Rating:
Average user rating 4.1
38

SBS adjusts episode counts for Saimdang and Whisper

Well, you can’t exactly say that SBS isn’t receptive to its audience. The broadcaster announced today that they will be making adjustments to both of its primetime weekday dramas, Saimdang, Light’s Diary and Whisper. The former, which was much hyped as Lee Young-ae’s dramaland comeback, will end its run with a 28-episode count instead of its original 30. Meanwhile, SBS has reportedly requested a 1-episode extension for Lee Bo-young’s Whisper, which writer Park Kyung-soo is currently considering.

I’m having mixed feelings to both announcements, because I do think there are good and bad aspects to the cut and the extension. Let’s take Saimdang, Light’s Diary: While the drama isn’t a complete flop, it’s certainly not the ratings success SBS (and all of Korea, really) expected it to be. It started out really strong in the numbers game with 15%-16% ratings for its first two episodes but has since steadily dropped, and yesterday’s episode 23 pulled in its lowest at around 8.5%.

Now, I realize that ratings don’t always mean quality, and I’ve loved many a drama that wasn’t a commercial success. I admit that I only tuned in for the first couple of episodes, and based on what I’ve seen, sadly, I feel that the ratings are somewhat justified in this case. Personally, I thought the drama felt and looked dated, and not in that old-is-new nostalgia way.

SBS has explained that the cut is due to the fact that early on, producers made quite substantive editorial decisions in response to viewers’ complaints that that plot was too slow. They decided to quicken the pace, which is good, but also meant that they had to throw out a lot of footage. Which amounts to about two episodes’ worth, I guess. I’m sad that Lee Young-ae’s drama comeback was somewhat of a letdown, and wary for what this means for pre-produced sageuks, especially off the heels of last year’s Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo underperforming expectations. But if the cut lends itself to better storytelling, I’m all for it.

On the other side of this story, we have Whisper, which is already having a really good run for SBS in its Monday-Tuesday slot. It already passed the 15% benchmark in its first few weeks, and from what I hear, the story is intense and paced well, with some good acting mixed in. SBS is citing an upcoming pre-emption on May 9 (due to coverage of the presidential campaign) as their reason for the extension, so that Whisper will end on a Tuesday. I’m always skeptical of extensions, though, so we’ll have to wait and see whether this is a good thing for the show.

Saimdang, Light’s Diary will end its run on May 4 (which, yikes, means one less week of preparation for Suspicious Partner), and Whisper will air its final episode on May 23 with My Sassy Girl premiering the following Monday.

Via Osen, Xports News, Sports Seoul

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , ,

38

Required fields are marked *

I see people moving away from pre produced shows.
Nevertheless Saimdang was still an already prepared/produced drama and I believe even the cost of making one episode would be pretty much and a loss for the producers.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Not in the case for Moon Lovers as it was presold. The cost production of ML was significantly lower than DOTS & Goblin yet it earned more revenue as per Producers point of view.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Different case with Moon Lovers as it seems only SBS didn't get the result it expected whilst other broadcasters are reaping the fruits of this drama. Why is that? On a different note as per exp, Moon Lovers is the only drama I haven't had the chance to use the fast forward button. The pacing was great in this drama which is contrary to Saimdang.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hmm, I actually wish they'd cut down the episodes of Whisper. The show is moving at lightning speed and I'm worried that the latter half of the show will suffer. How many plot twists can a show do before they run out of material??

6
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes!! I hope the possible extension won't mess up the pacing of the show...

And although I really enjoy shows with fast pacing like that of Whisper I always feel that they tend to disappoint during the 2nd half with the plodding story etc...

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed!! It seems to happen with almost every show. The first half is amazing then the rest is a bit of a let down

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe one more episode might mean the drama gets a tiny breather from its break-neck speed? I agree it might run out of story before halfway, but if the extension slows things down so that the characters aren't backstabbing each other every five minutes and end up getting more developed, that might be a good thing.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Although I am usually not a fan of extensions, I would definitely appreciate it if things could slow down a bit on Whisper. I cannot keep up with all the new strategies that the characters keep coming up with.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"While the drama isn’t a complete flop, it’s certainly not the ratings success SBS (and all of Korea, really) expected it to be."

I don't know where you heard that all of Korea was expecting Saimdang to be a hit but that's wrong information. Due to the long promotion period and SBS postponing its premier, hoping against hope that China would allow simultaneous airing, Korea was already fed up with the drama before it even started. A lot of people were saying they were pissed off enough by SBS's attitude of putting China over the Korean audiences so that they would not watch it. The drama, when it actually aired, was not that interesting either and that did not help to boost its popularity.

And my guess is Suspicious Partner won't start a week earlier. 5/9 is the presidential election so that means they would be covering the election results and such for the next couple of days at least.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've heard the same thing re: the continual delays as China does what China does. I do think if it had been a rip roaring good time and hadn't had stiff competition, it would have done better but the timing was definitely not working for them.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

but the high ratings for the first two episodes shows that koreans were expecting the drama to be good and were also hyped for lee young ae too...so even though they were angry at sbs...most people still were waiting for the drama.
even the netizen's comments that i read were complaining about the show while showing disappointment that this was not what they were expecting from lee young ae..haha

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

@O_o:

Due to the long promotion period and SBS postponing its premier, hoping against hope that China would allow simultaneous airing, Korea was already fed up with the drama before it even started. A lot of people were saying they were pissed off enough by SBS's attitude of putting China over the Korean audiences so that they would not watch it. The drama, when it actually aired, was not that interesting... 5/9 is the presidential election...

It really seems that SAIMDANG has been behind the eight ball when it comes to timing and politics, both foreign and domestic.

SAIMDANG was scheduled to premiere as a weekend drama on October 22, 2016, but there were so many strong shows airing at the time that it would have walked into a buzz saw, especially if it had aired during the week. (MOON LOVERS, MOONLIGHT, and ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM were among the ones I was watching around that time, but I know there were others during the week, such as JEALOUSY INCARNATE. In the new year, it has been contending with REBEL, VOICE, and TOMORROW WITH YOU, plus other popular shows I haven't been following.

I can understand the domestic audience's anger over playing second-fiddle to China. Maybe any show SBS aired would have suffered the same fate. Plus the hype overload a la MOON LOVERS couldn't have helped.

The upcoming presidential election, which was not in the cards back in late October, is the nail in the coffin.

I feel bad that the popularity of Lee Young-ae's return to drama has fizzled. It started off strongly, but I must admit that the obnoxiousness of the present timeline was a turnoff at the beginning. Thankfully, the production wrapped in September and the cast and crew have been spared busting their tails live-shooting all winter only to have this happen. (Or did they bust their tails live-shooting the previous winter?)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Suspicious Partner" will air as scheduled on 10 May. There is no plan by SBS to move it up a week at all due to Saimdang's cut in episodes.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

GOOD!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm enjoying Saimdang right now (might be the only one) and I'm all for a faster pace but I'm kind of upset they decided to cut a lot of the present-time scenes. We get present-time scenes like once in every 4 episodes so when they show it, I already forgot where we left it before!

3
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

You are not the only one enjoying Saimdang @enkeys. It's a decent drama and I love the Saimdang charachter very much. I'm also sad that they cut the present story! The present story could be an interesting drama by itself!!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I find the present story a lot more interesting. Lately I have been fast forwarding through a lot of the sageuk portions.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@enkeys:

I'm enjoying Saimdang right now (might be the only one) and I'm all for a faster pace but I'm kind of upset they decided to cut a lot of the present-time scenes.

Hey, there's at least two of us still watching. ;-)

The long gaps between present-day segments leaves me in the same lurch. I wish the two timelines were woven together more tightly, as in LEGEND OF THE BLUE SEA.

On the other hand, I have been enjoying the aesthetics of the show immensely. I know that not everyone gets turned on by crafts such as papermaking, but I do. (My Dad worked in a related field.) I was intrigued by the proposition that the inclusion of wisteria bast lent Goryeo paper its durability and tenacity. I was sure it was willow, based on the hiding place of the secret recipe.

I know there's a saying about something being as boring as watching paint dry -- but I've enjoyed the interludes of painting. For me, the show has been relaxing and contemplative -- except for when the baddies in both timelines have been up to no good.

Lee Gyeom's various subjects and Saimdang's Mount Geumgang and botanical studies have been a treat for the eye. The same goes for Whieumdang Choi's work as well. The ill-fated "Water-Moon Avalokitesvara" is the one that really grabbed me. It truly is a national treasure.

As for the cut, I hope it doesn't screw up the remainder of the drama. I hope that both timelines are wrapped up in a satisfactory fashion. If the footage were already in the can, it seems a waste to toss it. It makes me wonder what we might be missing.

As always when a production's run is chopped, I feel bad for the cast and crew. :-(

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me too! I am watching saimdang too. It's the only k drama that I am following at the moment. I am waiting for the whisper to finish before watching it. I think I will do the same for the rom coms out there.

Saimdang is a bit slow and it's lacking in intensity somehow. I still like it but it's not something I'd rewatch. I think it's nicely shot. I wonder if it's just the story is a bit weak? I don't know. I actually don't mind SSH here although I don't think his acting has improved much. Anyhow, I am still curious as to how it all wraps up.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really thought, too, that the present day and previous timelines were going to be playing off one another. It seems like it was a misstep to not do that now, considering that the previous timeline is a pretty by-the-numbers saeguk. It could use some pep from the modern-day side, and there's plenty of pep, especially considering that it's not certain if modern-day Saimdang is going to be able to get her life back on track. :/ Guess I'll be stuck in fast-forward purgatory for while though considering this past week's episodes didn't have even a hint of the modern timeline.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually enjoyed it quite a bit (except that the show moved slowly and I found myself fast forwarding some scenes that I didn't quite care for) but a lot of newer shows have resulted in me dropping it (only 24 hours in a day, and so many dramas to watch...). I'll probably be catching up with it sometime soon!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I get worried of extentions but I'd never say no to more of Whisper and my OTP!! let's hope for the best!! ^__^

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i like Saimdang, too... and i also wish we would see more present day activity/connection. the sageuk portion is formulaic with makjang characters and is getting rather tiresome... : (

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That is my problem with it also. I have never been fond of sageuks anyway, but that part is way too long and drawn out. And it is the same old usual Josean stuff - evil people in funny hats causing trouble for the good guys.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can't say no to more of WHISPER. I can't even wait for next week, things may take a drastic turn for our torn leads. Yikes.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

If the last episode of "Saimdang - Light's Diary" ends at 28, wouldn't the last episode air on April 27 instead of May 4? Doesn't episode 24 air today (April 13)?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

You get the information wrong. Because of election, SBS will pre-empty two nights to show the election. So Saimdang ends as schedule.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Now this makes sense. I was wondering how come Saimdang ends its run on 4 May (since the following week is 10 May which is scheduled for Suspicious Partner to air) when it's supposed to end in end of April if it's cut down by 2 episodes.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Please don't mess with Whisper, SBS. I have a lot of faith in Park Kyung-soo, but the slightest change of pace could really wreak havoc on a script that depends entirely on tension between microlevel attrition and macrolevel narrative shifts.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The problem that I have with Saimdang is that the historical part takes up far too much of the show, and that part is very slow moving. I also find it pretty unrealistic - almost none of the events portrayed actually happened.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

NOOO!!!! Suspicious Partner needs more preparation, not less. The cast has just started filming few days ago, they need more time SBS!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am watching both Saimdang and Whisper. Don't mind they cut Saimdang- some parts are boring esp the husband having mistress. Whisper I hope they extend to develop the characters more cos everything happens so fast, sometimes have to watch certain parts for the dialogue.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually enjoy watching Saimdang. It is not something I would rush to watch, but when I have time to spare, I would want to watch it. The husband and mistress portion is annoying and jarring in terms of the overall mood though.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have been enjoying Saimdang, but I have to say that the pacing and juxtaposition between future and past have been very strange in this drama. For a show that is "supposed" to have two timelines, the last three episodes in a row have all been in the past only. The same thing happened several weeks ago. So far, the story line from the past has been the more interesting one, so maybe they are keeping the focus there to pull up the ratings. The present day story has a lot of untapped potential and really could have been more well written. Maybe they tried to have too much happening at once with the both the art mystery/trials of being a professor's underling and the fraud/corruption storyline of the husband.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Way SBS need cut it even in korean this drama the ratings is slowly but a lot peoples still wating until the end.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't know. I was watching Whisper before Saimdang. It was not so interesting for me and I got bored after few episodes. I might give it a second chance because a lot of my favourite actors are in it but I would have to force myself. On the other hand I watched one ep of Saimdang, I didn't enjoy the present parts and I dropped it for few weeks. This week I gave it the second chance and I have to say that it's great. I usually don't like historical dramas, but I enjoy this one because all the actors are so mature and great. I kind of liked even the bad guy and that part when the women decided "Screw the men we have to do it ourself!" was something new and interesting in the drama because the women have such a strong character, they are not weak and stupid. Sad about the cut, and extensions of whisper... I have to say that from all the dramas with extensions that I saw all the extensions were bad and boring and I skipped most of the extended episodes. They just didn't have enough material so most of the eps were scenes from episodes before. Always disapointment...

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *