Drama Casting & News
A New Leaf gets pruned to 16 episodes
by | June 13, 2014 | 54 Comments

Ouch, it’s never good news when a drama’s episode count gets cut. MBC has announced that it’ll be shortening the run for current Wednesday-Thursday drama A New Leaf from 18 episodes down to 16 total. The network cited its own preemptions as the cause, first for a World Cup send-off game, and then again the following week for elections, saying that it forced the production to end a full week past its set end date.

That in and of itself can’t be a reason to cut a show that isn’t tanking in the ratings, but it turns out that the drama’s star Kim Myung-min is due on the set of his Detective K sequel by the end of June, making it impossible to shoot Leaf for more than 16 episodes on the current schedule. Damn preemptions. They’re screwing with my Kim Myung-min time!

The drama is admittedly slow plotwise, and I often end an hour of viewing wondering, What even happened in this episode? But I really enjoy the characters and find the lawyering to be rather engaging. Granted, had the show been written with half an ounce of urgency, these conflicts might have landed better with audiences and given the network a reason to do something about causing their own stupid scheduling conflict.

A New Leaf lost ground to Golden Cross and has settled in the 7-8% range in last place on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while Golden Cross started out at 5% and climbed upward to over 10% in recent weeks, gaining an extra push from competitors’ preemptions. You’re All Surrounded remains in first place, but it’s holding onto that lead by a sliver of a margin. Suffice it to say, the mid-week dramas aren’t pulling in strong numbers all around.

At this point the decision has already been made to cut A New Leaf, so all we can hope for is a strong ending that wraps up the story in a satisfying way. If you leave me hanging, I’ll never forgive you, MBC. This also means Fated to Love You will air a week earlier, which puts the premiere on July 2.

Via TV Report, Star Today


54 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. The other Kay

    I’m surprised golden cross is even fighting for the top spot. Might have to check that out.

    • 1.1 Jasmine

      I am surprised that it has not been number 1 all this time. The drama is so good and the acting is phenomenal. Definetly make sure to check it out!

      • 1.1.1 fan

        I read an news item the other day that they did survey/research on TV programs which viewers watch most intensely/attentively. The No1 was Golden Cross, No2 was the variety ‘Infinite Challenge’.

    • 1.2 javabeans

      Golden Crosssssssss. Good show.

      • 1.2.1 the other kay

        lol i love seeing JB fangirling.

      • 1.2.2 ananke23

        Is JB hitting the cold meds or has her laptop been left open and unattended?? Second random fangirl moment in 24 hours here… Lee Jung-jinnnn….Golden Crossssss….

        Carry on JB, carry on.

    • 1.3 sulthanah

      It’s a good drama which I can finish in 2014 after sly and single again. I dropped many dramas but not golden cross

    • 1.4 Fab

      New leaf is all law and courts but it’s not boring at all. I am not entirely against less episodes but that’s only because I am drowning in dramas and there’s now the world cup too…

      Golden Cross is awesome, never a dull time, a true gem. I can imagine that it’s very popular on the net.

  2. mary

    Oohhhh… At least there’s a good(ish) reason for the cut.

    Cheer up! This might mean the pacing of the show becomes faster now and less meandering! 😀

    *lends GF some of her Rim-tested incense*

  3. Kaybee

    NOOOO way!!! So there won’t be any romance between the lead? As it is we have already reached Ep.12 without any development on the romance. Though I can take a drama without romance but there was a hint or a suggestion of romance between the lead but after the entree of the fiance and since we are already nearing the end, it looks a bit impossible now unless they will rush everything towards the end. I’m enjoying the show as it is. All that law stuffs and the way the drama tackled the cases are smart. A New Leaf is one of the best dramas I’ve seen. For some reasons I feel smart watching it.
    I get why it is not tanking in the ratings. Most people like light stories and dramas such as this even if they are so good, there are only few takers. People who can actually appreciate such themes are either busy with their job or they fall in the minority league. Alas!

    • 3.1 Malory

      If you are familiar with this writer’s past work, Golden Time, then it should not come as a surprise. People kept waiting for the romance to develop, because it was hinted at the beginning, but no, she chose to keep their relationship strictly professional, but friendly. Similarly, that drama was slow, and hardly got discussed in the international kdrama world, but did very well domestically. And like you said, the minority of people who did watch it enjoyed it just fine.

      • 3.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        wow! IF there is no romance, i may just return to watching it. I really wasn’t liking the shoe-horning of a romance between the hero and the heroine.

        • windsun33

          The only romance I have seen so far is between him and his dog.

          • deni

            And an adorable bromance with his audition-attorney best friend.

      • 3.1.2 houstontwin

        Romance or not…I think that A New Leaf is a much better drama than Golden Time. I’m not sure why.

  4. AdAl

    Oh Bummer!

    This was one show I was really enjoying. I loved the layered characters and didn’t mind the slow plot. I love a legal show where actual work was getting done and that wasn’t bogged down by love stories.

    I hope they wrap it up well. Kim Myung-Min, Park Min Young, Kim Sang Joong – fighting!

    • 4.1 windsun33

      This is the only current show on my must-see list, so naturally it is the one being cut. I love the fact that it is not yet another chaebol – Cinderella – love quadrangle – first love drama, but I guess I am in the minority.

  5. jessie

    Anthony would not stand for this!!!!!!

    • 5.1 mary



  6. houstontwin

    I have really been thinking of A New Leaf as my “quality” drama (with Big Man as my junk food favorite). It is really too, too bad that the ending will be rushed. I cannot imagine how the story lines can possibly be resolved in a satisfactory manner.

    We have:
    the bromance,
    the fiancee,
    the sexy, smart prosecutor,
    the dad,
    the evil chief partner,
    the morally ambivalent former judge,
    and the young assistant (who has happily be marginalized).
    Even in 18 episodes, it is hard to imagine working through these relationships, let alone the health crisis that no doubt looms ahead.

    Bad News!

    • 6.1 Lord Byron


      Yeah, A New Leaf and Big Man fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. And, like you, I watch both. It is the ones in the middle that I am finding less and less tolerable.

      A New Leaf is like a 3-star Michelin restaurant and Big Man is like a food joint in a ghetto with no service but tasty food charging only a few bucks.

      Watching the likes of You’re All Surrounded or Doctor Stranger or Wonderful Days is like dining at a pretentious restaurant where food is painfully so-so, waiters are full of themselves, and the price is set for tourists.

      As for Triangle, Gapdong, God’s Quiz, etc., these restaurants are way too ethnic for me.

      • 6.1.1 queen

        Agreed with everything especially this: “Big Man is like a food joint in a ghetto with no service” Lol!

        And is it weird that I got hungry while reading your post?

        • windsun33

          What I hate about Big Man is that the plot is written such that the hero wins not by being smart, but by being loud and stupid.

          • houstontwin

            He is principled, sincere, and unpretentious…not stupid. The fact that he is able to recognize and bring out the best in others is his own personal genius.

      • 6.1.2 windsun33

        On the pretentious list, I can tolerate Surrounded, but dropped the others a while back.

        Overall of all the shows this season, New Leaf is the best written and best researched. While I do wish our intern would get a bit more screen time, I am not hung up by any lack of complicated love octagons, which we have all seen hundreds of times.

        New Leaf is one of the very rare shows that dared step outside the formula, and I am sad to see it cut short.

        • Chandler

          Oooo exactly how I feel and thanks for writing this. While I do not think that many dramas this season are as good as A New Leaf, I do enjoy You’re All Surrounded and definitely don’t think it’s on the same level as Doctor Stranger.

    • 6.2 KDaddict

      I watch Big Man by leaving the TV on, when I walk around the house; I can hear him shouting on a different floor, or all the way out in the yard. Even if I return 10, 15 mins. later, I don’t miss anything.

      I used to like KJH a lot, esp. his role in Lie to Me (not the story itself), but that might have to do with the suits and the boutonnieres. 😉 In his role, all he does is Shout and shout some more, oh plus, Overact.

  7. mika

    It is a shame just when the big showdown is looming

  8. Hwari

    Noooo… My OTP will get less screen then. SJ and Khan. I hope they can go and meet the dad soon.

    • 8.1 windsun33

      Didn’t Khan originally belong to his dad? But yeah, I like that OTP setup 😛

  9. kopytko

    *turns into a zombie* Don’t take KMM away! I need mooooar KMM!

    On a side note: sheeeesh that’s some lousy organization. To make me happy the drama makers could have KMM walk his dog for an hour and then sit on a sofa with his old-new friend and play games on their phones. That would be two very good episodes. Why cut the drama?

  10. 10 JoJo

    I’m loving this drama, and think 4 eps. Is enough to wrap things up without all the “filler” they manufacture with the supporting cast. I mean, do we really need auditions in a legal drama? Let’s send off the fiancé to the US, get Dad to take his meds and play with Khan, get the intern and pal on board and take on the bad guys in a great legal courtroom finish…oh yeah, with just a hint of romance for the future. Think that about covers it.

  11. 11 Jensen

    Shouldn’t have produce it if it’s going to be substandard. Nobody wins and your audience feel short changed.

    Nevertheless, they could promise a sequel to develop all these interesting characters. Will they?

    • 11.1 windsun33

      This is one of the few shows I can actually see where a sequel or season 2 would actually work.

  12. 12 Nodramaplease

    I am so sad about this news. The drama is a bit slow but the topic is interesting. I think the court room will be the show down. I will still tune in. The ratings are a bit sad too. It’s a shame though bc I like the drama.

  13. 13 Magii

    Bad news!!
    However, I was wondering, didn’t the preemption give them time to finish drama shooting?!!
    So if they still need time, is not cutting one episode enough??
    Just wondering😐😑

  14. 14 Dakchigo

    At least, it’s only two episodes? The Korean Wikipedia says that Wild Chives and Soy Bean Soup (or Jang Gook Becomes Dallae, as it is called here) got halved from 50 to 26 episodes. I’m quite surprised I haven’t heard about it here. 🙂

    • 14.1 Thandy

      I didn’t know that Wild Chives and Soy Bean Soup got cut down to 26 eps.

    • 14.2 Mdolphins

      Hmm…now that it is shorter I might just watch it.

  15. 15 Rachel

    Nooooo. This is a really amazing drama. I love the character development arc, as well as all the complex legal/ ethical issues in each case. I do wish the female lead got a little more screen time.

    This is a Kdrama that would actually work as a long-running episodic drama like we have in the US.

  16. 16 Hugepuffball

    Is it just me, or have drama ratings just gone down in general this year/ lately? I mean, a drama can be first in it’s time slot without ever topping 20%

    • 16.1 windsun33

      You are right, I suspect that the lack of really good shows has hit Korean ratings just like it has outside the country. There simply are not many current ones that are compelling to watch – for the most part, New Leaf the exception, if you skip an episode or two you won’t miss much.

    • 16.2 kanz

      No dramas in this currently airing time (weekdays) ever reach 20%. Nowadays any drama that reach 20% will considered as hit and more than 30% will be considered national drama.
      Many people not watching in TV, they can watch from laptop, smartphone, tablets, etc.

    • 16.3 lemondoodle

      Ratings have been down a lot for years.

  17. 17 chipmunkface

    yay! i’ll be able to watch Fated to Love you sooner!

    i have to add that Golden Cross is very, very underrated. it’s such an awesome drama!

  18. 18 kanz

    I know FTLY will aired sooner but I’m still sad with the news!
    Give me weekly dose of Kim Myung Min!! I can’t get enough of him…

    The only drama that still makes me sane and still have adorable/cute moments, not just some silly moments a la Dr.Stranger or YAAS.

  19. 19 yumi

    Sorry to read that the number of episodes are being cut. That is the only series that has kept me engaged.


  20. 20 MySelf


  21. 21 StarStyle

    NOOOOOO~~~~!! I love New Leaf! >_<

  22. 22 Thandy

    I really like this drama, sad that it’s reduced to 16 eps.

  23. 23 hanna

    It can’t be….. so not a good news. I like there legal advice, i like the story because of legal terms and i almost forgot that it tells the story of ace lawyer who got amnesia. Those episode I only concern about the term and i really enjoy it so it is so sad to Fi d out that it will be cut.

    Question? Is kim seok joo will gain his memory back?

  24. 24 katie

    I love this drama , brainy drama ,
    no stupidity , no acting cute ,no winning ,
    no dying for first love ,

    this is in business world with smart lawyers .

  25. 25 Ana

    Wish they had filmed it during the week the episode was to air anyway and then had a big final 4 hour finale (it’d be 4 right?). Then technically no scheduling conflict! Or just have it online for those who want to watch…

    I want my missing entitled episodes!!!

  26. 26 Millie

    They pay so much attention to ratings but they r going to be less. Why race to watch something on TV when u can watch on your phone the next day…

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