile, like it’s made for Disney or ABC Family. Not that there’s anything wrong with those channels; it’s just that you have to adjust your expectations when you’re expecting prime-time drama and get tween programming instead. According to one actor’s reps, “The filming atmosphere is good, but even so they’re dealing with quite a bit of shock over the low ratings.”


K-Pop Ultimate Survival

Channel A also produced Bachelor’s Vegetable Store. ‘Nuff said about that trainwreck. They did have one well-received drama, Heaven’s Garden, which even broke 1% ratings… but didn’t cause much of a stir. Ratings and acclaim don’t equal buzz, as we well know.

Channel A was also to be the original home of Time Slip Dr. Jin, the Song Seung-heon time-traveling-doctor vehicle based on the Japanese drama JIN. However, the broadcaster hadn’t solidified a timeslot, and the show went to MBC instead. I wonder if that’s a good sign (at least there’s hope for it now) or a warning sign (it was originally courted by a channel that seems to specialize in flops).

Then there’s MBN, which has focused mostly in the sitcom and variety niche with offerings like Vampire Idol (its lone hit, though ratings are still under 1%), You’re Here, You’re Here, You’re Really Here (which got chopped in half from 120 episodes to 60), and Bolder By the Day (the army sitcom that made not a blip on anyone’s radar). They’ve stated their intention to back off from drama production.


Queen Dowager In-soo

One can point at the rushed launches of these channels as one key reason for their beleaguered conditions. It seemed like one day there were announcements of all these new stations, and the next day, they were in business. I recall that in their very first week of operation, there were a number of broadcast accidents, which pointed at weak preparation and/or organization.

Then there’s the inflated expectations of the channels themselves. Did they seriously think they could do a one-month media blitz, open up shop, and have people flock to them in droves? Was it hubris or naivete?

And then you throw in the towel because FIVE MONTHS LATER, you’re not happy with the results? If you’re intending to be in business for the long haul, why did you not prepare a long-term plan? This is a case where I think they ought to have looked at the other cable channels and learned from them, rather than assuming they’d do it better their first time out. OCN, for instance, largely does not produce its own content, and airs a lot of syndicated programming. But when they do produce an original show, you get something kickass like Vampire Prosecutor (with its 4% ratings), or quirky and interesting like Hero.

Or take tvN, which has been in existence since the mid-2000s; it has worked its way up steadily by adding more and more original content over the years. It made a name for itself with the “docu-drama” Rude Miss Young-ae, which was a hit and went on to nine seasons. It aired small, critically acclaimed dramas like Once Upon a Time in Saengchori, Joseon X-Files, and Harvest Villa—all in non-prime-time slots, mind you—before deciding it was ready to jump into the prime-time fray with shows like I Need Romance, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, and Shut Up: Flower Boy Band.

You need smart content and a smart plan, not just a batch of big names and a pile of money that you throw at it, assuming you’ll score. ‘Cause that money runs out, and the big names go away when it does. Oh, well. I’ve got my OCN, tvN, and CGV; there’s still quality cable programming to be found. Thank goodness for that.

Via Newsen, Joy News

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86 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mariam

    feel bad for them but their shows really SUCKED

    • 1.1 OMG

      They need to take a note from TVN!

    • 1.2 Jim22

      Hey, the shows DOES NOT SUCK AT ALL! It is because not all people don’t have cable. There are more and more good cable dramas to show, but because it is only on cable, that is why these shows have low ratings.

      Compare to the local TV broadcast channels like KBS, SBS, & MBC, they would have more drama views because those are local channels which you don’t have to pay more to watch them. If all of those good dramas which was aired on KBS, SBS, or MBC were to air on a cable channel, I bet those dramas wouldn’t have done that good and not have much of a good rating and views either.

      And if all the cable dramas were to be shown into any of the top 3 known TV drama broadcast channels (KBS, SBS, MBC), I bet these shows would have good ratings and more views. Please show some respects for these cable TV dramas. I loved “Kpop Ultimate Survival” and “Color of Woman”, but it SUCKED that these are cable dramas which is why they have low ratings to even cut down. But still, they still need to continue the drama(s) even if it had low ratings on them.

      • 1.2.1 jniquej

        I was really looking forward to K-pop Ultimate Survival. I believe there were a lot of followers too! What is really disappointing is not allowing them to complete the series, which only had 2 episodes left. What’s up with that?! At least let it finish!

  2. Mystisith

    Comment in replay loop:
    - Being a newbie in the business and going frontal (timeslots) with the well implanted channels (big or not) is a suicide mission.
    - A drama = a story. Meaning a decent writer (or a team of).
    - You can’t be good at everything (news, variety, dramas and movies): Start small with what you’re good at and build your fanbase. Listen to your viewers and do a bit of promo.
    Some people resigned and i understand why: A lot of bad decisions have been taken.
    Dammit, i feel like like i’m teaching “How to start a business in 3 steps”.

    • 2.1 KDaddict

      Hey Mysti,
      They need to hire you, or better yet, a bunch of us k-drama nuts, to run their drama section for them. Problem is, the bean counters at new cable channels have no idea what viewers want. Hanbando? Seriously. I ran the other way when I heard abt a drama of that title!

      • 2.1.1 Mystisith

        LOL, actually i gave the principles i’m following for my blog… But i think it would work for channel management too. Don’t they do a basic business-plan of some kind before launching a new program? When you talk big money it seems necessary… Dunno.

        Hanbando could have been a good punchy movie from what i heard (didn’t watch it).

        I love OCN: 10, 12 Eps, 47 mins. I love their dark tone style, and it gives a fresh feeling to the audience cause the menu changes regularly. 24 eps of 66 mins for a blank, wash, rinse and repeat romance story? Bleh. Give me my kickass Hero instead.

        I love tvN too: 16 eps, 47 mins episodes for their shows and i always end up frustrated cause i want more. LOL, just the good way to got me hooked. Actually i wouldn’t mind them extending QIH’s man or Marriage Plot.

        PS: I love the actors both channels cast for their dramas: Not mainstream and formated beauty but with solid acting chops and un je ne sais quoi. Some personality and charisma.

        • 2.1.1.1 Toya

          Don’t forget TEN, I love that show.

          • 2.1.1.1.1 Mystisith

            TEN is brilliant.

        • 2.1.1.2 Joy

          Can anyone please tell me how they like Hero. I have exams right now but I will be very free afterwards to catch up ;)

          • 2.1.1.2.1 diorama

            Hero is great. The visuals are unbelievable – really gritty, moody, and hi-tech. Storywise, it’s got the underdog (our Hero) solving a mystery of the week, plus and underlying mystery; it’s a little like Batman in that it deals with a dystopian urban setting where corruption runs rampant and only a few people are working to keep the system clean. I love it, but the subs are a bit on the slow side. Seriously, you should try it.

          • 2.1.1.2.2 canxi

            I haven’t watched it yet, but you can watch it on Hulu when you get the chance. :) I’m also going to watch it there O:

          • 2.1.1.2.3 Arhazivory

            I’ve been hearing about Hero. And after watching TEN and Vamp Pros. I definitely want to watch something of a similar genre.

            *goes to hunt it down*

    • 2.2 cv

      A drama =a story————–> righto!

      Some of those stories are awful—no new plotline but storylines that have been done before and just bad execution.

  3. Kakashi

    guess that was to be expected, cause a lot of their shows were a BIG disappointment (foremost: Color of Woman, K-Pop Ultimate Survival, Bachelor’s Vegetable Store)… On the other hand, I find it reassuring that good stories/execution is obviously appreciated by the viewers (Vampire Prosecutor! Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band): As a sign to all channels producing dramas.

    • 3.1 Joy

      Color of Woman = BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THEM ALL. I watched all the way up to ep 15 and then I was like “no way José”. I LURVED the flirty vibe between Chan Jin and the main female lead. Well I guess it did succeed in putting Shim Ji Ho on my radar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNGxdNC6GEs SWOOON.

      • 3.1.1 Mystisith

        The only memory i want to keep from this drama:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiB9fH3ivqM
        That’s it.

      • 3.1.2 Selli

        Argh, at first I thought it would at least be cute and feel-good, but I finally stopped watching at episode 10 @_@~

  4. topper

    I am disappointed that JTBC is reducing it’s budget for doing dramas, I liked most of their production so far. A Wife’s Credential is top notch, currently for 2012 it is ranking top, just ahead of TK2H on my list.

    • 4.1 epyc

      A Wife’s Credential – I get a sense that it is a top notch drama from the few but reliable comments I heard so far. Looking forward to catch it asap.

    • 4.2 NYCgrl

      AWC is my favorite drama not only for this year but quite a long time. Probably not since CitC have I seen something this good. Can’t wait till it is subbed so I can do a rewatch. There is at least 10-15% I didn’t understand–mostly the legal stuff.

  5. observantzani

    Thank the drama gods for not letting me get torn into choosing more dramas. I don’t even know where to find the time to watch all the good titles that came out this year! But this is still sad news :(

    Although as mentioned in this article, the channels should have taken baby steps and not the drastic measures like resigning because of a failure. I’m a little sad JTBC decided to decrease it’s budget. Among the 4 new cable channels, it has the biggest potential to stream dramas like tvN and OCN. It already established it’s mood and theme, being heartwarming dramas. In a few years time, they would have been a channel we’ll all be tuning into.

  6. cocoonedsoul

    i never did quite understand rude miss young-ae. fun, but to span 9 seasons? that’s pretty amazing.

    personally cable amuses me because it gives us mindless (trashy) variety. everything is terribly awkward and scripted but hey ComedyTV’s I’m Your Pet was an interesting train wreck! it took a literal spin on the manga series kimi wo petto and made a cougar noona take in a 20-something year old guy as a pet. the boy had to beg for food and sleep at the base of her bed and stuff.

    and then there’s ystar. that gave us a “The Guy Who Gets Married Every Day”, a show where idol singer chungrim “marries” 5 girls. there’s Monday wife, Tuesday wife, Wednesday wife… takes a new spin on Monday couple, huh?

    ah korean cable, i do love you so.

    • 6.1 canxi

      Are you taking about the korean adaptation movie for kimi wa petto or was there a drama done too?

      Because if it was a drama and all you got was that the leading lady was a “cougar-noona”, they did that just as wrong as the movie did D’:

      Man, no justice for such a great read.

      • 6.1.1 cocoonedsoul

        no, it was a reality show! where they took normal people (well, as normal as can be. one of the noonas was. gravure model) and put them in one of the most loltastic shows ever.

        they made an actual reality show based on the manga lol

  7. bjharm

    well the fact they keep cutting show in episode numbers can not help any viewer feel confident in watching the channels. They just p*ssing off what little viewers they have and scare away future ones.
    One thing the koreans are and that is traditional! and many of these show seem to me to want to push more at the normal ‘approved’ guidelines that more mainstream TV drama strictly stick to as a pretty much written in stone rule

  8. Lizzie

    Javabeans, do you how queen In Hyun’s man are doing in their ratings? Sorry for asking that but have no idea where I can find them.

    Someone? Just want to know if they have good ratings… because I’m loving this drama !

    Kisses!

    • 8.1 tikaa

      what i know is they’re no 1 in the slot. but idk the exact rating

      • 8.1.1 gimbungdo

        i think tvN’s dramas will slowly climb up and meet the competitiveness of the Big 3. Their shows definitely need more attention. I LOVE Queen In-Hyun’s Man; its high quality is probably credited to it being a cable show, but the downside is that it’s so disappointing when a cable show wouldn’t go high enough to catch people’s attention. I’m desperately waiting for subtitles right now.

        • 8.1.1.1 Anvesha

          I’m really loving Queen In Hyun’s Man.. I hope it does good..

  9. yoga girl

    did these people really go to business school?i am 16 and i know better.you dont expect to jump into a race and some how come out as a winner.you gotta prepare first.they are like a bunch of idiots with no proper planning.they should go back and learn the basics.how do they expect to gain audience by such crappy stories.

  10. 10 Joy

    I have to agree it seems like all these different channels were run by businessmen looking to make a quick buck. Hey even to an ordinary lay(wo)men like me it sounds ridiculous to only invest less than half a year into a venture and see results. Even if you have good quality shows, that would a be a tall order to follow, but those cables didn’t even deliver on that front. If these shows aren’t putting their hearts into really stepping it up then I’m glad they’re no longer in the drama making business. I watch mostly OCN and tvN dramas anyway. GOD I LOVE TVN.

    • 10.1 Pitch

      tvN has great shows! Better than most on the big channels.

      • 10.1.1 MumuBun

        I totally agree. tvN is becoming my new top channel now. The shows on it are much more original and have unique plots compared to the cookie cutter styles from the Big 3 channels. Oh how I love tvN lol~ it’s just too damn good and I wish it got more attention.

        • 10.1.1.1 bd

          tvN deserves all its accolades just for Joseon X-Files – one of the best shows ever done, not just in Korea but anywhere.

          Only Tree with Deep Roots, Coffee Prince and Joseon X-Files had the whole package when it came to beautifully written scripts/dialogue; great acting, directing and cinematography and interesting and full characters, not just for the leads, but the secondary characters as well (which most shows don’t do).

          • 10.1.1.1.1 Vic

            @bd I agree completely about Joseon X Files! A MASTERPIECE!!

  11. 11 Eked13

    Fascinating stuff – I really appreciate articles like this as, not speaking Korean, it’s not the kind of background info you pick up anywhere else.

    I also hadn’t realised that 3 of my favourite K-dramas all came from the same small cable station – Harvert Villa, Saengchori and Joseon X Files. I wasn’t a great fan of the other 3 shows mentioned from them, but all power to their collective elbows just the same.

    • 11.1 Llamaesque

      I completely agree about this kind of article being fascinating. I love dramabeans’ discussion of dramas, but I also love its discussion about the world that makes them. Huzzah!

      My one question: I assume that people are paying to get these cable networks, like we do in America? I wonder what their subscription/household rates are like in comparison with the number of people actually watching them.

      • 11.1.1 javabeans

        These four general-programming channels come bundled with cable subscriptions. Apparently they managed to get assigned channel numbers that make them a mandatory part of cable packages, meaning that even though it’s part of a subscription model, it’s pretty accessible. Like what we’d call “basic cable” in the States.

        • 11.1.1.1 Amanda

          Thanks so much for the info! Really, these ratings don’t seem all that different from scripted programming on American basic cable–buzzy Mad Men had a .7 share last Sunday, which apparently means only a few thousand people watched. But when DVRs are added into the mix, who knows what that means?

  12. 12 Sponge

    Oh thank goodness this wasn’t referring to tvN! i was shocked for a moment there since i’m really loving what their delivering so far! *_*

    Though i’m not suprised about the other two channels being cut (or err cutting themselves?), though the only thing i actually watched was Colour of a woman which i agree was fun at first but then became so disappointing and i dropped it. I thought Bachelor’s Vegetable Store was going to appeal to the masses but since i don’t care for makjang (which i assumed it would be), i didn’t even bother watching.

  13. 13 cherkell

    Obviously none of these cable companies’ executives went to Wharton or Kellogg to acquire any sort of business acumen before jumping into the General Programming Pool. I’ve read the same articles and it’s just a matter of time before a complete shutdown of these recent channels, since any capital left in their coffers is going to go pay for settling all the lawsuits filed for non-payment to the contracted production companies and other vendors. Stick to what you know best — putting out daily newspapers instead. Such an expensive lesson to learn!

    But I still don’t care what anyone says — I will treasure my Hottie Bachelor Boys to the end of my days!! :P

    • 13.1 Cynthia

      Word!
      :)

  14. 14 LeiDiAngelo

    OCN and tvN are geniuses :) i also tried some cable dramas but gave up halfway. Colour was fun at the start but turned mundane soon . Yoohwan’s the only reason I’m still watching KPOP . So far, my fave cable drama will be the tvN’s oh boy! Series and vampprosecutor . I’m also watching God’s quiz and TEN at the moment .

  15. 15 hpn88

    this is what happens when you throw money at something before thinking it through. it fails – surprise!

    as long as tvN keeps going with the oh boy! series and OCN doesn’t stop producing its slick crime procedurals I’m good.

  16. 16 kaleido

    I do enjoy ‘Can Love Become Money’ from MBN.. of course my dear Vampire Prosecutor being the lead is a bonus… i am hoping that they don’t cut out drama totally… but just produce less and more interesting story… I have not checked out ‘A wife credential’.. heard so much good thing about it that i will have to check it out…

    I actually did enjoy jTBC offering.. not all but most… Fermentation Family has to be one solid family drama.. acting is top notch… padam padam is another one that I fully enjoyed…

    ocn and TvN just did stuff right and not rush thing.. i think new cable channel is good think but just need to take baby step.

  17. 17 diorama

    It’s kind of weird that jTBC is reducing its budget when all the other stations (OCN, for example) are putting out really great visuals. Then again, you don’t need big money to make a good show, and they may have been wary of another Hanbando situation.

  18. 18 MrsSherPYC

    Oo.. I lurveeee a wife’s credentials. Haha.. I think I have watched more than half of the cable dramas that were mentioned above, all in the hope of finding a gem like VP, TEN, INR.. With a team of writers, less restriction compared to mainstream channels and huge budgets, u would have thought that they would be able to produce some brilliant quirky unconventional dramas.

    Watched k-pop survival coz of yoo hwannie. Was curious to see whether he could hold his own after ATDP. Still can’t believe that was the ending! Should I even start watching Good bye wife on Channel A after CoW and KPOP fiasco? Aish…

  19. 19 canxi

    That sucks to know, especially since I loved Padam Padam and really liked Operation Proposal. If they made more dramas like that, they would be gold. Or at least some nice shiny silver :D

    But, if you’re planning is as bad as what it seems of course you’re gonna fall under. Maybe they should have started off slow. I guess the whole “competitors for the big 3″ thing got to them.

    They could have offered a couple drama specials. Short dramas that’ll get people’s attention. 4-10 episodes? That would save them the trouble of having to cut something short because of low ratings too. It takes like 4 episodes or more to get into the story of a drama many times, so if you reduce the episodes you reduce that time and people’s interest might grow. And then took a note from tVN and put things in non prime-time slots, so people would watch it. Nothing to compete with means people don’t have to pick and choose between your show and another from a bigger channel.

  20. 20 j

    I really enjoyed Padam Padam from JTBC. Great visuals, solid script, well-rounded acting and directing.

    and of course there’s shut up flower boy band from tvN, definitely my Top3 of the year so far.

    It seems like it was only a few months ago that a bunch of cable dramas popped up, too bad they didn’t all turn out great.

  21. 21 Shiku

    So if they stop with the general programming, does it mean they will focus on news 24-7 and be Korean’s version of Fox News since they are conservative (I think).

  22. 22 Arhazivory

    They should’ve just learned from TvN and OCN. I’m yet to watch something bad (although I haven’t watched much) from those two.

    I really don’t think they should call it quits so early. They jumped in a little too enthusiastically but they just need to step back, re-evaluate and come again. The viewers will always be there and if its good…it’ll definitely be a hit.

  23. 23 Anao

    Aside from tvN and OCN’s offerings I really liked “Padam Padam”from JTBC. It got a little frustrating by the end but it was worth seeing.

  24. 24 Cruelsummer

    Man..I’m bummed about Kpop Survival. Myself and the six other people that were watching would have appreciated a little closure.

    I’m not dealing with cable shows anymore, unless it’s TvN.

    • 24.1 Cruelsummer

      OT: I read somewhere that music execs gave a tv station a butt load of money to showcase their idols in a drama. It was under investigation. Kpop Survival was the first show that came to my mind. Hmmm….maybe that ( in addition to the abysmal ratings) is part of the reason it was cancelled.

      • 24.1.1 ravens_nest

        I wouldn’t be surprised. There were Kpop cameos left and right in that drama.

      • 24.1.2 girlatsea

        I’ve actually been watching K-pop Survival (currently on episode 13) and I’m enjoying it so much. It’s predictable but likable and fun. The leads are so charming. ^^

        I honestly had no idea it would it end with episode 14. I know it’s over but as I’m watching episode 13, there are so many loose ends. How on earth did they tie them all up?

        As for the scandal, there are lots of idols on K-pop Survival (which makes sense, haha). I wouldn’t be surprised.

        • 24.1.2.1 Cruelsummer

          That’s the problem. They didn’t tie it up. I was patiently waiting for the big showdown in Ep. 15, until I read the news. Still didn’t believe it until I read it on Dramabeans :(

  25. 25 all4movies

    Yup, love OCN for producing quality and edgy drama like Vampire Prosecutor and Hero.

    Now, if only I can get my hands on the dvds.

  26. 26 Lavony

    I have to agree I loved TvN drama’s sooooo good. even the new Queen InHyun’s man soooooo gooood!

    And I also LOVEDDDDD JTBC’s Padam Padam that was really good. Honestly if all cable dramas are how good Padam Padam was I would so jump ship to cable all the way. Because recently not one single drama besides Marriage Plot and Queen In Hyun’s man as caught my eye.

  27. 27 myra

    so no more dramas after jtbc weekend drama queen insoo? and mbn also has – or had – a weekend drama called can love become money…does anyone know anything about that drama?

    • 27.1 Mystisith

      CLBM? 2 more eps to air and it’s a wrap (so 20). Subs are slow. My recaps are even slower… But it’s a nice show, even if the ratings are probably low.

  28. 28 HeadsNo2

    The only channel out of those suffering that I’d be truly sad to see go is jTBC. They’ve been producing the best quality content out of the new new channels, tvN and OCN not included.

    • 28.1 imbe

      I think they won’t. They will be constructing their new studios in Sangam-Dong next year.

  29. 29 Biscuit

    Coincidence that all dramas I liked actually came from the same quality cabal channels? Shows that they know what they are doing, and good thing they are successful at it. What would I do if Vampire Prosecutor 2 never saw the light or any more Flower Boy series came to an end?

  30. 30 girlatsea

    Aww, this makes me kind of sad. One day we only had the three channels broadcasting dramas (sometimes tvN & OCN) and then suddenly we had four MORE channels playing dramas. And there were just SO MANY dramas to choose from, it was a little overwhelming but awesome (for a drama watcher anyway). Though a lot of them lacked in quality, it was definitely nice to have more choices.

    It’s disappointing that they’re just giving up after five months.

  31. 31 crazykel

    I actually liked K-pop, but more so because the main female lead didn’t act the damsel-in-distress as much as others tend to do. I haven’t watched the last 2 episodes, and though I am sad that they cut it to 14–if you’re not getting ratings, you’re not getting ratings.

    ***It’s like when Arrested Development (a US comedy-drama) was cancelled; not a lot of people watched it, but the show was amazing.

  32. 32 crazedlu

    ooh, well written article, jb.

    and i’m seriously thinking there was no longterm in their drawing rooms. i guess it’s good riddance, in that case.

  33. 33 Aya

    diversity and competition is usually a good thing, but this was doomed to fail from the start, zero planning zero market understanding

  34. 34 concreteroads

    I agree that Channel A offerings have been/still are pretty sad. I am a little bit disappointed about K-Pop Extreme Survival, though- I actually like that drama, and I hadn’t yet heard about it being cut down to 14 episodes >.>

  35. 35 Kayana20

    JTBC should be ashamed of themselves for giving up so easily. Did they not see the work they produced and look at their ratings? Padam Padam, Syndrome, and A wife’s Credentials all had solid ratings even if Wife’s ws the best. They better learn to market to japan and internationally to make up any snafu that they lost money on. You can always recover but giving up after 5 months will make fans not want to watch your shows because I hate when my favorite drama’s get episodes cut.
    I love Hanbando and the show was good but the little things is what made it fail. A better writer was needed too.
    Now as for Padam Padam I pray they release the DVD and still go to Japan because that show just touched me in so many ways.what a beautiful love story and life drama.
    JB thanks once again because you saved me when I met you and girlfriday on this blog. It’s not about the looks all the time but the plot, actor, and drama.I love any TVN drama’s but the subs take forever for some and it makes you go crazy waiting.Not really into OCN because I grew up in a dangerous atmosphere so music and love make me smile.

    I watch the Big 3 but sometimes the repetitive gets on my nerves and right now that is not the case for Thursdays. I just hope they get better writers in future who are fresh and don’t keep recycling old drama’s.Hence why I don’t watch weekend drama’s after finding out the hard way.Especially on MBC !

  36. 36 Maddz

    Ah, well, at least now I know why K-Pop Survival seemed to end so suddenly. xD

  37. 37 lovedramas

    I agree that they have had their crap of really crappy shows… some of it is just really bad writing and just not enough good story lines to keep viewers interested (I’m guessing that is the case from watching some of them). But seriously… giving up after just 5 months? what kind of business plan did they have??? I imagine that this kind of thing takes at least a year commitment before viewers become more loyal to you. Seriously – get good writers, good scripts and I believe that the talent (in terms of actors etc) will just come over. I know that there are probably some other politics involved in how the k-ent industry works so I don’t want to oversimplify it… but after 5 months just seem to me that they weren’t expecting it to succeed in the first place.

    I did watch TvN’s dramas and I enjoyed them. I also watched Padam (really liked it) and Kpop Surivival – the latter of which had promise as it was nothing new but still was cute… yet it really fell so flat in the 2nd half. I do think that some of them were really just too ambitious from the get-go. Gambling big and the fall is even greater. Still good luck to all those remaining… may all strive for better dramas and may viewers support them.

  38. 38 asianromance

    I really liked Jtbc’s Fermentation Family. It is still currently my top drama for 2012.

    I am surprised how these cable channels are giving up after a few months and a handful of dramas. They should at least see the year through. Even broadcast channels suffer multiple flops in a row sometimes.

  39. 39 'dalia

    jtbc…just don’t land a finger on your on your variety programs, because i’m not sure i’d be able to go on living without Shinhwa Broadcast…

  40. 40 conan

    Aren’t cable channels supposed to be more specific anyways? I mean, we already have broadcast channels for that. If I were a cable subscriber, I would not want to watch just another general-programming channel that I could get for free.

    Besides that, they really were rushing into it. I mean, 10 billion on the first ever drama on that channel? That’s a stupid gamble. The entertainment industry is tough, but longevity is part of that game. And in order to gain longevity, you have to have a niche. And in order to have a niche, you have to slowly sand your table until it is silky smooth. Okay, not the best metaphor, but I think I got my message across.

    They were being too cocky, and in a seriously bad and stupid way. More OCN and tvN would be nice thanks.

  41. 41 Angelxglo

    The reason the new cable channels did not do well in the drama area is because they attempted to do too much without any prior build. How can you drop 10 billion on a drama when you haven’t even established your target audience for your channel? On a business level, it’s bad deicsions by management. The drama themselves were decent. But for infant channels, high ratings should not expect immediately. I think TvN is probably the smarter channel out of he bunch.

    • 41.1 Shery

      Also, not being patient enough and cutting some dramas short was a dumb decision, since they are annoying to the few who actually watch their channel…

  42. 42 Ani

    Nice to see some Fermentation Family love here. Hahaha. It is still the only drama for 2012 that I have seen in its entirety. (I skipped 2 Wild Romance episodes, the ones in the middle that didn’t give us a lot of the heroine. Hrm.) So I give jtbc that one too. I think they really should’ve eased into it slowly with a plan for the long run. Well, you win some and you lose some.

  43. 43 dowon

    that’s a pity. fermentation family of jtbc was my favorite show of the year. well written, directed and acted…i hope the cable networks will still allow some time for their fan base (and experience) to grow. i really prefer the quality of works like fermentation family (albeit, awful name) to the fluffy junk pumped out by the main networks.

  44. 44 Mlou

    I am so enjoying “Immortal Classic” that airs on channel A, with Ko Doo-Sim. What a wonderful love story! There are plenty of flops on the regular channels, so is there just too much competition?

  45. 45 rencka

    Jim22 is in the right position, but in some cases I think we have to admit the truth that if everybodys knows the industry, why make tasteless and boring stories; they need to put a major effort to improve their shows and creative abilities, it was the mentioned of dramas that clearly lost the rating because of boringness

  46. 46 Shery

    Come on, people! K-pop The ultimate audition was the coolest drama this year! I’m so mad at them right now for cutting it short!

  47. 47 Claudia

    I love kpop the ultimate audition how can they cut it short so disapointed com on guys is just 2 episode it was really refreshing and i love the coouple they are so sweet YOU CAN’T DO THAAAAAAAAAAAT

  48. 48 imbe

    Don’t forget the jTBC is a reincarnation of the defunct Tongyang Broadcasting Corp. Their experience in TV Broadcasting helped jTBC a lot.

  49. 49 Shia

    I live for tvN dramas. The late 20-30 something dramas are sexier than anything I have seen from the Big 3. This year alone: Twelve Men in a Year, The Marriage Plot, Queen Inhyun’s Man. Not too mention the excitement that I have for everything that is coming up.

    I bow down to whoever is producing dramas there. I am a fan for as long as they want to produce dramas. I think that if they could also measure the overseas ratings, Queen Inhyun’s Man alone would break records.

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