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MBC is working hard to regain its reputation as a ‘drama kingdom’

MBC is working hard to regain its reputation as a ‘drama kingdom’.

There was great disappointment as the production of “Jungnyeon”, starring Kim Tae-ri, which was considered the most anticipated film, was not scheduled. Dramas starring Kim Nam-joo (52), Lee Je-hoon (39), Kim Hee-sun (46), and Han Seok-gyu (59) were scheduled one after another, building a solid lineup of Friday-Saturday dramas. Last year, “Lovers” starring Namgoong Min was the only hit, but this year, they are looking for an opportunity to rebuild their drama kingdom.

Jeongnyeon is a work prepared in anticipation of the second “Red Sleeves” (2021) myth. Producer Jeong Ji-in took charge of directing following Sleeves. In the 1950s, right after the Korean War, Sori Hana depicts the birth and growth of the gifted ‘Yoon Jeong-nyeon’ (Kim Tae-ri) in the Yeoseong Gukgeuk Troupe. It is based on the Naver webtoon of the same name. It was originally aired on MBC, but controversy arose when it was changed to tvN. Rumors have even spread that MBC is considering legal action against Studio Dragon, the production company of CJ ENM.

An official said, “Jeongnyeon’s programming had been confirmed by MBC,” and added, “MBC decided to pay more than 2 billion won per episode, but I understand that tvN proposed a larger amount.” Another official pointed out, “It disrupted the market order,” and added, “There was even talk of ‘we will not work with Studio Dragon in the future.’ This is why we even considered filing a lawsuit.”

MBC drama director Shin Hyeon-chang denied the rumors of legal action, but did not hide his disappointment with the production company. Jeongnyeon was produced by Studio Dragon, Naver Webtoon subsidiary Studio N, and NPO Entertainment. Kim Tae-ri’s agency, Managementmmm, was also named as a co-producer.

Director Shin told Newsis last month that he “doesn’t feel the same way” about the failure to organize the retirement age and that “I feel it’s a pity.” “It has nothing to do with Studio Dragon,” he explained, “but we prepared for a long time. We worked on the script for about a year and put in the staff to do it. There are still issues with the production company. We are currently in the process of sorting things out legally.”

MBC dramas are on the rise. Following “Lovers”, Lee Se-young’s Friday-Saturday drama ‘The Story of Park’s Marriage Contract” is receiving a positive response, reaching a peak viewership rating of 9% (Nielsen Korea’s national standard).

“Wonderful World”, starring Cha Eun-woo, was aired once a week as a Wednesday drama, but failed to produce results. In December 2022, after “All the Butlers”, the Wednesday-Thursday drama was abolished, and although it was shown after a year, it ended with a viewership rating of around 1%.

There are no plans to resume Wednesday dramas yet, and they plan to focus on Friday and Saturday dramas. The lineup for the first half of the year has already been completed. Starting with “Flowers that Bloom in the Night” starring Lee Ha-nui, which will be aired for the first time at 9:50 pm (KST) on the 12th, viewers will be watching “Wonderful World” with Kim Nam-joo and Cha Eun-woo, Lee Je-hoon “Chief Detective 1958”, Kim Hee-sun “Our House”, and Han Seok-gyu “The Intimate Traitor”. is planning to find.

The head of the investigation team worked hard for about two years. It is a prequel to MBC’s hit series “Chief Detective 1958” (1971~1984, 1985~1989). It depicts the youth of detective Park Young-han, played by Choi Bul-am. Although there were casting difficulties in the beginning, momentum gained momentum when Lee Je-hoon confirmed his appearance. “Vincenzo” (2021) Writer Jay Park participated as a creator and wrote it together with new writer Kim Young-shin.

After many twists and turns, Our House was aired on MBC. It is the story of a psychological counselor, Noh Young-won (Kim Hee-sun), who collaborates with her mystery writer, her mother-in-law, Hong Sa-gang (Lee Hye-young) after they encounter an incident that threatens her happy family. The original title was “Gaslighting”. It was scheduled to air in the second half of last year, but was canceled after filming about five episodes. After the production company changed from jpx Studio to Redline Pictures, it underwent several months of reorganization.

An official said, “We started filming again around November of last year,” and added, “The production was almost canceled, but we are fortunate that it was aired on MBC.”

MBC signaled a revival with the return of Lee Joo-hwan, head of the drama division. Director Lee reached viewership ratings of around 50% with ‘Jumong’ (2006-2007). He was active during the golden age of MBC dramas and was evaluated as ‘the return of an old man.’

MBC President Ahn Hyeong-jun also expressed his trust in Director Lee at a luncheon with reporters last year.

In his New Year’s address this year, President Ahn expressed confidence that the popularity of MBC dramas will reignite. “We will not stop at the lover craze,” he said. “In 2024, not only the head of the investigation team, but also outstanding actors such as Han Seok-gyu, Kim Hee-sun, Kim Nam-joo, and Lee Ha-nui will join us. MBC will not only revive the drama kingdom, but will enjoy its second heyday.”

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Author Nat.O
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