The Maeil Broadcasting Network (MBN) is starting out 2019 strong with their latest K-drama, Best Chicken. Reportedly, the premiere of the series starring Park Sun-Ho (Love Cells) and Kim So-Hye (former member of I.O.I.), debuted with a viewership rating of 4.9 percent.
Despite Best Chicken just starting, there would usually be some initial news about the next K-drama to replace it once it concludes. However, there has been no such news whatsoever. Does this mean MBN is in trouble?
Controversy and criticism
Prior to Best Chicken, MBN aired Devilish Joy and Fluttering Warning. The circumstances surrounding these two K-dramas — paired with the fact there is no information of what will be next after Best Chicken — means there is room to speculate that something is up.
The issue with the aforementioned K-dramas airing before Best Chicken is either centered on controversy or criticism. Let’s start with Devilish Joy (also known as Devilish Charm), which is still in the news for reportedly not paying actors and some staff members.
The news about the situation first came to light back in October of 2018. Golden Thumb Pictures, the production company behind Devilish Joy, said they’d pay everyone they owed money to before December 31, 2018. It has now been 15 days since then and they still reportedly haven’t paid Song Ha-Yoon, the female lead of the K-drama.
As a result, Ha-Yoon’s agency, JYP Entertainment, says it will pursue the full extent of the law to make sure she gets her wages.
Devilish Joy did average in terms of viewership, and it was pre-produced before airing. Ergo, it shouldn’t be a problem to pay all actors and staff who worked on it. The issue appears to lie with production but very little is known behind-the-scenes on that matter.
Devilish Joy may have done average in terms of viewership, but viewers were more than satisfied with the quality of the K-drama in general.
However, this moves us forward to Fluttering Love. Known as Yoon Eun-Hye’s comeback to K-dramas, the viewership was high internationally and domestically. Unfortunately, it lacked a lot of substance resulting in some of the worst criticism for any K-drama around.
Viewers called out the writing and direction as being the reasons why Fluttering Love was a less-than-stellar K-drama. The actors involved, especially Yoon Eun-Hye, appeared to do their best with the roles they had, and almost all viewers felt sorry for them.
Not banking on a network with back-to-back troubled K-dramas
Networks are allowed to have a bad K-drama every now and then. But two K-dramas — both affected by serious issues — airing back-to-back? MBN is also known for airing only one K-drama at a time, which means they vested all their time and resources into K-dramas which suffered set-backs.
It’s likely that MBN will eventually have a K-drama to replace Best Chicken. However, given the problems surrounding Devilish Joy and Fluttering Warning, attracting staff and actors might be an issue.