How COVID-19 Has Affected Entertainment Shows: Breaks, Format Change, and Theme of Healing

Due to COVID-19’s aftermath, the entertainment shows have been scrambling to find a solution including a break in airing and changes in the shows’ formats.

Credit: tvN, MBC Every 1

On April 6th, tvN’s Great Escape 3 postponed its shoot and announced that they will not be airing on April 12th. The decision was made in consideration of the safety of the cast and the producers who were shooting in an enclosed set. Also, a director of Bob Bless You 2 from CJ ENM tested positive for the virus, putting the CJ ENM building under emergency quarantine and causing other CJ produced shows like You Quiz on the Block and Amazing Saturday to not air. Meanwhile, the rest of the staff and cast from Bob Bless You 2 �fortunately tested negative for the virus.

COVID-19 has also motivated changes in shows’ formats. TvN’s You Quiz on the Block, which used to meet with civilians and share heartwarming stories, changed its format to be shot indoors. The show invited people to a studio for a quiz and interviewed the producers. MBC Every 1’s Welcome, First Time in Korea?, which usually features a foreigner host inviting their friends from their home country to travel in Korea, came up with a ‘Living in Korea’ special. The special will look at the daily lives of foreigners who have been living in Korea for a long time. The show plans to return to its original format once things have settled down.

Credit: MBC

As the difficult times have been prolonging, many shows with the theme of healing have been appearing. This change came after determining that people’s TV viewing time has been increasing with their practice of social isolation.

MBC’s Hangout with Yoo hit a pause on their ‘Making Yoo Jae Suk Big Project’ and came up with a new project called ‘Indoor Concert’ to invite artists whose performances have been canceled to hold a concert at the SejongCenterforthePerformingArts. So far, the show has gained a lot of attention with performances from Lee Seung Hwan, Zico, Jang Beom June, Jannabi, and the cast of the musical Mamma Mia. The proceeds from the music sales will be donated to COVID-19 relief funds.


TV CHOSUN’s We Will Sing Your Requests – Call Center of Love �is also healing people with songs. The top 7 contestants from Mister Trot, which boasted of 30% in viewer ratings, have been receiving stories from people all over the country and performing their requested songs right then and there. It’s first episode on April 2nd became a hit with 23.1% in viewer ratings. Meanwhile, SBS’ All The Butlers is healing its audience with health and food. And MBC’s I Live Alone and JTBC’s Traveler are bringing healing to their viewers with the cast’s camping experiences and a traveling diary in Argentina, respectively.

Source (1, 2)

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