Singing, dancing and comedy have disappeared from major TV channels in South Korea since the Sewol ferry sank off the southern coast on Wednesday, and are likely to remain so throughout the weekend as the nation prays for more than 250 people still missing.
KBS, MBC and SBS, the three major broadcasters, have all decided to cancel regular programmes, running real-time news for most of Friday. They canceled most of their music and entertainment programs scheduled for the weekend, reports ST Communities.
“This is no time to sing or laugh,” an official at one of the broadcasters said. “It is sort of an industry rule not to air entertainment programs during such national tragedies.”
All music programmes have been canceled, including KBS 2TV’s Music Bank scheduled on Friday, MBC’s Show! Music Core on Saturday and SBS’ Music Trend on Sunday.
Cable channel Mnet did not air its M Countdown on Thursday and postponed the Friday premiere of xoxo EXO, a reality show featuring K-pop group EXO.
Cable channel TvN canceled comedies SNL Korea and Comedy Big League scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
It also canceled the airing of hit Friday evening programme Grandpas over Flowers.
Most entertainment programs were also canceled, including KBS’ music program Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend, celebrity information program Entertainment Weekly and reality show The Human Condition, all scheduled for Saturday.
On Sunday, Happy Sunday: 2 Days 1 Night and Gag Concert will be replaced by news or other non-entertainment programs.
MBC, which called off all regular programmes Friday, canceled the airing of We Got Married and Infinite Challenge on Saturday, and weekly celebrity news Section TV and popular reality programs Dad, Where Are We Going and Real Men on Sunday.
SBS is taking similar actions, where recording for future episodes of the SBS Sunday variety show 'Running Man' was canceled this week.
Recording for the show normally takes place on Monday and Tuesday, but filming for the entertainment program was deemed inappropriate and difficult in light of the current situation.