SBS’s ‘Running Man’ finally starts to gain steam among Korean viewers
Although SBS’s Sunday variety show ‘Running Man‘ has been drawing a strong response from international viewers, its performance at home has always been stagnant, recording only single-digit viewer ratings for the past couple of months, thanks to strong competition from its competing programs:MBC’s ‘I Am a Singer‘ and KBS’s ‘Qualification of Men‘.
However, according to recent ratings and viewer responses, it seems that the tide may be turning for the action-variety reality program. The latest episode recorded a 14.7% in nationwide ratings, which placed it in first place along with ‘Qualification of Men’.
The general consensus among experts is that ‘Running Man’ took its time to clearly establish characters and a strong foundation, while its strongest competitor, ‘I Am a Singer’, used up its energy and buzz too early, and is now slowing down after its initial ratings burst.
Another reason for its re-discovery by Korean viewers may lie in how ‘I Am a Singer’ is now moving away from its competition with ‘Running Man’. The survival reality show, which was in the same slot against ‘Running Man’ until just a few weeks ago, switched time slots to an hour later, a move which experts deemed to be a straight challenge to the current king of Sunday variety, KBS’s ‘1 Night 2 Days‘.
The move seems to have benefited ‘Running Man’ more than any other program; thanks to the removal of ‘I Am a Singer’, the show has gained a clear playing field, gaining viewers in the process.
The show is also being praised for its interesting and innovative games, as well as strong, established characters and situations such as the ‘Monday Couple’.