Moorim School cuts down episode count to 16
It’s only in its third week, but KBS seems ready to give up on its fantasy youth drama Moorim School, and is giving the show an episode cutdown from 20 down to 16. (Some outlets hedge that the broadcaster is in talks, but the majority report this as a done deal. Fans will probably want to prepare themselves to say an early goodbye.)
I’m not sure if it’s a huge blow to get the news now or an act of mercy; the broadcaster cited low ratings and negative reception as their main drivers behind the decision, and maybe ending quicker will be good for all involved. Moorim School’s ratings have stayed between 3.5% to 5.1%, which are low, and the drama about youngsters learning to discover and channel their special supernatural talents at an unconventional school has been generally perceived as a B-list show.
Still, while numbers for Moorim School are low, they’re actually not substantially lower than other dramas KBS has aired in this timeslot: High school rom-com Sassy Go Go logged numbers as low as 2.2% and only topped out at 4.3%, while before it, Strange Daughter-in-Law was in much the same general range, between mostly logging 4% to 5% ratings. Same for quirky cop mystery I Remember You, though at least that one drew critical praise.
There may also be another reason in play, with talk emerging of a dispute between KBS and production company JS Pictures over budget. The producers reportedly asked for additional funds, which KBS refused, leading to a shutdown of filming last week. (Some sources say the filming break was due to cold weather, while others point to the budget dispute.) The drama is set to resume shooting on January 27, when they’ll film material for Episodes 12 and 13. That doesn’t leave them much room to alter the story to fit the new length, and the source explained that the actors are worried about the story changing from the planned trajectory.
(Girlfriday: “Remember the original articles about how this show was going to shift paradigms and burst free of the stagnant drama market?” Javabeans: “Isn’t that mean to point it out now?” Girlfriday: “Do it anyway.”)
The follow-up drama to Moorim School was set to be the Park Shin-yang underdog vehicle Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho, but rather than moving that drama up two weeks, KBS is considering filling the space between with a four-episode short drama called Babysitter, which comes from the Sword and Flower PD Kim Yong-soo.
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