MBC And SBS In Conflict Over Broadcast Schedule For Im Soo Hyang’s New “Jane The Virgin” Remake

MBC and SBS are currently embroiled in a dispute over the broadcast schedules of two upcoming dramas starring Im Soo Hyang.

On April 5, JTBC News reported that the two broadcast networks were in conflict due to SBS’s plans to air Im Soo Hyang’s upcoming drama “Woori the Virgin” in May, when MBC was already planning to air its own drama starring Im Soo Hyang, “Dr. Lawyer,” that same month.

“Dr. Lawyer,” which will also star So Ji Sub, is a drama about a genius surgeon who becomes a medical malpractice lawyer after losing everything due to a rigged surgery and a prosecutor who loses her only family and lover through that same surgery. The drama is currently scheduled to premiere on May 27.

Meanwhile, “Woori the Virgin” is a Korean remake of the famous American show “Jane the Virgin,” which was itself based on a hit Venezuelan telenovela. The drama was not originally slated to air during the same time period as “Dr. Lawyer,” but due to unforeseen issues with the filming schedules of two other SBS dramas, “Woori the Virgin” was suddenly moved to the Monday-Tuesday slot for May.

MBC asserted that because the broadcast schedule for “Dr. Lawyer” had already been set well in advance, SBS’s sudden decision to air “Woori the Virgin” at a similar time was a violation of business ethics. Pointing out the stark difference in the tone of the two dramas, the network claimed that the contrast between Im Soo Hyang’s two roles would be damaging to both series. With both dramas airing at the same time, MBC explained, viewers would have a harder time fully imagining the actress as her character in each show—and marketing for the two concurrently airing dramas was certain to clash.

“First, during a time when there has been a great deal of sad news in the industry, we deeply apologize for giving viewers cause for confusion with this unnecessary issue,” said a representative of MBC. “The programming schedule for ‘Dr. Lawyer’ was already confirmed before production began, and even though they were aware of that, SBS created a situation where the period of time during which [these two dramas with the same] leading actress aired would overlap. Even when taking into consideration the unfortunate programming situation at SBS, their decision is still a breach of business ethics.”

“Not even mentioning the obvious damage that would be suffered by ‘Dr. Lawyer,’ SBS would also suffer damages in terms of promotion and marketing [for ‘Woori the Virgin’], so it is extremely unclear what they hope to achieve by doing this,” continued MBC. “The advertisers, sponsors, and viewers will all be confused.”

The network also mentioned that delays in the filming schedule for “Woori the Virgin” had already had a negative impact on “Dr. Lawyer” by causing unexpected overlaps in filming.

“Due to the broadcast schedule for ‘Woori the Virgin’ being confirmed late, and because the drama’s filming schedule was delayed past what was originally promised, there has already been unreasonable pressure on the filming schedule for ‘Dr. Lawyer,'” stated MBC. “Despite this fact, the ‘Dr. Lawyer’ production team has been considerate in making concessions [to the ‘Woori the Virgin’ team] because ‘Woori the Virgin’ is a pre-produced program. However, in making their programming decisions, SBS did not even ask for our understanding, at the very least, and simply moved forward with a one-sided announcement.”

“We’re guessing they must have made this decision because they were in a very urgent situation,” MBC went on. “In this multimedia era, actors sometimes have overlapping filming periods for their projects, but it is standard practice to avoid overlaps in airing them.”

Finally, MBC stated that they hoped to resolve the situation with SBS, explaining, “Even now, we would like to work together with SBS and production company GROUP 8 to correct the situation and recover our partnership as companions.”

However, a representative of SBS stated that the network did not see the overlaps as an issue, commenting, “‘Woori the Virgin’ was originally scheduled to premiere on April 11 as the follow-up to the currently airing Monday-Tuesday drama ‘A Business Proposal,’ but due to internal circumstances at the production company GROUP 8, the broadcast was unavoidably postponed to May. We did not know that [Im Soo Hyang] was appearing in another drama or that the dramas’ broadcast schedules overlapped.”

“As the days of the week and time slots in which the drama will air are different, and because the subject matter of the two dramas is completely different as well, we do not think there will be any problems,” concluded SBS.

Watch Im Soo Hyang in her previous drama “When I Was the Most Beautiful” with subtitles below:

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