As May approaches, another ratings war is going to take place on our tv screens and the one instigating this is MBC “Spotlight” drama helmed by Son Ye Jin and Ji Jin Hee. This drama is not only their first after a few years away from the small screen but at the same time, the storyline revolves around the world of news reporters in the tv station. This no doubt draws comparison to SBS “On Air” which also takes place in a tv station but revolves around drama production. With both dramas having assembled an impressive cast on their own, comparison will undoubtedly be made between them when they clash.
SBS had announced recently that “On Air” would be extended by three episodes which will see it end only on 22nd May. MBC “Spotlight” will start its broadcast on 14th May. According to estimates, “Spotlight” and “On Air” is going to have a go at each other in the ratings war in the two weeks where they overlap each other. Comparisons will also be made between the top two female stars Kim Ha Neul and Son Ye Jin in each drama on their acting and popularity.
SBS offered two reasons for extending “On Air”. Firstly, the surging popularity of the drama plus an average rating above 20%. Secondly, Lee Jun Ki’s “Iljimae” which is going to air after this hasn’t had sufficient preparation and the extension is to to give it more time, killing two birds with one stone.
Since “On Air” started, MBC stranglehold on the Wed-Thurs timeslot has been wrestled away by SBS and has not shown any signs of winning it back with its current offering. MBC has prepared long and hard for “Spotlight” and comparing the cast and production budget, it’s not any poorer than “On Air”. We shall see who will come out on top in the ratings war when the two giants collide.
But judging from history and the fact that “On Air” would be winding down and has a set of viewers already, “Spotlight” is unlikely to do much damage at all.