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'Running Man' Producer Admits Difficulty In Coming Up With New Concepts; Will Show Follow ‘Infinite Challenge’ Fate?

by Annie Ghie / Jun 29, 2018 05:10 AM EDT
After almost nine years on the air, the production team of ‘Running Man’ has already explored many mission scenarios and games for the SBS variety show. Photo by: SBS Running Man/YouTube Screenshot

Running Man is set to mark another milestone with the SBS show close to celebrating its eighth-year anniversary in July. However, being part of the long-running show might be troublesome for the production team who are tasked to come up with new ideas for the series.

Recently, Running Man chief producer (CP) Gong Hee Chul revealed some of the challenges they encountered in producing the said SBS variety show. One of the team's biggest hurdles is coming up with concepts and interesting games that will be featured in upcoming episodes.

The Running Man showrunner made the revelation during the press conference for SBS variety programs. Held on June 18 in Seoul, Gong Hee Chul admitted that concept creation meetings with production team members had become a difficult task. Highlighting the many missions that cast members completed over the years, it appears that they have already featured every type of game on the show.

Avid fans have witnessed original cast members Yoo Jae Suk, Kim Jong Kook, Ji Suk Jin, Lee Kwang Soo, Haha and Song Ji Hyo in various role-playing missions and games that tested their physical skills and mental agility. Yang Se Chan and Jeon So Min even faced a few death-defying and scary challenges on Running Man such as the Nevis Swing experience, going through Japan's most haunted building and more.

Running Man CP Gong Hee Chul added that instead of coming up with a new concept weekly, they decided to explore a different format where celebrities become long-term guests for special missions. The said approach was also meant to introduce new variety show stars to viewers.

With the recent prolonged guest appearances of Lee Sang Yeob, Lee Da Hee, Hong Jin Young and Kang Han Na, viewers discovered a different side to the said celebrities. Lee Da Hee and Lee Kwang Soo even became an onscreen couple in Running Man given their bickering, while Lee Sang Yeob proved that he could be very unlucky in games.

The difficulty in introducing new concepts was also a factor that affected Gary's decision to leave the long-running variety series. In a previous interview, the Running Man alum shared how he kept thinking that he has nothing more to show given the many things that they already accomplished. Song Ji Hyo's former "Monday Couple" partner left the SBS series in November 2017.

At this time, it is also unclear how long Running Man will be able to stay on the air. With the Song Ji Hyo-Kim Jong Kook casting controversy that happened in December 2016, along with the show's low ratings, many fans are worried that it will follow the same fate as MBC's Infinite Challenge. Dubbed as the South Korean nation's variety show given its more than 10-year broadcast, the program bid its avid viewers farewell in March 2018.

Meanwhile, fans can see more of Kim Jong Kook, Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Kwang Soo, Ji Suk Jin, Haha, Song Ji Hyo, Yang Se Chan and Jeon So Min's crazy antics in Running Man. The SBS variety show releases new episodes every Sunday.

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