[OTHER] Is this the end for general-programming cable dramas?

(this article explains why Strongest K-pop Survival was cut shorter [see bolded part])


A Wife’s Credentials

If you’ve been following the drama offerings on the various cable channels you’ll already have an inkling, but things are not looking good for the brand-new channels that premiered several months ago under the banner of “general programming.” The situation is so precarious that there are even rumblings of these entities giving up drama production altogether—dire indeed.

According to one report, both Channel A and TV Chosun (homes to Bachelor’s Vegetable Shop and Operation Proposal, respectively) intend to give up drama-making entirely, after they air two upcoming shows already in production, Goodbye Wife and Ji Woon-soo’s Good Luck. Poor evaluations and low ratings are the causes cited.

Just half a year ago, TV Chosun, MBN, Channel A, and JTBC were ushered in with great fanfare and high expectations, with ambitious programming featuring big-name stars, among them Jung Woo-sung, Hwang Jung-min, and Chae Shi-ra. In fact, if you were going on budget and starpower alone, there was little difference between a general-programming cable drama (from one of the four abovementioned channels) and a primetime broadcast one (KBS, MBC, SBS). So where did things go wrong?

First, to explain what the deal is with these channels: Note that “general-programming cable” is not exactly the same as simply cable. General-programming refers to those four channels that were launched five months ago; they are run by national newspapers Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Donga Ilbo, and Maeil Business Newspaper. They are called general-programming because they aren’t restricted to narrow niche content, like sports, music, or movies. Most cable channels are; OCN is a movie channel, MBC Dramanet does dramas (mostly reruns of broadcast dramas), Mnet does music, YTN is news, tvN covers entertainment/dramas, and so on.

The upshot is that these general-programming channels are able to provide a broad range of content similar to the Big 3 terrestrial broadcasters, and thus they were seen as (and meant to be) stronger direct competitors to the Big 3 than other cable outlets have historically been. That’s why you got the huge budgets and blockbuster ambitions of, say, a 10 billion won project like Hanbando.

Sadly, however, the majority of these programs have suffered pretty dismal ratings. Currently 1% is seen as the benchmark for a successful cable show, which is already a lot lower than broadcast expectations, and yet a number of these channels’ shows have only garnered a fraction of that. I’ve seen numbers as low as 0.1%. Yeesh.


Hanbando

Even when a drama is able to break 1%, like Hanbando did initially, that’s not enough to justify the expenditure. In Hanbando’s case, dropping ratings led the channel to chop its running time by a quarter, ending with 18 episodes rather than the planned 24.

[…]

Channel A is in a similar situation and lost its VP, who was the former KBS TV department director and SBS president. Thanks to low ratings, he resigned his position, as did its drama department chief, who had credits as an SBS and MBC PD. Another executive and founding contributor of Channel A was placed on probation due to the low ratings and recently resigned.

That’s too bad, but Channel A had pretty weak programming. Color of Woman and K-Pop Ultimate Survival were both cut from their initial orders; the former ended with 20 instead of 24, the latter was cut to 14 instead of 16.

Not that I blame them; Color of Woman started off cute and fun, but got progressively more plodding. K-Pop Ultimate Survival is a pleasant show, but I find the tone off-putting and overly juvenile, like it’s made for Disney or ABC Family. Not that there’s anything wrong with those channels; it’s just that you have to adjust your expectations when you’re expecting prime-time drama and get tween programming instead. According to one actor’s reps, “The filming atmosphere is good, but even so they’re dealing with quite a bit of shock over the low ratings.”


K-Pop Ultimate Survival

[…]

One can point at the rushed launches of these channels as one key reason for their beleaguered conditions. It seemed like one day there were announcements of all these new stations, and the next day, they were in business. I recall that in their very first week of operation, there were a number of broadcast accidents, which pointed at weak preparation and/or organization.

Then there’s the inflated expectations of the channels themselves. Did they seriously think they could do a one-month media blitz, open up shop, and have people flock to them in droves? Was it hubris or naivete?

And then you throw in the towel because FIVE MONTHS LATER, you’re not happy with the results? If you’re intending to be in business for the long haul, why did you not prepare a long-term plan? This is a case where I think they ought to have looked at the other cable channels and learned from them, rather than assuming they’d do it better their first time out. OCN, for instance, largely does not produce its own content, and airs a lot of syndicated programming. But when they do produce an original show, you get something kickass like Vampire Prosecutor (with its 4% ratings), or quirky and interesting likeHero.

Or take tvN, which has been in existence since the mid-2000s; it has worked its way up steadily by adding more and more original content over the years. It made a name for itself with the “docu-drama” Rude Miss Young-ae, which was a hit and went on to nine seasons. It aired small, critically acclaimed dramas like Once Upon a Time in Saengchori, Joseon X-Files, and Harvest Villa—all in non-prime-time slots, mind you—before deciding it was ready to jump into the prime-time fray with shows like I Need Romance, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, and Shut Up: Flower Boy Band.

You need smart content and a smart plan, not just a batch of big names and a pile of money that you throw at it, assuming you’ll score. ‘Cause that money runs out, and the big names go away when it does. Oh, well. I’ve got my OCN, tvN, and CGV; there’s still quality cable programming to be found. Thank goodness for that.

Via NewsenJoy NewsSource: Dramabeans  Shared by : Roro_Tae @ soompi

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5 responses to “[OTHER] Is this the end for general-programming cable dramas?”

  1. hisokachan says :

    They are all general-programming cable dramas, what about foreign audiences? Very low rating inside the country, but high rating out side, a lot of foreign fans are watching Kpop Strongest Survival, we are all disappointed at the sudden ending.

    I think one of the reason why is that, they expect too much on getting benefit back so soon but don’t think of making their channel stronger and bigger. At least they must provide their audiences high-quality program. Audiences are the judge of their project and effort. If they are not satisfied, then of course lead to a bad result on that channel’s rating.

    The more they provide such disappointing programs or dramas like this, the lower rating they will get.

    What if one day after a long time, Strongest Kpop Survival get to be known and loved by lot of people (they can watch online or download like us) but they are disappointed at the ending (just like us), then what will those viewers think about these channels’ quality? They will just think that: “Oh, this channel is just small and they cannot provide us satisfied dramas, then nothing can be expected from them, so, ignore them”, yes, just that !

    • zero-mania says :

      Actually it’s first time I read about high ratings outside the country. Could you please provide more information about this? Also I don’t know how online streaming and downloading the drama can influence on ratings.

      If we talk about Kpop Strongest Survival, about their casting to be precise because you mention fans, I don’t think that in this case fans can help to make a high ratings. I understand the situation when an idol-actor can bring fans from his fandom or an actor/actress are popular enough to make people watch them. But it’s not a case of KSS. Since the idol-actors, actors and actress that were involved don’t have a fanbase that is big and strong enough to guarantee or at least give a high chance for high ratings.

      Also, there were too many actors and actresses who has either very little or zero experiences in acting. Bad acting of so many people in one drama can make you stop watching the show. Easily.

      Besides that, even though I like Yoohwan I can’t say that this drama is something that you can recommend to your friends because honestly the script was written badly, everything was so predictable. There are a lot of moments that we saw many, many times before. And a lot of viewers were waiting for more.

      Combining all this, I’m not surprised that the rating were so low. Getting rid of drama making all together is as drastic decision as cutting their dramas. But it’s not surprising. If your project can’t return the money you spend on it , then why continue working on it? It will be only bad for you.

      But what surprise me the most are the people who were at the head of channel, production. Considering their previous status it’s shocking that the project they had are so unsuccessful.

  2. mwn1996 says :

    I totally agree with
    hisokachan no one was satisfied with this ending Despite the drama was fantastic even some scene
    were predictable , and many audience would love to have more than 16 episode and more attractive ending we were really in shock (that is the ending we were waiting for???!!!!) I hope the drama will be more popular inside the country and yoohwan and mir’s sister will have another drama that they deserve

  3. hisokachan says :

    On twitter or other international fansite of Korean Dramas, you will find the number of people watching this drama is quite a lot (actually, to say it’s a high rating is not precise, but still a lot of people are watching it, and even the script is not new, and predictable, they still like this style, gentle and warm feeling watching it.

    zero-mania :
    Actually it’s first time I read about high ratings outside the country. Could you please provide more information about this? Also I don’t know how online streaming and downloading the drama can influence on ratings. -> On twitter or other international fansite of Korean Dramas, you will find the number of people watching this drama is quite a lot (actually, to say it’s a high rating is not precise, but still a lot of people are watching it, and even the script is not new, and predictable, they still like this style, gentle and warm feeling watching it.

    If we talk about Kpop Strongest Survival, about their casting to be precise because you mention fans, I don’t think that in this case fans can help to make a high ratings. I understand the situation when an idol-actor can bring fans from his fandom or an actor/actress are popular enough to make people watch them. But it’s not a case of KSS. Since the idol-actors, actors and actress that were involved don’t have a fanbase that is big and strong enough to guarantee or at least give a high chance for high ratings. -> . -> In this case, I can tell you that I was not at first Yoo Hwan fan, even until episode 9, I got to know that Yoo Hwan is Yoo Chun’s brother, this film, from the first, I though it was not good because of the new casting (I barely knew them, only Go Eun Ah as Mir’s sister), but the more I watch it, the more I got to interested in the content and paid attention on it. To tell the truth, I think it’s even better then You’re so handsome .

    Also, there were too many actors and actresses who has either very little or zero experiences in acting. Bad acting of so many people in one drama can make you stop watching the show. Easily. -> -> Yes, they are new for acting, but they did showed their effort, if not, why do people get irritated when they cut off the film? A lot of my friends paid attendtion to Jae Ah, Ki Bum, and the red hair boy, Chang Min…

    Besides that, even though I like Yoohwan I can’t say that this drama is something that you can recommend to your friends because honestly the script was written badly, everything was so predictable. There are a lot of moments that we saw many, many times before. And a lot of viewers were waiting for more. -> It’s just your own thought, my friends are excited about this film, and our forum even made some gameshows to test people memory of the film, out topic was so hot, a lot of people participated in gameshowed, we even had gameshow on predicting the ending of the film, and after all, this ending was such a sudden and shock to us. Our topic have now reached to page 150, currently, people are so disappointed, and there are some new registered to share their bad feeling about this stupid end

    Combining all this, I’m not surprised that the rating were so low. Getting rid of drama making all together is as drastic decision as cutting their dramas. But it’s not surprising. If your project can’t return the money you spend on it , then why continue working on it? It will be only bad for you.
    But what surprise me the most are the people who were at the head of channel, production. Considering their previous status it’s shocking that the project they had are so unsuccessful. -> If you come to search and check, then you will see that this channel is a paid cable channel, originally, its rating is low, that is a main fator that affect the low rating of this film, Their project cannot return them with good money due to their poor investment from the first time, as you can see, not only this drama, but also some old dramas was cut off too. And what will you predict about the future of this channel? If they keep making some dramas like this, people will get fed of them and keep in theri mind that “Yes, this channel, they always cut off the dramas they make, so, it’s a waste of time to watch their projects”. Their irresponsibility just cause them more trouble.

  4. MORIN DOMINIQUE (@speculos28) says :

    Well me, despite my age who is no longer as young as yours, I loved this drama and I very much regret the end weird indicating that lack “a bit” behind ……. ….!!
    And I am a true French and France really like this style of comedy.
    For my part, I do not see how one relates seen here with coffee and you’re beautiful prince. there may be 25% similarity but the script is not at all the same. I thought the concept was well
    But it is true that the cut end just like that at the last minute is a bit disappointing for us it is a fact but also for players who have gone to great trouble to the success of the drama.
    I wish them courage.

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