Although we’re looking forward to what 2013 has in store, we can’t close out 2012 without looking back on the stars, dramas, movies and more that shined this year, so we’re launching a new series here at enewsWorld, called 12 Days of 2012, to round up and reflect on one exciting year in Korean entertainment.
Today, we′re counting off the top 5 variety shows of 2012.
The variety industry had its fair share of difficulties this year, with strikes and cancellations coming in from left and right. Somehow though, these shows managed to power through, bringing laughter (and a few tears) to fans all around the world.
While Yoo Jae Suk is a sure-fire way to guarantee top stars and top ratings, no one quite expected Running Man to be such a, well, runaway hit.
It started off slow, and struggled to find its purpose (besides just running) but thanks to the help of top stars and a dogged cast, Running Man consistently snags the most ratings on Sunday nights.
Though this MBC show has been around for almost 8 years, it suffered a major setback after strikes put it out of commission for nearly 200 days
Still, the castmates met up weekly, in order to plan out its eventual return, and all that extra effort was clear when it finally came back on air.
The members most recently got together off-camera to hold a concert with Park Myung Soo-composed songs, and also soldover 350,000 calendars in four days.
It′s safe to say that the stars of Infinity Challenge are back full force.
1 Night, 2 Days Season 2
No one was quite sure if season two of one of the most popular variety shows in Korea would ride off the success of its predecessor or fall short of expectations.
Thankfully, though only a few original castmembers remained, the show has managed to pleasantly surprise the naysayers. The brotherhood, perhaps the best part of the original 1 Night, 2 Days, was even more evident with this second season.
Even the replacement head PD, who had enormous shoes to fill, became somewhat of a star - turning his own shortcomings into a joke.
Broadcast on jTBC, one of the new networks, Shinhwa Broadcast was destined for low ratings.
But despite pulling in numbers that sometimes hit below one percent, Shinhwa Broadcast still makes our list of top 5 variety shows, pretty much because it′s a fan favorite.
The show′s popularity is almost 100 percent thanks to the Shinhwa members, who have taken a no holds-barred attitude to the show.
Not only have they shown way more skin than should ever be allowed, the members have taken on a slew of challenges and ′firsts′ - impressive, considering the boys have been in the biz for almost 15 years.
The ratings have still been low, and the show has been reformatted several times. But the members have consistently kept the broadcast all about them - which is clearly the draw for all viewers.
After losing first Kang Ho Dong and then Lee Seung Gi, it was doubtful whether Strong Heart would survive. But thanks to the surprise choice of Lee Dong Wook as MC, plus the addition of variety vet Shin Dong Yeop, the show soldiered on.
With the sheer amount of guests the show brings in each week, Strong Heart manages to tell stories that are either odd, funny or heart-warming and score an immense amount of press each week.