China’s Korean reality TV remake records 3.4 bln views online

January 31, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) — “Where Are We Going, Dad?,” a Chinese remake of a popular South Korean reality TV program, wrapped up its fourth season with success via online streaming, according to a Seoul-based cultural agency Tuesday.

According to the Korea Creative Content Agency’s (KCCA) Beijing office, the program’s fourth season, which ended on Dec. 30, 2016, racked up an accumulated 3.4 billion views through China’s Internet-based Mango TV.

The show, which first debuted October 2013 on Hunan TV in China, is based on a South Korean MBC TV show that featured celebrity fathers and their children as they travel to rural places and go on camping trips.

The program enjoyed huge success but was suspended after three seasons as Beijing suddenly banned the appearance of children of well-known figures on television.

The fourth season was made exclusively for Mango TV, which isn’t affected by regulations pertaining to broadcast television. The fourth season pilot episode alone garnered more than 40 million views in China.

The success comes despite the sudden let-go of a popular South Korean singer Hwang Chi-yeul from the season four cast, apparently a casualty of Beijing’s ongoing effort to ban Korean cultural figures from local media to show its anger at Seoul’s plan to deploy a U.S. anti-missile defense system on its soil.

In this file photo, South Korean singer Hwang Chi-yeul poses for photos at the 2016 KBS Music Festival in Seoul on Dec. 29, 2016.

In this file photo, South Korean singer Hwang Chi-yeul poses for photos at the 2016 KBS Music Festival in Seoul on Dec. 29, 2016.

Hwang, who catapulted to stardom in China from competing in a popular singing competition show, appeared as an “intern dad” in season four up until the fourth episode, after which he was suddenly dropped and replaced by a Chinese celebrity.

According to Chinese media reports, he was let go due to language problems. Critics, however, cite Beijing’s alleged ban of South Korean cultural content and celebrities as the real reason.

The program, as KCCA’s Beijing office puts it, was in demand despite the change in regulations. Hunan TV “led the successful revival” of the show by reflecting viewers’ opinions and attempting change without infringing on Chinese government policy, the agency said.

 

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