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How virus pandemic is changing entertainment scene

“Yoo Quiz on the Block” (tvN)
“Yoo Quiz on the Block” (tvN)
With television show producers are forced to come up with new production formats amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, the local entertainment scene is seeing changes.

Originally an outdoor quiz show conducted with people on the streets, tvN’s “Yoo Quiz on the Block” has brought the talks inside. In the two latest episodes of the show, the program featured people soldiering through their daily lives amid the virus outbreak, connecting with them through video calls.

Popular SBS variety show “Running Man,” which involves active games played outdoors, also moved indoors, carrying out activities at the broadcast station’s headquarters in the latest episodes.

Even the scenery of indoor talk shows and programs are changing in reflection of virus fears, as audience seats are cleared out.

While “Comedy Big League” on tvN has been shooting without a live audience since earlier this month, the comedians themselves have been filling the seats instead, ready with big reactions for their teammates on the stage.

Likewise, popular music talk show “You Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook” on KBS2, the seats of which had always been packed with fervent fans, emptied the seats early last month.

“Hangout With Yoo” (MBC)
“Hangout With Yoo” (MBC)

The virus crisis has also led show producers to come up with new formats.

Starting from Saturday, MBC variety show “Hangout With Yoo” is set to launch a special series under the title “Concert in the Corner of the Room.” The program’s host, show presenter Yoo Jae-suk, will invite artists of various music genres -- ranging from K-pop to musical shows to classical music -- to hold indoor concerts.

The show’s producers planned the special episodes to make space for artists who have had their concerts canceled due to the sudden outbreak of virus. The performances were held and shot at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul in the absence of an actual audience.

Shows unable to adapt to the situation are putting a hold on their series.

TvN travel show “Salty Tour” aired its last episode produced with video shot before the coronavirus outbreak, and announced an indefinite postponement of new episodes starting this week.