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Dramas are Returning while Music and Variety Programs Continue on Hiatus

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While the whole country is earnestly praying for the safe return of any remaining missing persons that were aboard the Sewol ferry, the entertainment world is slowly restarting activities after a hiatus. In order to erase the sadness the country, dramas resumed airing on the April 21, and the cancelled variety programs plan to return next week. However, the three main stations in Korea plan to continue running breaking news about the ferry Sewol.

The upcoming dramas that cancelled their press conferences in favor of the special broadcasts will have their press conferences take place next week. MBC's new Wednesday-Thursday drama "A New Leaf" and SBS's new Monday-Tuesday drama "Doctor Stranger" will both hold their press conferences at the same time on the 29th, and the air their first episodes on May 5.

KBS's new Monday-Tuesday drama "Big Man" and SBS's new Wednesday-Thursday drama "You're All Surrounded" both had their press conferences canceled completely, and they will air without any promotional activities. "Big Man" airs April 28 and "You're All Surrounded" airs May 7.

Music programs and variety programs are cautiously preparing to air again. The three main stations plan to continue with breaking news April 25 through April 27. On April 27, KBS will start at their program at 9 AM to commemorate the fallen for 12 hours. The music programs and variety programs that air at night will be back in the air next week. 

It will take plenty of time for all programs to return to normal. Certain programs like "Immortal Songs 2" where the recording atmosphere is very important has a high probability of returning once society stabilizes.  Such programs rely on drawing out smiles from the audience while they're in a bright mood. However, it would be difficult to arise natural positive responses these days. For example, in 2010 during the Cheonan incident, "Gag Concert" was canceled for five weeks.

MBC's "Star Gazing", a program where celebrities and fans appear and share stories, has already filmed, but the producers are worried about re-editing the scenes that arouse laughter.

A PD from KBS's Variety Department stated "while it is suitable to offer laughter and consolation to a whole nation that has fallen into despair, the viewers will have different interpretations in regards to seeing laughter in variety programs. Finding the balance is not an easy task."

It is an unfortunate situation for upcoming dramas and participants in variety shows. Although "You're All Surrounded" was supposed to be Cha Seung Won's celebrated comeback to the small screen in three years, the drama had to be delayed and promotions were cancelled as mentioned above. While people are writing for the victims, donating money, and giving their condolences,  "gut-busting laughter" and "romantic comedies" may offend or hurt the emotions of the country's citizens.

Everyone's hearts are heavy, from Cha Seung Won and Lee Seung Gi of "You're All Surrounded", Kang Ho Dong of "Star Gazing", and Kim Myung Min of "A New Leaf." All of these celebrities have put in a lot of preparation to have the viewers enjoy their programs and to have them laugh, but in the wake of the Sewol disaster that has left everyone in anguish, these celebrities are cautiously proceeding with their activities.



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