KBS says entirely pre-recorded drama may not suitable for Romance

Angela Jung, Aug. 12, 2016, 10:05 a.m.


The much touted practice of filming an entire TV drama before its first broadcast may not be suitable for romances, a senior broadcasting official has said, alluding to the lackluster performance of "Uncontrollably Fond."

Jung Sung-hyo, the head of KBS TV's drama department, told reporters Thursday he learned a lot about the pros and cons of the practice while producing "Descendants of the Sun" and "Uncontrollably Fond," both of which aired simultaneously in South Korea and China.

"I think romance dramas will be better off without advance production," he said during a meeting with reporters at a restaurant in Seoul. "Like 'Winter Sonata,' I think it will be better (filming live) even if it calls for all-nighters."

The drama guru was referring to the hit 2002 TV series starring Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo, which has often been credited with starting "hallyu," or the Korean Wave, a term for the spread of Korean pop culture worldwide.

"Descendants of the Sun" took the hallyu market by storm early this year, surpassing 30 percent in nationwide viewership and boosting South Korea's presence in China's entertainment industry. While the drama revolved around the protagonists' romance, a large portion of it was also devoted to portraying an armed conflict and natural disasters in a foreign setting.

Many analysts attributed the series' success to the fact that it was entirely shot before it aired, which made it possible to undergo China's prior screening ahead of broadcast. In South Korea, most dramas are filmed one episode at a time. That helps producers reflect the sentiments of viewers in real time and sometimes change the ending to meet viewers' demands.


"Uncontrollably Fond," starring heartthrobs Kim Woo-bin and Bae Suzy, is past its halfway point, with 12 out of 20 episodes having gone on air. Viewership has hovered around 10 percent.

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