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Copycat TV continues to be the trend


JTBC's "Let's Eat Dinner Together" and KBS's "Let Me Stay for One Night"



Chinese TV shows have been under fire for blatantly copying Korean formats, replicating the same sets and even titles of shows. When it comes to local TV shows, the situation is not much different.

Local broadcasters have been airing similar shows in similar formats, escaping plagiarism disputes by a hair's breadth.

KBS's Chuseok holiday pilot "Let Me Stay for One Night," depicting celebrities going overseas and asking strangers for a place to stay, gave deja vu to TV viewers familiar with JTBC's "Let's Eat Dinner Together." The only difference is that the former asked for overnight stays overseas, while the latter asked for dinner.

KBS's other pilot "I Came Alone," where couples in their 20s go on a three-day trip, was also embroiled in controversy due to its resemblance to Channel A's "Heart Signal." KBS's "Line Up" is almost identical to JTBC's "Night Goblin," featuring celebrities lining up to enjoy what is considered hip.

SBS' "Box Life" is more or less an extended version of its popular online show "99 Second Review."

After the Chuseok holiday, those copycat programs have continued to appear. KBS's travel variety show "Dragon Club," which premiered on Oct. 10, gives the impression of a mish-mash of tvN's "Youth Over Flowers" and "Youn's Kitchen." SBS's upcoming show "It's Okay to Get Crazy" is likely to have many similarities to shows like "I Live Alone" because it looks at the private lives of celebrities.

Broadcasters churning out similar formats following the success of a hit show are nothing new. Some industry insiders self-mockingly say it has become a big trend in all forms of variety shows, be that a music show, a survival talent show or a family show.

KBS' "Superman is Back" has the same idea as MBC's "Dad! Where Are You Going?" while KBS "Immortal Song" has a similar concept to MBC's "I Am a Singer." Most recently, "The Unit" is basically a remake of Mnet's "Produce 101."

"Cable channels in recent years have launched many observational variety shows, which is more cost-effective than other formats. As they grew in ratings and commercial success, major broadcasters followed their lead, jumping into the format," a local broadcasting official said. "Broadcasters now have acquired the knowledge of how to make fun shows, without using many staff members or spending as much as they used to in the past."

Another official says the ongoing strike of public broadcasters partly affected this copycat trend. "Since the strike and production boycott has been prolonged, some make-shift shows have increased to fill airtime. It could have affected the current situation to some degree," the official said.

Workers at public broadcasters KBS and MBC have been on strike since early September, calling for the resignation of their presidents, who allegedly meddled in news coverage and engaged in unfair labor practices.




I remember when Return of Superman came out and all the copycat comments were there. But even in the early days I think it was still better than Dad Where Are We Going.

source: Korea Times
Tags: tv shows
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