Sign gets a new director, changes writer lineup
The production team of SBS drama Sign is undergoing a bit of shuffling, with its director switching hats and moving into role of scriptwriter instead. This move has raised some questions (and eyebrows) even though producers have issued assurances that there is no discord or internal strife. (Yet if nothing’s amiss, why the change?)
The drama started out with Jang Hang-joon as PD and his wife, Kim Eun-hee, penning scripts. The pair also worked together on last year’s cable drama Harvest Villa as co-writers, so this doesn’t mean that Kim isn’t up to snuff, necessarily. Perhaps they’re just better suited to being a writer team. It IS unusual to make any lineup switches mid-broadcast, though, and now a new director will step in to take over: Kim Hyung-shik of I Am Legend and Cain & Abel.
The director-writer shift begins with the drama’s Episode 11 and was reportedly PD Jang’s decision. The drama had initially been scheduled for 16 episodes, but prior to airing its first episode, producers had decided to go with 20 instead and focus on episodic storylines. With that change, Jang had wanted to focus his attention on scriptwriting for the latter half, prompting PD Kim to step in to take over his directing duties. A rep with production emphasized that there is no other reason, and that there are no problems between the writer spouses.
I dunno, something seems off about the reasons stated, but who knows what the full story is. Sign premiered in first place but has since given up its narrow lead to MBC’s My Princess; perhaps this is a bid to recover from its ratings dip and take back the lead. Writer and/or PD switches do happen from time to time, but are infrequent enough to draw speculation each time. For instance, Daemul replaced its writer early in its run last year, while Mary Stayed Out All Night attempted to recover from its dismal ratings with a late-in-the-game writer replacement. I’d say the strategy may have worked for Daemul (it’s hard to say, since it was so early and the drama was well on its way to being a hit), though the last-ditch move did Mary no favors.