The hit Korean variety TV show Running Man is not going off the air after all. This is despite an earlier announcement that the long-time running program will be coming to an end this February.
On Tuesday, SBS released an official statement confirming that Running Man is indeed not ending. According to Yonhap News, the showrunners and cast members came to a decision to continue the show and set aside the issues between them. In fact, it was confirmed that all six members – Yoo Jae Suk, Kim Jong Kook, Song Ji Hyo, Lee Kwang Soo, Haha and Ji Suk Jin – agreed to remain on the show.
“Running Man will continue to air with all the members in place!! Due to the overwhelming sadness of both Korean and International fans over the end of Running Man, SBS and the 6 members have decided to continue the Running Man series.”
????????????????????????????????♀️???????????????? [‘런닝맨’ 제작진 공식 입장] 런닝맨 종영을 아쉬워하는 국내외 런닝맨 팬들의 목소리에, SBS와 6인의 런닝맨 멤버들은 현재 멤버 그대로 런닝맨을 계속 이어가기로 결정했습니다. 지난 2010년 런닝맨을 최초로 기획한 신임 남승용 SBS 예능본부장은 올 초부터 최근까지 런닝맨 멤버를 모두 만나서 진솔한 대화를 나눴습니다. 멤버들과의 대화를 통해 그 동안 런닝맨 개편 과정에서 일어난 일들에 거듭 사과했고, 이에 6인 멤버들은 런닝맨을 지속하기로 합의했습니다. 남승용 신임 본부장은 “쉽지 않은 결정을 내려준 런닝맨 멤버들께 진심으로 감사드리고, 또한 지난 7년간 런닝맨을 사랑해 주신 국내외 팬들께 보답하기 위해서라도 앞으로 더욱 재미있는 런닝맨으로 시청자 여러분을 찾아갈 수 있도록 최선을 다하겠다”라고 포부를 밝혔습니다. ????????????????????????????????♀️???????????????? [RunningMan Staffs' official announcement] SBS & 6 RM members decided to keep going on RunningMan without stopping in consideration of RM fans' wishes for RM to be continued. NamSeungYong, new Vice President of SBS Entertainment Headquarters, who had planned RM firstly in 2010, has had sincere conversations with 6 RM members from the beginning of this year to up until now. He offered apology to 6 RM members again for the past things on the way of RM renewal and 6 RM members agreed to continue RM without stopping. He expressed sincere appreciation to 6 RM members for their difficult decision and he announced that he would do his best to make RM more enjoyable to return RM fans around the world who had been showing endless love for RM for 7 years since 2010. ••• #런닝맨 #RunningMan #RM
A photo posted by RunningMan (@sbs_runningman_sbs) on
Nam Seung Yong, SBS’ Chief of Headquarters who also originally planned Running Man in 2010, called for a meeting with the cast members to apologize for the miscommunication issues and other controversies thrown at them.
He also expressed his gratitude to the cast members and acknowledged how difficult it was to make the decision to continue with Running Man. Nam Seung Yong also promised fans of better and more enjoyable episodes to come.
“I sincerely thank the Running Man members who made the difficult decision to stay on the show. In order to repay fans who loved and supported the show for the last 7 years, we will do our best to make Running Man even more enjoyable.”
Perhaps the biggest factor that led to Running Man being uncanceled is the huge number fans that expressed their rage and disappointment about the management’s decision to call off the show. The fans’ outcry has been unstoppable considering that Running Man has a growing fan base both locally and internationally.
It can be recalled that Running Man fans also expressed their dismay when Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook were allegedly removed from the show without prior notice. According to reports, the said incident has led to the producers’ decision to cancel the show.
Nam Seung Yong acknowledged the fact that the fans have played a huge part in their decision to not end the show after all.
“Running Man isn’t just a variety program. It boasts 100 million fans just overseas and I don’t think it’s fair not to reflect their opinions and decide the fate of the show just because of internal problems. I believe the correct path is to undergo change in order to become a better show and give more to the fans. That is why we are back.”
Despite the positive outcome, some fans are worried that the producers made a rash decision and that there might be some negative effects about the relationship between the management and Running Man cast members.
However, Nam Seung Yong was quick to assure fans that there is nothing to worry about. He also revealed that they currently have no plans to add a member to the show in replacement of Gary.
“There is no need to worry about the teamwork between members. If there had been trouble in the members’ relationships, we wouldn’t even be here today. I’m not worried, in fact, they’ll probably just work harder. You’ll see.”
As of this writing, it remains unclear if the original plan for the upcoming episodes will be altered. It was announced recently that Running Man will air special episodes that will feature each member as a way to bid goodbye to their fans.
[Featured Image by 런닝맨 RunningMan/Facebook]