'Running Man' recently achieved the highest viewership ratings in over two years time; a dual digit rating of 10.3 percent in all of South Korea, as per AGB Nielsen. The man responsible for the revived 'Running Man,' producing director Jung Chul-min, is obviously very happy. He revealed how he had tried inspiring the show's members when the ratings suffered. He also revealed a promise he had made to Lee Kwang-soo.
As noted by websites Allkpop and Soompi, on December 6, Jung Chul-min spoke to Star News about 'Running Man' earning 10.3 percent in all of South Korea on the December 3 episode of the popular variety programme. Expressing his happiness, Jung Chul-min said, "It's such a relief."
The producing director also talked about a crisis point in the show's recent past when the show's ratings sunk drastically. "Starting back in April I discussed with the members about plans to recruit new members and start a new project. And that was when the ratings were at its lowest (3%) and I told them, 'just do whatever you guys want to do. We'll do our best to back you guys up," he said.
Jung Chul-min revealed he tried setting a goal for the members. "Back then, I told them that I wanted to be able to attend the 'Entertainment Awards' ceremony confidently," he said.
He then revealed an emotional interaction he had with Lee Kwang-soo at an awards ceremony, late last year and the promise he made to the actor. "Last year, when Lee Kwang Soo received the award and came down [from the stage], we hugged each other and cried for a long time. He said, 'Our program isn't a program that should end like this,' and I told him I would turn it around when I become the main PD," Jung Chul-min said.
Jung Chul-min kept the promise and turned the show around from its lowest point and made it popular again. His predecessor, PD gong Hee-chul had made the grave mistake of removing Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook and then cancelling the show. Not only were the two members re-instated, the show was renewed. Gong Hee-chul was replaced with Jung Chul-min. He has been openly fond of Lee Kwang-soo and new permanent member Jeon So-min.
The PD also said that the reason the show had gained popularity again was that the original members worked hard and helped the new members, Yang Se-chan and Jeon So-min become part of the show's family. "We can now go to the entertainment awards confidently. All of the members are planning to attend," Jung Chul-min added.
One of the key reasons why the newly improved 'Running Man' was a success was because of a new format, with new games and challenges as also frequent trips to different nations, with exciting but dangerous missions. Hinting that audiences' reaction was most important, he said, "We showed 'Running Man'-like things and also went on trips that were unlike 'Running Man' to change things up. We are still trying to figure out the things people are curious about."
Meanwhile, Lee Kwang-soo was teased by HaHa and Kim Jong-kook for failing to appear in the second season of their show 'Big Picture,' Soompi noted. Kwang-soo had promised on December 5 that he'd appear in 10 episodes of 'Big Picture' after a lot of persuading from HaHa and Kim Jong-kook. He was unable to appear because of his drama and movie schedules.
Kwang-soo apologised for failing to keep his word but HaHa and Jong-kook kept on teasing him. HaHa said Kwang-soo could pay for the episodes he cannot appear in while Jong-kook joked that he could join 'Big Picture' in its third or fourth season. "If you really don't want to join, just keep on scheduling new jobs," he told kwang-soo.
They continued teasing Kwang-soo by asking stupid questions like, "Why did you dress up like this?" and "Why is your hairstyle like that?" The latter remained dumbfounded at the other two's antics. Everybody on the set of 'Big Picture' laughed at his predicament, though.