This is certainly a depressing way to get some press, and even the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity doesn’t seem to apply here as I can’t see an upside. K-ent media is addressing the long running ratings woes that have plagued KBS, above and beyond the general ratings depressed landscape among all the broadcasters. Compared to MBC and SBS, both of which have had real drama hits however rare in the last few years, KBS has been by and large unable to have any drama that wins in traditional ratings and buzz. The network’s Mon-Tues offerings in the last two years have been slayed in a blood bath one after another, and the Wed-Thurs dramas haven’t done much better other than Unkind Women winning that time slot but not by much and also generated no buzz whatsoever, and last year Joseon Gunman did relatively well but also wasn’t as sticky with the viewers.
Pundits are wondering what the problem is with the network since on paper some of the dramas have fabulous casts (Masked Prosecutor, Discovery of Love, Assembly) or come from hit production teams (Blood from the Good Doctor team), or have built in fan bases and massive hype (Tomorrow’s Cantabile). Up next are dramas that remain on my radar but it’s no guarantee any will reverse KBS’s ratings woes: Mon-Tues has Oh My Venus with So Ji Sub and Shin Mina followed by Moorim School with Lee Hyun Woo and Seo Ye Ji, while Wed-Thurs has the biggest potential hit for the network with Kim Eun Seok‘s Descendants of the Sun with Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo airing in February 2016 after The Merchant: Gaekju 2015 ends it’s 32-episode run, and after DotS will be the Lee Kyung Hee penned melo Arbitrarily Fond with Kim Woo Bin and Suzy. Word from the production of DotS is that the drama will likely be pushed back yet again, so Arbitrarily Fond may get switched around airing dates with DotS. KBS really needs to pin its hopes to those two 2016 Wed-Thurs dramas.