Sitcoms/Variety Shows
MBC cancels variety show Come to Play
by | December 8, 2012 | 60 Comments

Wow, someone’s gone trigger-happy over at MBC — right on the heels of the network’s sitcom cancellation (What Is a Mom? and the sitcom time slot along with it) the broadcaster has announced the sudden cancellation of Yoo Jae-suk talk show Come to Play, after eight years on the air as a variety mainstay.

The Monday night multi-guest studio talk show co-hosted with Kim Won-hee is eight years in the running and was just about to hit the 400-episode mark. It’s also had a stable of rotating guest hosts, and is the show Eun Ji-won joined post-1 Night 2 Days. The ratings are the biggest reason for the cancellation, as they’ve been regularly dipping below 5% against SBS talk show Healing Camp and KBS talk show Hello.

An underperforming show getting the axe isn’t unusual, but Come to Play was cut with no warning to producers and stars, and will not be given a chance to shoot a farewell episode. They’re just going to air what’s in the can and let it quietly fade out, which is a really strange way to handle a show that’s headlined by star MC Yoo Jae-suk, and been on the air for so long. The fan reaction seems decidedly shocked and upset at the way the cancellation was handled.

Losing the show itself doesn’t come as a huge shock, since it’s been a long time since I’ve thought it interesting enough to watch unless they scored a particularly rare set of guests, and it’s got a pretty nondescript concept, inasmuch as these things are all window dressing for guest-centric studio talk shows. (Happy Together, for instance, despite its low-rent sauna locker room concept, is more distinctive despite the slight changes in format over the years.)

It’s just that combined with MBC’s recent sitcom-axing, it indicates some significant and abrupt changes at the network. Who knows, maybe it’ll be on to better things, but you’d think they would want to say farewell to their standby shows with a little more grace.

Come to Play’s remaining episodes will air till mid-December, and then be replaced by new variety programming.

Via Newsen, E Daily, Star News


60 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. okdubu

    omg :(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    i don’t watch the show regularly anymore either but still :'((((((((((((((((( poor cast and crew

  2. jandoe

    Wow. I would not want to be employed by MBC, suffice to say.

  3. nomu nomu nomu

    Who the F**K is running MBC? a bunch of trained monkeys? untrained monkeys? Anthony’s Evil twin? I don’t really have any complaints against cancelling or cutting a show due to business reason, but you can’t just cancel a show or time slot without any notice what so ever and especially if you don’t have any back up plan on what shows will follow.

    call me sentimental or whatever , but don’t these shows and cast members mean anything to these money grubbing Fucktards. A tiny little smidgen of respect shown by them would be nice.

    • 3.1 Mystisith

      “Anthony’s Evil twin”: I’m sorry, I had to laugh even if the situation is not funny for the poor employees of that channel.

    • 3.2 elainestale

      it sounds exactly like what king of dramas is showing hur. and there i was thinking that it was all just part of dramaland.

    • 3.3 Anya

      I swear! I am being ruined by that show.
      Previously, when they would have, news articles saying so and so BOUGHT SO AND SO FOR THE STAFF, I would go awwwwww!
      But, Now all I think is, ” Sponsored!” LOL.

      I am not so sure, its good go give out these details LAMO!

      • 3.3.1 bjharm

        what came to my mind was what about any sponcer who paid for a time slot in the show? maybe no one paying to have there ad on during the show, may explain why it is getting cut. And it wouldnt be the first time people have pretty much arrived at work to find they OUT of work with no warning..get a union you….ow well they never going to learn and just get scewed over evertime.
        Reminds a bit of the girl from Tara that was sitting in her dressing room going over her lines for her new drama, not knowing that the tv company was having a press conferance expalining why they cut her from the show.

  4. Steph

    Somebody’s finger over there needs to be removed from the trigger cause they’ve obviously gotten trigger happy. I can understand canceling a show that’s not pulling in viewers, but doing so without any notice [for closure purposes, etc.] or real plans makes zero sense to me. So, first plan, then shoot.

  5. mommai

    A Yoo Jae Suk show that doesn’t get a finale? CRAZY TALK! Bad move, MBC 🙁

  6. DayDreamer

    Damn, MBC. You’re really not cutting anybody some slack. Wonder what they’re brewing. It better be good so that they’re trigger-happy ways don’t come back to bite them back. :/

    • 6.1 DayDreamer


  7. Maya

    Whoa! I can understand the show being cancelled due to its poor performance in ratings, but no farewell episode to appreciate the efforts made all these years by the casts and crews?! Shame on you MBC!

  8. Mystisith

    Ok. Has someone new arrived at the channel?: Territory marking…
    Or is someone scared to lose his prestigious post?: Let’s take drastic measures to show we do something to solve the problems even if it’s illogical.
    Anyway it’s really not elegant. Do people receive their layoff notices the same day? The atmosphere in the corridors must be lovely.

    • 8.1 Betty

      “Ok. Has someone new arrived at the channel?: Territory marking…”
      “Anyway it’s really not elegant. Do people receive their layoff notices the same day? The atmosphere in the corridors must be lovely.”

      My thought exactly!!!

  9. rearwindow

    Wow, their PR department needs to be fired immediately. As well as the trigger-happy exec who’s planned this. This is just about the least graceful way of canceling a show.

  10. 10 Arhazivory

    tut tut tut. Poorly done MBC…..poorly done.

  11. 11 elainestale

    MBC has always been the station out of the big 3 that always made me feel “wth are they doing?!”


    • 11.1 oi

      so right, how can they do this to our Yoo Jae Suk??
      why not end it gracefully with a farewell ep, if the 400th ep is too far away?
      really… is so……. 🙁

    • 11.2 Jo

      Okay, although I feel regretful that Yoo Jae Suk is losing this show, he won’t suffer. He is the highest earning MC in Korea and has other steady shows. The people I feel sorry for are the staff, especially those who slave behind the scenes.

      • 11.2.1 almea

        Exactly what I was thinking… The staff and crew are really the ones to suffer the consequences of MBC’s bad planning, whereas the stars and PDs probably have other shows to bounce back to.

        Sigh… isn’t MBC going to suffer any legal repercussions for this?

  12. 12 Piggister

    I was worried that this was going to happen. Come to Play has even switched to a new format to garner more viewers called the Trueman Show. It’s basically the Talk but with men. And on that panel of men was Jay Park! Where am I going to get my fix of Jay now? MBC whhyyy?!

    • 12.1 Sonia

      I know…. I was so happy to finally see Jay Park in variety shows. 🙁

  13. 13 Wolle

    This is my first comment on DB, but a very long time follower. I have decided to no longer stay in the cave and silently read the website.

    Anyway, MBC has the time to announce to the media, but does not have the time to tell its producers/stars. It seems to be disrespectful to the CTP’s staff. This is a great way to end the year, with an unhappy note.

    • 13.1 Jo

      so true.

  14. 14 crazedlu


  15. 15 rynea

    This is preposterous. Just who is/are pulling the plug in MBC?

    On a lighter note, Yoo Jae Suk can have a little more rest now that one of his many variety shows is axed. But can they let the MCs of Come to Play exit with dignity? That’s so lame.

  16. 16 Ash

    Good lord. I don’t watch this or the sitcoms, but would it kill MBC to give the crews a little notice and let them bow out gracefully? I don’t think another week or two of the old programming is asking too much, especially if they have no idea what they’ll air afterward.

    And I sincerely hope that the film crews get moved to another project and aren’t just summarily laid off; that would add a whole other layer of heartlessness to the short notice.

  17. 17 Laica

    Unfortunately, “MBC” and “grace” don’t belong in the same sentence. Or “sense”, for that matter.

    I feel bad for the cast and crew.

  18. 18 lovin it

    shame shame shame.
    real disrespectful to the Come to Play cast and staff!!!!

  19. 19 dongdong

    this somehow reminds me of the labour union strike in the earlier part of the year.. hmm, is MBC taking revenge on this? tsk tsk….

  20. 20 Miso

    They revamped the show before cancellation.. I’m pretty sure they were expecting it anyway but I didn’t think it would be this soon. =( I was happy that Jay Park finally had a place in variety..

    Oh MBC. Come to play was one of my favourite talk shows=(

  21. 21 Quiet Thought

    Suddenly laying off employees without notice right before Christmas? Wow, Korean companies are even more like American companies than I thought. Jerks.

  22. 22 christy

    Adding this to the recent list of tvland wtfery. I feel like the way MBCs is handling things is disrespectful to the emcees and producers of the show. MBC is basically digging itself in a hole if it even expects any of these hosts and producers to want to work with the station in the future.

  23. 23 lenrasoon

    wow what’s going on with MBC?

    i feel sorry for the people working on these shows (the Mom sitcom and Come To Play).

  24. 24 cg

    at least they should have given the chance to end it properly..

  25. 25 angie602

    This is just mean of MBC. At least let them have a farewell episode! This show has been around for years! At least have the decency to inform the cast and crew BEFORE informing the press.. It must have sucked for them to find out through the media instead….

  26. 26 Bakachild

    Just because you’re a big channel MBC doesn’t mean you can’t fall. New channels come out all the time and if you keep axing shows without any back up plans so abruptly, you’ll wind up shooting yourself in the foot. They need to calm down 😛

  27. 27 lovepark

    Wow, Yoo Jae-suk and Kim Won-hee just got the ax without even a warning or farewell episode. I know it’s not uncommon for a show to not have a finale, but it’s “Come to Play” for pete’s sake! MBC should have shown a bit of respect for the hosts and crew members of such a long-standing variety show. It’s true the show was definitely lagging and experimenting recently though still getting poor results meaning this cancellation isn’t completely out of the blue, but nevertheless, MBC, bad manners!

  28. 28 Lilian

    wah…shocking! Although I also don’t follow the show….hmm..they are really sticking to the keep if ratings is good format?

  29. 29 ck1Oz

    8 years and this is all the thanks they get?
    Does the person doing the axe want to die? I can just imagine the number of people who are upset now. Especially when it’s year end celebrations as well.
    Poor form.

  30. 30 Village Mrembo

    I don’t know if he does any other show for MBC besides MD, but picture if YJS got pissed off and decided to leave the programme and MBC altogether? I mean the other guys in MD are stars in their own right but MD without YJS?… Can’t fathom!

    • 30.1 Maya

      What’s MD?

  31. 31 정남

    It is MBC’s new CEO that seems intent on making way for the next year in a bid to be number one but they are losing the trust of the viewers which is counter intuitive to their goal. Pissing off or dumping both the crews as well as YJS is a terrible first step.

  32. 32 Bravehart

    I think its over due Jaesuk already has Happy Together frankly he doesnt need another talk show the viewers will ultimately go sour I feel that YJs only needs 3 shows coz he has a family now to take care and his too busy that his looking tired feel bad for him. Yjs needs to takecare your body for your little son dont need too much money right.

  33. 33 Bravehart

    However cancelling a show that long without a fairwell is very inhumane for the staff and hosts who must be like a family. I think thats why the strike has gotten so long MBc needs a Leadership Training… I feel that of all the 3 channels SbS is the most humane of all….

  34. 34 Alvina

    Dare I say that this heralds the [slightly unrelated but continued] rise of Shin DONG YUP? He’s had a stroke of luck lately. 🙂

    Anyway, this is certainly sad to see. I remember so many great moments on that show, so many great episodes. It’s always sad to see a beloved variety show go, especially one that has been going on for so long…

    But, as everyone has been asking, wtf is going on MBC?
    Do they know something we dont? Are they looking toward the future? Are they moving toward an HBO type format? Dont they know that daily dramas and talk shows are a staple? lol.

  35. 35 inxomnia

    This is crazy and ridiculous! How incredibly disrespectful to the Come to Play cast and crew. Cancelling a show because of low ratings is not baseless, however the way they did it just goes to show what an unorganised and idiotic station they are becoming. First the strikes, then this? If it is not replaced by some amazing show, then they are doomed for a very long time.

  36. 36 aX

    How dare they?! JK!

  37. 37 Liza

    Although I cannot profess to know how things are done in Korea, I find it hard to believe that even if a show is failing,that MBC can just cancel a show without any kind of notice without there being some serious financial compensation. There is more to this than meet the eyes, the MC is far too popular and I hope savvy to allow himself to be that vulnerable. If he was working on the honor system, then he let down the other workers on the show. In the 1 in a billion chance that the station had the legal right to cancel the way they did, I would think that this will be a lesson for all its other employees and going forward there will be a new clause in contracts.

    • 37.1 Caroline

      Interesting! Never heard about this honor system. I really wish I knew what was going on behind closed doors!

  38. 38 Lily

    Well I don’t really watch this show so I don’t really mind, as long as they didn’t touch other MC Yoo jae suk show…

    But to end it abruptly without finale or farewell episode is just ridiculous, what would the show’s fans feel?

    Shame on you trigger-happy-exec!

  39. 39 Caroline

    Come to Play was one of my favourite shows too… it’s hard to find subs for it though. I find it more interesting than Happy Together because the stories have more depth and sometimes Happy Together mc’s, especially the gagmen, tend to provoke the guests in a mean-spirited way. I’ve only watched the older episodes but I found Come to Play really enlightening and revealing when it comes to interviewing guests and sharing Korean culture. I liked how it was intimate. MBC – puhlease…. I recently found out about why there are so few networks in Korea and how the media is so limited. Like other worldwide media, it’s so profits-driven and image-controlled and my guess is less chance for people to innovate and etc… It’s really sad and makes me so irritated. And of course, it’s in bad taste for MBC to end it like this. So disrespectful to Yoo-nim and all the staff for all their great efforts.

    • 39.1 c_gunawan541

      Exactly, I love Come to Play and appreciate it more than Happy together. HT is still a good talkshow nevertheless.
      CTP brings out potential variety stars such as Jung Jae Hyung, Lee Juck etc… I love that they invite lesser known artists from time to time and let them unleash their potential and showcase their talents to the public. It’s definitely a stepping stone for variety newbies…

  40. 40 dani305

    I’m not surprised. If you can’t do it well, either push your limit or move on to something new. However, Korean culture is so bent on surpassing their competitors’ standards, I worry they will lead to their own fall. Kdramas and kpop are following that trend.

  41. 41 Freya

    what a very disrespectful thing to do! im not actually worried with our nation’s MC YJS because he still has Infinity Challenge in MBC and felt sorry for KWH, staffs and crews..however the show is not giving so much ratings, they still shouldn’t do that..won’t the PD of CTP, staffs, crews sue MBC?

  42. 42 sPark*

    I understand why the show was canceled, but the manner was clearly disrespectful. That show was one of the longest running shows with Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Won Hee as MCs… umm that was not really a good idea. If it weren’t for Infinity Challenge, I would not be surprised if YJS did not want to headline another MBC show.

  43. 43 toritorisan

    It kinda sounds like MBC is following how American networks end shows – cutting them all of the sudden without any warning. Shows just suddenly “disappear” and you are just left hanging wondering “what happened?” This is really disappointing and really disrespectful to both the show’s staff and cast and the viewers as well. YJS is really popular and hopefully he’ll move on to better things and to station that will be more appreciative of all his talent.

  44. 44 Carmen C

    Wait isn’t MBC the station that had that damn long strike at the beginning of the year so that the douche of a president steps down and that never happened? It all makes sense now…

  45. 45 MsKpopGurl

    What? I actually thought that sitcom was interesting. Come to Play was also a good show. The producer’s need to think this over. Hopefully they think of another good show to watch at this time. ;(

  46. 46 Porcelain

    MBC u bad job!

    Ok, so every other variety do get into a slum sometimes and ratings might be less than stellar… which is why it gets revamped. It just got revamped 2 weeks back and now its cancelled… Booyah!!!

    Will always remember some episodes warmly. Le sigh…

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