Singing, dancing and comedy have disappeared from major TV channels since the Sewol ferry sank off the southern coast on Wednesday, and are likely to remain so throughout the weekend as the nation prays for more than 250 people still missing.
KBS, MBC and SBS, the three major broadcasters, have all decided to cancel regular programs, running real-time news for most of Friday. They canceled most of their music and entertainment programs scheduled for the weekend.
“This is no time to sing or laugh,” an official at one of the broadcasters said. “It is sort of an industry rule not to air entertainment programs during such national tragedies.”
All music programs have been canceled, including KBS 2TV’s “Music Bank” scheduled on Friday, MBC’s “Show! Music Core” on Saturday and SBS’ “Music Trend” on Sunday.
Cable channel Mnet did not air its “M Countdown” on Thursday and postponed the Friday premiere of “xoxo EXO,” a reality show featuring K-pop group EXO.
TvN’s “Grandpas over Flowers”
Cable channel TvN canceled comedies “SNL Korea” and “Comedy Big League” scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. It also canceled the airing of hit Friday evening program “Grandpas over Flowers.”
Most entertainment programs were also canceled, including KBS’ music program “Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend,” celebrity information program “Entertainment Weekly” and reality show “The Human Condition,” all scheduled for Saturday. On Sunday, “Happy Sunday: 2 Days 1 Night” and “Gag Concert” will be replaced by news or other non-entertainment programs. MBC, which called off all regular programs Friday, canceled the airing of “We Got Married” and “Infinite Challenge” on Saturday, and weekly celebrity news “Section TV” and popular reality programs “Dad, Where Are We Going” and “Real Men” on Sunday.
SBS is taking similar actions, canceling “People Seeking for Laughter” (Friday), “Star King” (Saturday) and “Running Man” (Sunday).
For more information, visit the broadcasters’ websites at www.imbc.com, www.kbs.co.kr and www.sbs.co.kr.