Despite all the Hoo-ha, Running Man Just Got Its Lowest Viewership Since 2010

We’ve seen a lot of variety shows come and go, from Taiwan’s 十字路口 and 康熙来了 to Singapore’s very own 城人杂志. 

And it seems like we’re witnessing the fall of Running Man as well. 

And to be honest, this is heartbreaking. Because in their heyday, everyone loves Running Man. And by everyone, I mean worldwide. 


The latest episode of Running Man has hit its lowest viewership ratings since its launch in 2010 at 2.8 percent for the first half and 3.4 percent for the second half, according to The Jakarta Post

This is despite the move of the show from the 6.25 pm to 4.50 pm timeslot on Sunday in an effort to increase ratings and the big hoo-ha surrounding the show recently.

Here’s a refresher if you’ve forgotten about it in the wake of ofo bike destructions.

Song Ji Hyo & Kim Jong Kook’s Sudden Departure From Running Man


In December 2016, news broke that Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook will be leaving the cast of Running Man.

Song Ji Hyo’s agency revealed that they’ve been in discussion with the production team over leaving the show for a period of time.

Kim Jong Kook’s agency has also confirmed that he will be leaving the show.

Leaked Information Showed Song & Kim Were Kicked Off the Show


Just as we thought that was the end of it, new information surfaced to show that the world of showbiz isn’t as simple as we think it is.

An unnamed source leaked that both parties did not leave of their own volition, but were kicked off the show. 

“Two weeks ago, there were talks of a format change, and a co-producer visited the filming set to announce it again. There were no talks of member changes at the time.

On December 12, they had a meeting with Kim Jong Kook to tell him he was off the show. Song Ji Hyo only found out after the news made headlines.

Everyone did know a change would happen as the ratings were dropping, but this type of farewell not only hurts the producers but the featured stars as well.”

Kang Ho Dong, a prospective member of the cast, declined the position because he was “uncomfortable due to various situations”.

Running Man Producers Apologised For Their Actions

After the truths about their actions came to light and having experienced the righteous fury of fans worldwide, the producers decided that something has to be done about the situation.

They apologised.

Here’s their statement in full:

The producers of SBS’ ‘Running Man’ are making a statement on the current controversy concerning the change in members.

The ‘Running Man’ producers have been working with the goal of the last 10 days of January 2017 for season 2 in mind.

During this process, reports of the reorganisation involving Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo unexpectedly made the news when we didn’t fully communicate with the ‘Running Man’ members. We ended up hurting Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo, who were like family for the past 7 years. For that, we sincerely apologise to them.

The ‘Running Man’ producers also feel ashamed in front of the viewers, who’ve loved ‘Running Man’ for so long.

We once again sincerely apologise for not being more deeply considerate of Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo. We also apologise to the rest of the ‘Running Man’ members, who must’ve been confused.

The sentiment among fans was that the producers should be fired instead, and the original producer Cho Hyo-jin be brought back. 

Running Man Officially Cancelled 


Before we even had time to get over the roller-coaster ride about Running Man and the departure of Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook, SBS, the broadcasting station that produces the show made an official statement:

“Running Man members and producers gathered together in Seoul today for an emergency meeting and overcame their misunderstandings and miscommunications.

After deep and lengthy discussion both sides decided to end the show at the end of February 2017.

However, they decided that they did not want to end the show on such a sad note so therefore decided to have all 6 members, Yoo Jae Suk, Ji Suk Jin, Haha, Lee Kwang Soo, Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook.”

Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo decided to stay on the cast for the finale because they wanted to show the best of Running Man to fans who were loyal to them for seven years.

And so, we were sad again.

Running Man Officially Uncancelled


I don’t blame you if you’re feeling pretty confused right now because even as I am typing this, I’m confused myself. 

It was reported by Soompi that Kim Jong Kook played a huge part in persuading the original cast to continue with the show. 

On January 2017, SBS (again, the station behind Running Man) issued another statement, this time to announce the “un-cancellation” of the show.

“Running Man will continue to air with all the members in place!!

Due to the overwhelming sadness of fans in and outside of Korea over the end of Running Man, SBS and the 6 members have decided to continue the series of Running Man.

SBS Chief of Headquarters Nam Seung Yong who originally created the show Running Man in 2010 met with the members from the beginning of the year until recently to have deep conversations.

Through these conversations, he apologised to the members over and over again on the incidents that happened during the reformatting of the show and the 6 members agreed to stay on the show.”

We had our suspicions about this being a publicity stunt because viewership ratings rose after the announcement. 

2 New Cast Added Into Running Man


To show how far Running Man has fallen, I bet most of you don’t even know two people were added to the cast, do you?

On 3 Apr 2017, Soompi reported that actress Jun So Min and comedian Yang Se Chan will be added to the original cast as “Running mates”.

They were added because they had good chemistry with the original members when they appeared on the show as guests, and their episodes got high viewer ratings. 

Even the womance Song Ji Hyo and Jun So Min showed wasn’t enough to save the show. 

RIP, Running Man, it was a good 7 years.

Since you’re here, why not check out Goody Feed’s YouTube videos as well? They’re so Singaporean, I bet you’ll like them!

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Boon Hun

Boon Hun

Armed with paper and pen, or rather keyboard and the internet, he wants to change the world one word at a time. I guess you could call him a keyboard warrior, except he doesn't troll, honest!
Boon Hun