'Running Man' cast spread out to three different countries; new members and guests to be introduced

Comedian Jang Do-yeon would join Lee Kwang-soo and Kim Jong-kook in Jeju Island in an upcoming episode.

Running Man
The cast of SBS's 'Running Man.' Youtube.com/SBS Running Man

'Running Man' is experiencing a bad phase with viewership ratings dropping to the lowest ever for the seven-year-old show. The news of adding two new members to the show may or may not have impacted the ratings. However, there is exciting news for fans of the variety show. It was learned that the cast of 'Running man' is set to spread out across 3 different countries for an upcoming episode.

On 10 April, Website Soompi got confirmation from a representative of SBS who said, "The [Running Man] group has split into three teams and are filming in Jeju Island, Taiwan, and Osaka, Japan." The representative further added that comedian Jang Do-yeon, who's also a cast member of MBC's variety show 'We Got Married,' would join Lee Kwang Soo and Kim Jong Kook in Jeju Island, which lies in the Korean Strait.

As for the other 'Running Man' members, comedian Yang Se-chan, who has appeared on both 'Running Man' and 'We Got Married,' will join Song Ji-hyo and Haha in Taiwan. Remaining members Yoo Jae-suk and Ji Suk-jin will form the third group with actress Jeon So-min, who has also appeared as a guest previously in 'Running Man.' She will be the only other permanent female member of the show other than Song Ji-hyo.

As for the two new permanent additions to 'Running Man,' a source from the show had told Soompi, "When they starred in our show as guests, they had good chemistry with the original members. Their episodes also gathered high viewer ratings, and that played a part in our decision." However, 'Running Man' has had a rating disaster in its April 9 episode. As per AGB Nielsen Korea, the episode recorded only 3.4 percent in nationwide ratings as opposed to 5.1 percent in the previous April 2 episode.

The addition of two new members to 'Running Man' could have affected the dynamic between the original cast. The additions have obviously led to poor ratings as many fans posted on the show's official Instagram expressing disapproval of the new members. They also complain that the games on the variety show are becoming boring and they are losing interest in the show day by day.

Ex-Running Man member Gary Kang's shock announcement of marriage to a non-celebrity woman and then deleting that announcement may have also impacted the viewership of 'Running Man.' Gary after all, was extremely popular in the variety show, thanks to being the 'Monday Couple' with Song Ji-hyo. Fans wanted the two of them to become a couple in real life but nothing came of it and then Gary got married suddenly while Song Ji-hyo remains single still. It is possible for fans to lose interest in the show due to the confusion that is happening regarding Gary, who also disbanded from his label Leessang.

The next episode of 'Running Man' featuring newcomers Yang Se-chan and Jeon So-min is scheduled to air on April 16 on SBS at 4:50 pm. KST. The other episode featuring three countries will air on April 23. Watch the preview below.

This article was first published on April 11, 2017