No Audience & Untact – New Trends of Entertainment Shows with the Spread of COVID-19

Since March, when the spread of COVID-19 was in full-swing, the entertainment industry underwent various changes. The shows that recorded with the full audience decided to go with the no-audience format, and the shows that required overseas filming either is taking a break or turned to Korea. New entertainment shows are trying the take advantage of the new format of untact (the combination of ‘un’ and ‘contact’).


“No Audience“ Recording

The three music shows of the terrestrial networks, Music Bank, Show! Music Core, and Inkigayo, have been recording without any audience since the spread of COVID-19. The same goes for music shows in cable networks, M Countdown, Show Champion, and The Show.

Shows that usually recorded with full audience, such as You Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook, Gayo Stage, and National Singing Contest, chose to record with no audience and, at the same time, broadcast special episodes. The Masked Singer filled the panel only with the celebrities and applied new rules, while I Am a Trot Singer introduced a new online voting method.


“Travel Entertainment Shows” Turn to Korea

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire world, a series of entertainment shows featuring “travel” faced a crisis. Law of the Jungle went on a break after the Coron episodes as filming overseas became practically impossible. It is the first time in nine years that the show had suspended since its first broadcast in 2011. In the case of Battle Trip, which introduced various attractions, decided to end the show.

Yet, some entertainment shows have turned their faces from overseas to home. Salty Tour, which has been a break since the outburst of COVID-19, plans on resuming the show in Jeju Island. Welcome, First Time in Korea changed its format to introduce the daily lives of foreigners living in Korea. As for 4 Wheeled Restaurant, it launched the spin-off of 4 Wheeled Restaurant Korea, while Begin Again and Trot God is Here chose the next best option of domestic busking and online concerts.


Appearance of “Untact” Variety Shows

Untact entertainment shows in preparation for the “post-COVID-19” era are on the rise. Call Center of Love is the best example of an entertainment show that features the untact format and is recording the high viewership around 20 percent.

First introduced on May 31, Come Here is a music show that uses the “drive-thru” system, and created a new breeze in the entertainment industry. Baek Father: Don’t Stop the Cooking!, which first aired on June 20, presented a cooking show in which chef Baek Jong Won and viewers interact in real-time via online video in this untact era.

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