After announcing earlier this week that it would not be airing any new dramas until March, MBC has confirmed the dates for two of its upcoming premieres.
On January 5, MBC announced that it plans to air its first new weekend drama of 2018 on March 3. As for its first new weekday drama, although the network had initially set a date of March 5 for the premiere, it has been forced to postpone the broadcast until March 12.
Choi Won Suk, the director of MBC’s drama division, stated, “We have to decided to resume airing our weekday miniseries on March 12.” He went on to elaborate, “The strike lasted for about two months, which is how long it takes to air one miniseries. We need approximately that amount of time to produce a new drama, and we tried to shorten that [preparation] time as much as possible.”
He explained that because the two-month strike had prevented MBC from working on its next drama, it needed more time to prepare the miniseries than it had initially expected. “The drama division was not able to conduct business as usual during the strike,” he said. “A drama is not something that can be created quickly, which is why, after a lot of deliberation, we came to this decision.”
Choi Won Suk went on, “Instead of hastily rushing to air a new drama, we want to do a good job and present a drama that is well-made. However, it’s not easy to produce a drama in-house right away, and we didn’t want to purchase and air a drama produced by an outside company. Therefore, we had no choice but to go on hiatus.”
He ended by apologizing to MBC’s viewers, saying, “First of all, I am most sorry to the viewers, and I am also sorry to the drama producer who will be first up at bat after the hiatus. Dramas need to be aired continuously [in order to maintain viewership ratings]. So if a problem arises and there is an extended break, the situation becomes extremely disadvantageous for the next drama in terms of competing with [other dramas in its timeslot].”
A source inside MBC commented optimistically, “At least the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are in February, so I expect that we’ll be able to avoid the worst-case scenario by using our coverage of the event.”
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