The impact of the Sewol Ferry tragedy on Korean dramas broadcast schedules
As you all know already, exactly 10 days ago, on April 16, a ferry carrying 475 passengers, mostly students from the Danwon High School in Ansan, from Incheon to Jeju Island sank off the coast of Jindo. Only one third of the passengers have eventually managed to get out before it sank and an increasing number of victims is being confirmed day by day.
Following the Sewol Ferry tragedy, Korean broadcasters took the initiative to suspend the airing all their variety shows and most of their dramas to replace them either by documentaries or news updates, out of respect for the victims and their families.
KBS, MBC, SBS, Mnet and tvN canceled all their variety shows, and delayed broadcasts of most of their dramas. Here is a quick overview of what was maintained and what was canceled.
On Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17, the day and following day of the disaster, all the three big networks canceled their primetime dramas: Golden Cross for KBS, Three Days for SBS and Cunning Single Lady for MBC. They were therefore all pushed back by one week, including Cunning Single Lady for which the end of the series was Thursday 24.
Over the weekend, only the broadcast of Very Good Days went ahead on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 on KBS, which however saw a steep decline in viewership. New SBS weekend drama Glorious Day was postponed by one week, debuting tonight. MBC’s Come! Jang Bo Ri and Hotel King as well as Channel A’s Immortal Classic were all canceled.
As for daily dramas on KBS, such as Love Rides the Song and Pit a Pat My Love, they weren’t affected, and Sky Angel even replaced variety show Happy Together on Thursday 17.
That short delay is likely to impact the availability of such dramas on streaming platforms, such as Viki (Cunning Single Lady seems to be already available in some territories), DramaFever and DramaPassion.
Image Credits: ABC.net / Viki / MBC / SBS