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MBC hits on formula with light current affairs

July 02,2018
MBC has introduced a new format that lightens up current affairs programs with variety show elements.

The broadcaster recently gave three pilot shows regular runs after they scored high viewership ratings and prompted social discussion on sensitive topics such as Korean women still shouldering a heavier burden of household chores.

Of the three, “Daughter-in-Law in a Strange World” stirred heated debates after showing how daughter-in-laws sacrifice themselves in male-centric households. The show’s pilot episodes received around 5 percent viewership ratings.

To avoid making the show feel too heavy, the network inserted elements more commonly found in variety and entertainment shows, such as graphics with clever comments and lighthearted quips from a panel.

“The program takes issues that have been considered personal to daughter-in-laws to the level where the community intervenes and fiercely discusses it,” producer Jong Song-who said. “Some viewers might feel uncomfortable watching the show, but we will eventually go in a direction where everyone feels happy.”

Another show, titled “Temperature of Ruling,” is a legal affairs show where a group of professionals and television personalities talk about a real-life ruling that many people find unfair or unacceptable. It went on air last Friday after recording pilot ratings of 2.4 percent.

The show’s nonprofessional panelists help translate difficult legal jargon into everyday language, said Kim Shin-wan, the head producer. “There is still mistrust among young people in the judicial system,” he said, “and we want to publicly talk about it.”

The third show, “Grandma’s Puppy,” sheds light on a lifestyle trend in which grandparents increasingly become the primary caregivers for grandchildren to help out the working parents. Kim Young-ok, an octogenarian actress, and Lee Ro-un, a child star, appear in the show.

Producer Im Nam-hee said the program, which mirrors contemporary lifestyles and gives a glimpse into a celebrity’s lives, should appeal to viewers.

Yonhap