Why Have "Running Man" Ratings Dropped?

Running Man is a popular Korean variety show that features a revolutionary "urban adventure" format.
Running Man is a popular Korean variety show that features a revolutionary "urban adventure" format.

"Running Man," Korea's most popular Sunday variety program for over two years, has been slipping in the ratings. Although that in itself is not a cause for panic, it is a cause for concern. The producers have to consider that they are being beaten by shows that were actually inspired by their format. Furthermore, they are being beaten by newer shows with newer casts who, unlike Running Man members, haven't had the time to bond and develop the same sort of chemistry.

1N2D was the closest thing on television to Running Man when Running Man first premiered. But 1N2D was never a competition-oriented show. It centered more on the characters and the crazy things they did in simple situations. Then Running Man came along with its nail-biting and breathtaking games. Suddenly, variety shows in their time slot started hyping up their challenges. In other words, other shows set out to beat Running Man at its own game—and they're succeeding.

Every show goes through this, of course. Even Friends and Oprah have lost their spots at some point in their run. They, of course, regained popularity after some fine-tuning. Running Man can also get the number-one spot again, if it does the right things.

What's Wrong With the Show?

1: It’s That Time in Its Existence

The third year is usually a transition phase for TV shows, and that's where RM is right now.

When a show first begins, viewers are eager to see where it will go. But by-and-large, by the third year, members have reached the "potential" that viewers were waiting for. That's essentially where the characters are now. Each member has developed his or her skills in name-tag tearing, their signature game, and tactical planning. It has really become unpredictable who will win. The characters have hit their stride.

It’s also what happened to 1N2D. By its fourth year, you could feel the members were starting to plateau. The format of the show didn’t change, and eventually the members left.

Running Man members are exactly at that stage. They have reached their peak and have nowhere to go. Not that they are doing badly; it’s just that they are doing the same thing every week which makes things predictable:

  • Lee Kwang Soo (LKS) will "disturb" Kim Jong Kook (KJK)
  • KJK will exert his physical strength
  • The Monday Couple (MC) will have some sort of moment
  • Ji Suk Jin (JSJ) will be the weakest link
  • Song Ji Hyo will always get the advantage of being a woman

These repetitive factors are compounded because the cast is put in the same situation every week. It is always a "race," so you know when the above-mentioned things are going to happen.

Best of the Best

The show's Best of the Best (BotB) is often regarded as a turning point. In episode 74, each Running Man member was given a "superpower" which, if used correctly, would help him or her win the game. The first two BotB were won by KG and the third one was won by Haha.

2: Characters Are Also in Their Transition Stage

In 1N2D, Eun Ji Won (EJW) left because he outgrew his show and his character. There simply was nowhere for him to go. The show could have saved him if there was some sort of an adjustment. They could have changed the format a bit or added new members who would allow him to evolve his character.

Running Man members are reaching a similar situation to the one EJW encountered. Granted, it’s more complicated as members have two personas each. They have both the characters they play in the games and their comedic characters. But both have reached a plateau.

In games:

  • YJS is the leader
  • Haha is the schemer
  • LKS is the betrayer
  • KJK is the strongest
  • KG is the unexpected hero
  • SJH is the brains
  • JSJ is the weakest

In comedy:

  • YJS is the initiator
  • Haha is YJS’s second-in-command
  • KG is the witty one
  • KJK is YJS’s match
  • JSJ recently showed body gags
  • LKS is the wild one
  • SJH is not funny

These characters have reached their full potential. The cast is also getting into that stage when they need and want change or growth. The question is how:

  • Haha lost his playboy character when he got married and seems lost about what to become next.
  • KG was on his way to becoming a casanova when MC was brought back. The problem is that MC is becoming predictable too.
  • KJK has realized everyone is catching up to him.
  • SJH has always had a problem with her interpersonal skills, and although she has improved a little, it is not enough.

The Zombie Episode is also a fan favorite as it put all seven members alone in a building for a night. This proves that the guests aren't the selling point of the show; it's the cast.
The Zombie Episode is also a fan favorite as it put all seven members alone in a building for a night. This proves that the guests aren't the selling point of the show; it's the cast.

3: The Games and Guests

Then there are the games. There are certain games that are being repeated far too many times. The dodgeball and food games are two examples. The problem is that it’s rare for these games to evolve or be fine-tuned. Needless to say, it becomes boring.

Pair this up with recent guests who are either too weak or too strong, and you have a disastrous episode for the members. Episode 149 featured older comediennes, for example. Based on history, comedians bring the best laughter to an episode—they help the male cast members relax, especially when they are already friends with cast members. Bringing in female older comediennes, however, didn’t turn out as well as expected. The members had to be conscious of their manners towards the older women and the older women didn’t attempt to level it off.

Running Man has also filmed in different countries, and each time the cast was literally mobbed. In Hong Kong, the production team was forced to cancel filming because there were too many people—a testament to the show's international popularity.

What Can Be Done?

1: Be Open to Elements Besides Competition

This is on both the cast and the PDs.

In the 150th episode, the cast played the Avengers and were supposed to be trained and tested to see whether they were ready to save the world. In the last game, they were asked to battle each other, but in a twist, guests came to battle them.

It was an opportunity for the members to work together to battle what was arguably the strongest set of guests to ever set foot on RM. They didn’t. The members ended up battling each other which clearly demonstrated what RM has become: a competition-oriented show.

Like the Avengers in movies and comics, their individual powers weren’t a match to the strength of their opponents, but they would have been unbeatable together. Unfortunately, after deciding to work together, one of them betrayed the team, which caused the crumbling of the whole team. Instead of the betrayer admitting the betrayal and saving the team, they resorted to lies even after being confronted with the truth. Instincts, which they had developed after years of competing, forced them to turn against each other.

Some rechanneling is needed.

Running Man has also attracted high-profile guests such as international action star, Jackie Chan.
Running Man has also attracted high-profile guests such as international action star, Jackie Chan.

2: Slow Down and Re-Bond

In the early days of RM, the casts participated in activities that weren't necessarily a competition against each other, such visiting the aquarium and doing challenges where everyone had to work together. It’s probably time to slow down a bit and re-bond the team. It’s time to remind both the members and the viewers about what RM is supposed to be: a bunch of crazy guys having fun who have become a family.

There is no need to change the format to become more like other variety shows such as Infinity Challenge. Running Man has its own identity and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that they’ve been running on top gear for so long now, they need to give the machine a rest.

It’s time to remind the members that, although they will still need to battle each other, they can also work together when the time calls for it.

3: Check-in With the Members

The PDs need to sit down with each member and just talk with them where they want to take their characters and what they need in order to figure out how to help. They may be doing this already, but if they are, it’s not working. The PDs need to help the members evolve instead of stubbornly sticking with what they have banked on in the past years, such as LKS’s, betrayal, Haha’s scheming, and MC.

4: Think More

The show needs new games, new approaches to old games, and guests who will help the members. The think tank needs to do more thinking.

More by this Author


Aizumii 10 days ago

I think they need to add more member

like a famous one or crazy strong but pretty girls

Anais 12 days ago

Could anyone point me to sbs email address that pertains to this show? I want to send them 100,000 (or more!) signature to take out Suk Jin. He's a disgusting fellow with bad character and he just not a good example in this show. I wonder how does his kid and family face everyday having a father like that. Jinnjaa!

dddd 2 weeks ago

we need more female..songjiho become boring...

2 weeks ago

This article was rude towards Song Ji hyo. No need to be blunt and say "She's not funny", "She gets the advantage because she's a girl". Of course, sometimes she has the advantage because she's a girl, but there are lots of times she won because of her own strength and brains. Ji hyo is funny as well. Not as much as other RM members, especially because the others have more experience in variety (Haha, KJK, Jaesuk), but she is still funny.

Anonymous. 3 months ago

Replacing characters won't solve any problem. How would anyone know that replacing characters won't make anything awkward for everyone?

During the X men era, the rating was brought up because of a love line. Why not bring Yoon Eun Hye as a guest into running man? Minus the too much teasing for Kim Jong Kook?

And just let Kookie kick ass.

app 4 months ago

@Wendy No that's not the reason, you guys keep saying change the NEW producers; they're already new. You just haven't given them the chance. You think only letting the new staff try 10 episodes means you already say fire them from their job? Ridiculous. You try knowing how to be a cashier on the first day WITHOUT knowing how to use a till! You never got the chance to get used to it, and get fired by the boss on first day. That's how your comment feels like when you tell new PDs to get fired.

Also, the episodes started getting funnier again, better than the previous PD's episodes. You know what happened to the ex-PD right after he said he stands behind supporting RM? Suddenly leaves to help out China RM! What kind of support is that? It was just about opportunities and money.

All these people always saying Song Ji Hyo needs to leave, you guys just wish you stood in her position with 6 other guys. All girls internationally and in Korea like her because there aren't many female variety girls that can stand up as a tomboyish (sort of dominant) character with the guys. Some knets even complain about this why does the culture of shows always have the girl be at the back obediently while guys pre-dominantly talk together?

You can not solely blame the members, of course they have to try their best in getting back the show too. But another situation is there needs to be a lot or a complete change of format and content. Something that isn't forced but refreshing their characters again. Like Gyeong Gyu said, Ji Hyo should go crazy and start some random twist in character; a betrayer even.

I feel the production crew has to try harder in doing better content, even though the old Executive Chief producer says they had already tried (when they didn't do much). Maybe the Chief producer needs to be the one to change if he's the one holding the limitations back. Maybe even the PD of youth over flowers that I've read.

There are so many ways the cast and production can get the show back with much more content than the repeated ones, they just need to step it up.

Wendy 4 months ago

I think the reason the ratings dropped is not about the cast but the new producer. It is him that makes the show kinda boring...I was very eager to watch running man everyday,but since 1 episode comes out every week,I just rewatch the episodes...Although I rewatch,when I watch,I still feel nervous,excited and what going to happen next...but now,ever since the producer changed,the episodes have become very boring,and every episode will always overshot till the next episode. This made me really lose interest in running man...PLEASE DUN CHANGE THE CAST...THEY ARE THE PERFECT ONES IN THIS SHOW...IN FACT,THEY ARE THE PERFECT PEOPLE FOR THIS PERFECT SHOW...Change the producer...he is the major problem of why the ratings dropped

RMlover 4 months ago

I think the reason why the ratings dropped is because the running man members don't interact with each other that much anymore. Their missions now are all about competing each other which is kinda boring for me coz the number one reason why I love the show in the first place is because of their bond and their humour! Also, I agree with some of the comments about SJH should be leaving running man! I mean, I love SJH believe me but when I watched the episode of running man where they invited male guests and together with the male running man members, they were given missions and were ranked from least to most popular in the last part. I think that episode is one of their best episodes because it made me laugh so hard and I didn't have to worry about the male rm members going easy on SJH coz she was just the mc on that episode! Eventhough SJH is wise and the ace of RM, she still can't compete with the other members when it comes to humour! Like for example, on episode 162 where LKS and JSJ were competing to get to the platform in the middle of the pool and LKS went as far as even pulling JSK's shorts just to stop him from getting to the platform. That part was really funny for me and that's the kind of humour I like to see from running man but they can't do that often because of SJH being a girl and they can't do that to her! So I really think that SJH should leave RM but not for too long tho. I just want her to take a break just so the other male members can go on with those kinds of body gags without having to worry about adjusting for SJH. Then when the ratings start to go up again, that's when SJH should come back to RM coz that's the time when the audience/viewers will start to miss SJH and it will excite them to find out that Running man will have SJH as a member again! That's just my opinion tho so it's ok if you guys disagree with me.

Anon 5 months ago

They are better right now.. Keep up

Anon 7 months ago

Like any show that lasts for a while RM is a victim of it's own success. I'm not even up to the episodes people are discussing and the show has been on a steady decline for a while based on where I'm at (avengers episode...terrible). The last memorable episode (for me) was where the members worked with college kids on building DIY boats. Why was it memorable? Because momentarily the members broke character and genuinely seemed to try their best as compared to the normal of getting in all the usual jokes and such.

As you mentioned all the characters are stale, all the interactions feel so forced and disingenuous, and every episode follows the same arc. When that happens week after week the only people who will really enjoy watching are hard core fans of the cast (which is a big number but obviously not enough to hold ratings).

The episodes in the beginning were the most interesting because everyone was slowly but surely developing their character. But since that's happened the show has as you put it "plateaued." The argument from network is if it works don't change it (even a significant ratings drops still turns a profit, considering their licensing deals, and only when that stops happening will they pull the plug) and therefore the cast is doing what's comfortable and easy (same gags, same interactions, and so forth).

The problem is if you really want to survive as a show (especially one of this nature) you need to be one step ahead, and sadly I think their approach has put them a step back. It's a weird show because you don't get the sense that it's "scripted" from start to end. Maybe they've decided a winner in advance and know the meaning of the hints but then it's up to the cast to creatively and convincingly get to the conclusion. Early on they did a really good job (because you didn't know what was going to happen) and the episodes of just the cast were the ones you looked forward to the most. But recently (based on where I am) the cast has just been terrible... rehashing the same story lines, same twists, and not in a fresh way, to a point where the guests are more interesting (and usually the guests aren't that interesting). And again it's not that their bad at what they do they just have nowhere to go. I know people will disagree but this is where there's a difference between hardcore fans and the average fan with the remote unsure of what to tune into to. RM is like a failing restaurant that's just hanging on because it still gets a decent amount of "regulars."

I know this will be a very unpopular opinion but the show has two options to be really interesting again. 1) change the concept OR 2) change the cast. Everyone is too set in their ways (cast and crew) to a point where as a viewer (regardless of culture) it just gets annoying. I'm sorry but KJK is not that athletic (difference between strength and athleticism), SJH is not good at everything (although she is good at a lot of things so please let us make the determinations ourselves), and Gary & Haha (well I honestly don't even know their purpose at all anymore). At one time Gary was great because he had no clue what he was doing now that he does... I don't know it just doesn't work.

As one other commenter mentioned I think the show really F'd up with Lizzy early on. This show is all about the cast setting each other up for gags, story lines, etc. and for whatever reason they didn't throw her anything once she was considered a permanent member (maybe they weren't happy about someone so young getting the opportunity, IDK). Maybe they did and she just really blew it (thus it was cut), but I've seen her on other things and find her quite entertaining and funny (would have been a good fit). But of course as the youngest (by a lot) she's going to feel uncomfortable and need the cast to put her at ease, it never felt like they did that. Plus having a young female idol on the show maybe would help loosen some of the other idol guests up (they routinely care a LOT more about image and the episodes suffer accordingly). Or with the young idol character they wouldn't need to have guests so often.

Every once in a while there's an episode that really holds your attention but they're starting to become further and further apart. Again, I'm writing this having just seen the avengers episode so it's possible the show gets much better.

Anon 8 months ago

@Hye I really think you're just one of JiHyo's haters and bashers. Do you even seriously watch RM? I'm not a huge fan of her myself but Running Man itself is declining. The program and the concept itself are declining.

And what? Refusing screen time? Where the f did you get that idea from? I mean, its her or the PD's way to give screen time to their guest. Why are you even thinking backwards? Youre just spreading unnecessary rumours. Ji hyo is like the rose among the thorns. All the chaos from these 6 guys and then theres always the blank and calm ji hyo.

Oh and please dont talk about Lizzy. She's boring as f. I wasnt even aware that she was on the show. I completely forgot her.

I don't think theres another more suitable woman for running man than ji hyo.

Whatever happens, I just hope that running man will get it all back. The show will always be my first and forever korean variety show favorite. Fighting!

Tina 8 months ago

Hello everybody this is 2016 commentor. I personally agreed to many of the topics touched in the article. Running Man started out wonderfully, but it is been declining in the variations of games and character. As of 2016, RM is repeatedly inviting a range of guests: idols, elderly actors, athletes, and other random selections. Most of the guests cannot entertain. They require assistance from the RM crew which results in exaggerated or obvious jokes. Since nearly all of us reading this article are international viewers, we do not know the guests as in depth and see them as "invited guest." In addition, RM is simply not "Running Man" anymore. The cast does not run but challenge each other in small mini games such as getting through mazes and searching for the kidnapped member. RM is relying heavily on technology and the members to liven up the episodes.

Individually, it seems each member is glued to their concept and try to fit that role. However, it isn't original. The comedy is forced and thought beforehand to make the scene more comedic.

Running Man achieved superb ratings in the past, and it is difficult to compare to the past- but at this rate RM is reaching rock bottom.

Anon 9 months ago

Originally it was a legit running game show

But it degraded from the original title and motive after the first few episodes.

Krizia Francisco 9 months ago

I heard the reason why Running Man is still on is because of the fans from overseas. I'm sure that is over exaggeration. Though I do admit some plots are very reptitive and I couldn't care less about missions(particularly with episodes of too much women), I still enjoy watching it because of the interactions and chemistry! Always has me laughing off my chair! Though there are childish moments, it doesnt seem to be all the time

Anon1423 10 months ago

Though I can agree that the episode plots are starting to dull, I still enjoy Running Man as much as I did when I first watched it. People can complain that the games have become boring and repetitive, but the characters and their interactions are still unique. Running man has always been with me through my difficult situations and provided me with never-ending laughter. It will always hit home for me no matter what games they play and what guests they may invite.

All the members are so special to me.

Mr waffel 10 months ago

I think all the idiot hater that comment bad about all running man member is just childish and fyi lee kwang soo is a great person

Okay 10 months ago

@Hye, your incorrect and ridiculous conjectures can probably sustain 500 tabloids.

Sarah 10 months ago

I don't know why people like just some people in RM cast and hate some others. I'm still enjoying watching RM as I feel the joy from all 7 people . Each of them has contributed a lot to make this show so successful even though some have to play bad guys role. LOVE YOU RUNNING MAN!!! Please stay with us as long as possible.

Kami-chan 10 months ago

This post is on point and I agree on all bit sand pieces but the comments are gold. Everyone has bias and hated casts but all of us just really wants RM to survive and last just like IC. Like some RM fans I somewhat dislike JSJ for many reasons (ex. his envy for YJS, dragging his partners down specially LKS, and most of the time; useful only for bullying purposes) BUT at the same time, I cant think of RM without him as he is definitely essential.

IF ONLY this whole post and all the comments are in korean/hangul and posted on naver so a prod crew will stumble on it.

Hye 10 months ago

Just a quick note (after scrolling down and reading several other comments): Adding members may not be the solution at all. It's not about adding. I think it is more about replacing.

I read somewhere below that there should be another female member to compete with Song Ji Hyo as she always seems to b the ace or shining star ALL THE TIME regardless how much she contributes to the team or the show itself. It is true that there is favoritism in play. There is one episode where two of the highest RM directors become judges and admit to being big fans of Ji Hyo; and that they would do anything to keep her on the show. To return their compliment and support, Ji Hyo took a selfie with each of the directors and rewarded them her autograph.

They could have done all this behind the cameras. I don't understand why they did all that when the cameras were rolling. I guess they were trying to prove something to the viewers (?)

They pick her team to win although her team didn't do very well. Hence, the production team (and some of the members) eulogize Ji Hyo (verbally and in print, on screen I mean).

We can add another female cast. Remember Lizzy?? Back on those days, Lizzy was always around and standing close to her but Ji Hyo never tried to interact or make any eye contact with Lizzy. She never once turned to Lizzy for a laugh or a quick chat. It was as if Lizzy was invisible to her. I thought Lizzy was a pretty good addition. But of course, she eventually left. I would too if I were her.

Another example:

When the guests are all female, pretty and young *and popular*, Ji Hyo would refuse an appearance citing all kinds of excuses (because she knows she will lose out, attention wise) or minimize her own airtime by being quiet/staying in the corner all by herself.

But when it comes to young/senior male celebrities (or there is a balance in gender) as the guests, she becomes extra competitive, loud, flirty as if trying to impress and stand out.

It's easy to conclude that Ji Hyo despises competition. She enjoys her status as the only female ace. After all, RM is her only recurring project. She doesn't get many offers for dramas/movies anymore due to influx of young talented female idols in acting.. The most she does is photo shoot and that is it. So I guess it is only normal to try to protect her sole position.

Hye 10 months ago

@Xypher Farrell Hi there, I really enjoy reading your article about Why Running Man Ratings drop. I couldn't agree with you more. You're so spot-on!! For every character (or member, shall I say) you describe to the games, the guests and the format. I do enjoy watching RM but it can get either very predictable or flat sometimes. I don't watch episode by episode anymore. I skip a couple here and there, considering who the guests are.

I also find that the interaction among members seems forced, too (if not, repetitive). Thank you for pointing it out and putting my thoughts into words in a such a well-written and coherent piece! I'll be back for more of your articles.

Avid fan 10 months ago

Kim Jong Kook has no value in RM!? Really Kate? He and Yoo Jae Suk have been together since X Man/Family Outing including Haha. He has no value!? Are you saying that Ji Suk Jin is more valuable than him? Kim Jong Kook has more nicknames than others. That is a clear indication that he IS valuable in Running Man.

Richard Nieh profile image

Richard Nieh 10 months ago from Newcastle, UK

This post has been around for a while and I don't think the characters and games are actually the issues as they have been around for the past two years. I think they can keep those characters (it is becoming tradition, changing tradition had been proven bad) or the games (I still found some of the games funny even repetitive). I think it is the set up of the stage becomes boring and some of the games, you know they won't be successful because they cannot finish the show if they beat the game too early so they fixed it; you can see it is fake.

They were pretty weak in the first year. The name tag ripping game was popular for a while and then evolved to finding guest games but it was extremely poor. However, somehow they had a few episodes were really funny because they were unexpected. The last a few episodes simply lost that element. The 100 vs 100 episode was exciting (only the name tag ripping part, the people introduction was way too long) because they were unexpected.

What they need to do is to bring back the surprising element, nothing else really need to change. There are some older games last one whole episode that I really would like to watch them again but with different guests (obviously) for example the one with words hidden in the name tag to find treasure game. Some of the treasure hunting games were really fun but only appeared couple episodes; those kind of games can have a lot of unexpected element in it.

Some of the treasure hunting alike games they played in China were fun with KJK being a spy and the money thief in Thailand. I think those games can be played for a few more times. They may not be played in the overseas anymore; some budget issues?

The problem with short missions; not only they are repetitive. You just know the outcome and a lot of times, they are not really short in real life so they have to edit some of the missions out; that is not particularly fun considering there are so many things missing from us. If they still want to keep short missions (they probably would, large missions take planning), let different teams choose them and the highest scoring team win the whole team. At the moment, they do different mission but in the end they always play a bigger, final mission and the final one will be fake. I think just let the better team win and even if they dominate, that is fine. At least it is true to the viewers.

opinny 11 months ago

wt is running mans producer's email?? EVERYONE should tell them that they need to go back to the old concept again. As in having multiple games then do name tags in the end or vice versa. well they can do this not every week but at least once in awhile. they don't do that anymore

myself 11 months ago

i think one of the problem is "sincerity". Their interaction with each other becomes unnatural compare to earlier episodes. rather than reality show, it more becomes feel like sitcom. predictable.

waty hasan 13 months ago

Althought the rating going drop, but i don't want RM dissapear. Please everyone, love RM.

Scarlet 13 months ago

It's so strange how people attack the OP in the comments for trying to make suggestions on what could be fixed. The OP isn't the enemy. The person who named themselves Kang Dong Hoon (Haha/Kanh Ho Dong fan?): I agree with you. Every episode, esp recently, is just me getting annoyed at Kwang Soo literally only getting in the way. He knows he has fans and it's seriously gone to his head. His personality might have been cute and funny before but now it's obnoxious. There's a reason people like KJK (he's humble and good person) or Jae Suk (tries to give attention to others) or even Suk Jin (Doesn't overstep anyone).

Running Man is in the dumps. Sure, it's not going anywhere. But it's lately been the only show that makes my eyes glaze over from boredom. My bias is KJK/Jae Suk but I'm so bored of even them on the show. There's nothing to watch for. People who argue are just completely delusional. The cast doesn't care about you, stop thinking that they are being attacked. They don't need to be defended. They're fine.

Kang Dong Hoon 13 months ago

I m not interested in RM anymore because of Lee Kwang Soo. He is the most annoying celeb I ever known. Always trying to get involved in everything to get attentions. Always trying to be funny but instead become irritating and annoying. Han Hyo Joo in episode 152 even comment to him if he even want to win. All he want to be the center of attentions. What a low person!!!

Ryu Hyujin in episode 172 almost throw a hard ball to him because he was so irritating. Most male guests don’t like to partner with Lee Kwang Soo because he will betray.

Inno 13 months ago

Almost gave up with RM but still hoping for their comeback. RM becomes predictable, sometimes everything's seen scripted.

Horror special for their anniversary did pretty well (ep 26+). It was real and spontaneous. RM need that kind of episode.

EunHye 14 months ago

LKS is rude. Always shouting on every episode n always bullied KJK. On ep255, he beat the Pd because he got less pretty partner. Can’t imagine how his partner felt..

Clifford Ahn 15 months ago

it is really simple they haven't changed anything in terms of format. Even if it could come outside of korea other shows like 1n2d and superman is back will better than running man. it would be more popular yes but the problem is that since there format in not changing because it is a variety game show it will lost interest eventually which is happening in my home country. This has happened to past shows like family outing and X man. The show is getting very stale and dull wit out trying anything new. This 3rd year will be a make it or break it year for them. if nothing changes the show will get cancelled.

Chepah_RM-luv 15 months ago

i admit there r some episode dat r not fun to watch but RM still my no.1 show...i couldnt miss a single episode...i juz hope the ratings can go up up up again despite many other variety shows. they r in their 5th yr now n hope will go on as long as it can....

since byul already came, make their wives come bringing potential partner for the single men n woman hehehe....make some games out of that heheheh...keep it up RM, domestically ur rating may drop a bit but globally u r loved

fika_nofa 15 months ago

I personally dread for the day (near future?) when they will either end the show or change the cast... but it's been a good run, I mean 5 years, it's not that bad... except I've seriously started to watch running man 2 months ago :)) that's 2-3 episodes everyday, and unlike what some suggest, I feel like the earliest episodes (think 2011- early 2012 episodes) were too "pilot"-like and unnatural and too predictable, but the overall argument is unfortunately true.

RM 4Ever 15 months ago

Running man jjang!!

I started to open my eyes for k-pop world n korea itself since i watched this VS.

Even my s

Elen 15 months ago

I read some ppl isnt invited for running man cause they did shows in another tv channel, that kind of bothers me, some ppl I find funny and I wanna see on the show but knowing they wont is kind of sux. Plus I am geting tired of the cheating during the game, I mean a bit is fun, but sometimes is so much that is annoying and make me stop cheering for the competition. I do think they favor some ppl, is so obvious that is annoying too.

Other episodes they invite some ppl that is very interesting but seems they dont use them that well, we wanna know the guests too and at some episodes the guests barelly have presence, they take over all the scenes and jokes and I know they have a role but even that gets tiring. Would be interesting to see them being themselves too.

I dont know I do like the show but even not having watched more than 30 episodes, I do feel I need a break from the show or really get me stressed.

Regardless who the guests are, they need to work them better and see more ppl, not the same over and over again, was checking the episode list in wiki and saw so many going more than 3 times on the show, I mean, they have so many celebrities, why bring the same everytime they release a new album or do a new drama?

nyy 15 months ago

I am a fan of running man variety shows. For years tht i hv been watchg n following every episode until recent months tht i gave up watchg the show. . What are they tryg to promote???!!! K pop singers . . Or running man show. Why bringing all these ""pretty"" singers, dancers n idols..i m sick of it. I can see them in music video why bother running man..STOP WATCHING!!! :-(

dina 15 months ago

I kept thinking that this would happen after that producer left

sidewatcher 16 months ago

If it keeps registering single digit ratings, this show will:

At the very least, a major cast overhaul. This is how variety works, if the show goes on crisis (stays on single digit ratings), the first to change will be the PD's (which has been seen as PD's responsible for content and direction were the ones that are slowly being replaced ). If it still doesn't work, the cast goes next. YJS is the only guy indispensable on this show at this stage but who know? We've seen it happen with 1N2D when it withstand the removal of its main MC(Kang Ho-Dong) but it will either make or break the show when he throws in the towel. Hopefully the show survives and gets a fresh look.

I've been reading about this having a large international fan base. Well sorry guys, those numbers are not something that the CP or Head of the Entertainment Dept considers when its going initiate a major facelift or axe a show. It's all about local. International syndication of the show only amounts to small royalties and no where comparable to the money generated through advertising.

Now would SBS really axe the show at this point? It depends. For one do they have any show in the works which can capably replace it? The Sunday block is a very competitive slot for all 3 networks. Replacing it with a cheap poorly made show would result to lower ratings that it currently is for the station. At this point, I don't think they're at that stage yet. Is there pressure from the higher ups? Most definitely, I can imagine the main PD of the show and its writers having 10-12 hour meetings discussing how to improve the show.

As the writer pointed out. The show 's character development has peaked. There's no way for them to develop it further causing the show to be so predictable that you stop watching it right at the middle or just after the first mission. Regardless of what type of radical or new ideas the writers and PD's come up. The viewers wont notice it since we're watching the same old characters just trying to do something different. Take Muhan Dojeon for example. That show has undergone at least 3 major cast changes before it became an epic show with only 2 or 3 of the original left from when it started. I'm pretty sure considering this is SBS's longest running variety show, they'll take that path in the upcoming months or early next year to save the show rather than start from scratch.

ok 16 months ago

I started to not like running man on how they keep trying to make Jihyo the shinning star and making other female guests looks bad. The last episode is with when they did the Hip Hop episode and no one blocked Jihyo they saw her coming and just moved out of the way. With Jessi they were blocking her and she was even standing up for her team. For me its come to a point where the show just becomes blah

luzzieh 16 months ago

i have watched RM since day 1.... and am really sad about low ratings

i do find myself getting less excited watching it now...

the nametag ripping that they are well known has not been done anymore which in my opinion is one of the reason for it becoming boring....

i hope this show will not be axed, but at the rate it has become its not far ahead...

i love RM, they need to change the production team so ome up with new ideas....

Hate ji suk jin with giant old nose 16 months ago

Please take ji suk jin get out from running man i really hate him

Charles 16 months ago

I feel that Running Man's ratings have been dropping is also due to the fact that other variety shows are upping their games. Perhaps it is due to RM content being more boring but it is time to give credits and acknowledgement of the other shows.

Kpop 16 months ago

l don’t like RM honestly bcoz the shows tought it is ok to betray a friend...

Mi Mi Snow 17 months ago

Running Man is the best verity ever....

I really love Running Man show and I really love all the members.I always support them. I'm from Myanmar and Running Man lovers are so many in my country.Running Man is the best!!! :D FIGHTING!!!

Angel fall 19 months ago

Don't need to change member only the game 1 episode have 5 game before now there only 2 or 3 is not fu. And is long .. I don't like that I love the all the member too

Twinkle* 19 months ago

I think half of them are correct. But I don't think Running Man has a bad episode, I like and enjoying all of the episode. But it makes me sad because Running Man's rating drop :( . But, I think its better if the PD and Writer inviting a special guest like international actor/comedian or Popular comedian/actor in Korea :l

lhen 19 months ago

it is popular here in the Philippines :)

lel 19 months ago

lee si young? to rm no way that girl is rude in the past rm ep she is uninteresting and boring

RM Fan 20 months ago

I coundn’t agree more with the article. Also RM should replace the empty spot left by JongKi with Lee Si Young. She is beautiful and funny and would be a great rival to SJH.

One Man 20 months ago

If only Kjk can play dirty...

Akira Duman 20 months ago

I agree with this article. It’s so obvious now and it’s boring. LKS always betrays and bullied KJK. YJS mostly win whenever he partner with female guest. SJH used her femininity against KG and KJK. JSJ always lost. HH always scheme about betraying and KJK mostly becomes the victim. Guest(especially female) always won even they’re weak(can’t forget Charlie’s Angels episode). KJK becomes weak against female etc. The PDs need to change the script and plot. No need to change the cast members. They are great together...

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

it is said that Runningman is popular for international fans not Korean fans.

Angelfall 23 months ago

They sud not change member only change game I don't like the new game I love name tag game with guest , RM man is number one for me

I love superman return too is really cute

erw 23 months ago

The PD should bring back 'catching thief game' and more water games

Abc 23 months ago

I agree with someone above that RM is mainly watched by teens, and they tend to watch on the internet while the other members of the family watch family-oriented show like TROS and DWAG. I think that's also why dramas rarely got high ratings now, they only appeal to teenagers. Honestly I like TROS more since the triplets come to the show (and making TROS rules for 20 consecutive weeks), but I also like RM, especially in their early episodes. The latest episodes are boring. The music episode with Jung Eun Ji is maybe one of the worst Running Man episodes I've ever seen.

RM really needs member change. I thought about JSJ, though. After all, like you said, they're developed but they don't know where to go. And sometimes the guests are not well-known to fans outside Korea. They need to drag guests that rarely appears in variety. Someone to make audience curious.

I hope RM gets better though.

gary 2 years ago

No gary is too good for Ji Hyo. So what if we are Monday couple shipper, we ship Monday couple because of gary!

Tejaome 2 years ago


what u said is ture as there are some who say JiHyo is the women who always have advantage!!! I agree in some episodes but overall JiHyo did better than some other boys in running man. she has more confidence that jaesuk! Funny hiw people scould jihyo in the first few ep saying she to coldblooded and competitive. but now they hate her. Because she is treated more like more a women.

Somebody 2 years ago

Sorry I realise i got some typo errors when I read through my comments!

Somebody 2 years ago

I agree with you for some parts. However I think that it is actually because of the fans. There is a large fan base of running man in all countries (which is a good thing). But these fans are all different. As in some enjoy running man till now some don't. Some think running man is basis to Jihyo for being a women some think it's not true . Some wants kim jong kook to be as strong as before despite knowing he got injury. It is ture that the locals are being harsh on there views however they are also right by saying that of running man cannot increase their local ratings they will soon come to an end, despite their overwhelming fans at international.

If you took the time too think. Running man cannot satisfy all of the fans as everyone has different opinions. If they invite famous stars or actor. Some as there will be less screen time for cast while some say it will boost their ratings. Even though I am not a Monday couple fan as I agree with Monday couple being forced. There are lots of Monday couple fan out there to the point that ask Gary and Ji Hyo to get married!. Some says they prefer name tags ripping to be back but won't you (fans) get bored if name tag ripping is on the whole 200+ episode? Even if you say you will not get bored as it is trilling but you have already started to get bored of running man! That's why you made this blog/website/comments. Just by saying your point of view on any topic on running man there will be some who agree and some disagree. So if the PD change anything, there will for sure be some who complain.

This is why the fans are crucial. With many different opinions, why don't just continue to watch running man? It will future developed itself as they also know what they are lacking. Just continue to support and enjoy running man and it casts. There are bound to have some good ep and some bad ep. Just like life there are up and down. Nobody life is perfect! Same goes to running man!

(I probably sounds like an annoying wise old man for some of you! Hehe)

vkeykim17 2 years ago

I loves all of them.

Keep it up RUNNINGMAN.

I've watch all the episodes and will always watch n wait for the new episodes.

No matter what they say, i'll always support all of you. Loves LKS the most. But still loves all of them. And I still likes to see Monday Couple. Just let them always be.. Hohh??


kpopers20 2 years ago

Most of idols and celebrities in Korea will protect their image in a show, so i suggest try to find one female idol who has some variety show skill without afraid about their image like narsha BEG maybe. I still remember that in SBS's Heroes all members were very funny even without destroying their image.

noiha 2 years ago

oh variety shows like RM and IC are only popular among kids and teens due to their natures. IU perfectly describe this situation in IC's 2011 end of year settlement (ep. 230). that the end of the day this is not for whole family to enjoy, and the youngsters tend to watch this later on the web, hence the lower rating. while RM and IC both have their share in high rating, they'll probably never be able to reach 1N2D or FO rating at their peak, but they have much stronger fanbase due to the nature of the show. even RM PD himself said that the rating isn't what RM pursue, because that's not the only measure of popularity. RM popularity between youngsters, and ofc you can't left out international fan, is still top notch (which can't be measured by rating alone), and it will still attracts PPLs (production placement). and while many of RM fans complain about the guests, having guests add extra incomes for movie/drama/album PRs. yes many times it's overdone to the point of embarrassing , but RM still delivers good and "raw"episodes once in a while. at the very least, i should be grateful, because if they keep on the show aspect without thinking business-wise, we might lose this precious show.

to sum it up, while i agree RM can be utterly boring and they should do something to attract new viewers aside from keeping the fanbase, rating isn't everything. PDs know this themselves. RM steadily remains between 10%-15% now, for a show in its 200th episode, it's quiet an achievement.

poli13 2 years ago

Rm lately is more competitive rather than funny as it used to be. especially the time capsule ep is boring for me. the suspense is not there anymore. SJH is good female entertainer but her presence also restrain male cast especially in nametag ripping. actor n actress like lee min ho can boost the rating but they have an image to protect. so its logic that singers especially idol appear a lot on the show. and honestly i prefer funny guest like lee joon n simon d than ace type guest as they make me laugh

charz17 2 years ago

I agree with your take on this one. I've been a fan of RM since day 1, and although I have grown to love the characters, there were times where the episodes just fell flat. RM crew does need to rethink the strategy, rework the system, and go back to how they first began. I do miss the RM episodes where they were asked to beat certain challenges as a team. That indeed showed RM cast as a family and not much of that has been shown in light in the past episodes; it has always been about competition.

These days, I do get a kick out of shows that show more depth. For example, 1N2D--its not the hype kind of show you would expect, but the concept is just purely stripped down to the cast themselves; not just the characters they play. That's what makes the audience fall for a show. That's what made me fall for RM in the first place.

IN fact, these days, when I watch RM episodes; I do some research first--I only watch RM shows that do not have guests in them. Not that I have something against having guests; it's just that I miss the RM cast that I came to love. :(

aisyah 2 years ago

I agree. I am a big fan of running man and I admit Runningman isn't the same as it used to be. I watch runningman for one sole purpose, to laugh. Idont care the hell about the monday couple and stuff. But watching the recent episodes (192,193,194,195), i didn't laugh as much. I think one of the possible reasons is because the members don't stand out. On ep195, for example, only kjk stands out and it wassnt really fun to watch, because we already knew his strength and capability. If haha and kwangsoo, as the underdogs stand out somehow then perhaps we wouldve seen a better outcome. Well anyway, i am still looking forward to the next episodes.. with hope that it'll be funnier.

na cliques 2 years ago

I spent two hours reading all your comments here. It's true Running man had losing its vibes. However, we, as the fan, should never have our back against them by not supporting their efforts to elevate the show's rating. We all are the RUNNINGMAN!! LET'S SUPPORT RUNNINGMAN TILL 4EVA!!!

Arven Narve 2 years ago

try to watch Infinite Challenge,1n2d and earlier episodes of RM (1-100) i bet you'll gonna realize almost immediately of what's wrong with RM and it's Production Team now. it's sad they got the best team of 7 (even better than IC's 7 team IMHO ) but got stagnant and couldn't release their maximum potential.

canadian gal 2 years ago

This was very a very insightful post and I love the interactions with the readers. Thanks to the internet I am now a big RM andspendd most of my free time catching up. I was wondering if anyone knew about their international rating and does that effect how long a show will run? I agree that the show is becoming. A little predictble, but all the characters make the show. Fun to watch. I think they need to add someone new to the mix. Great post! Will be watching!!!!

Miaa 2 years ago

I love running man and their cast. Their chemistry is what make their show great and probably what's going on are their games , the y are pretty much the same in many episodes, so they have to reinvent new ones, games that we haven't seen before and keeping tags eliminations as a finale

Hai 2 years ago

I don't like spy games. I think it's unbalanced when it comes to the team that doesn't know the spy. It's too easy for the spy, from what I think. I like a normal game better.

Anyway,running man is still very good, I've been watching all of episodes up till now

Running Girls 2 years ago

about replacing LGS and SJH, i don't think it's a good idea.. SJH is the only female cast in RM and that's what made this show unique, don't you think so? Jihyo works hard to get the title of Ace, she's smart also.. MC? Although it's a fake love line, I love to watch how KG show his romantic plus funny side to us, I don't care, I love them. I like it when RM cast works together to fight other teams like RM vs The Laws of the jungle.. we can see the know-how ripping name tag by the RM cast. For me, Running Man is the best! Fighting!!

ellieverde 2 years ago feels like i share my thoughts with PDnim..if it's true the PD or the creative read these posts, then i would love it to see an episode where each member and a guest (or without guest) training a citizen to perform together with them, singing, dancing, etc...and have a panel of judge to decide which is the best..just suggesting.

Jinra 2 years ago

Running man is just the best . I like all the members ,especially Kang Gary. I've watched RM since the first episode and I still like it . Running Man Fighting !!

Anna 2 years ago

I like other shows all of them, but when it's a competition for best show, it has to be Running Man. Running man #1

Chris 2 years ago

This show just isn't funny anymore. Its focusing more on "challenge" instead of the "humor". Every week, its becoming more and more like Amazing race.

Infinity Challenge has been around for more than 7 years but it doesn't plateau even though the characters have reached their potential. All IC cast are experienced comedians with wit and unpredictability. Running man cast are too predictable with their overused personas. I find YJS and HaHa a lot funnier on IC than on running man.

runner 2 years ago

great episode, the popularity name tags ripping but i could feel the thrill..i actually wanted Haha to rank first:)..i think running man gets more interesting,.currently finished watching drama Who are you, and maybe it's great to invite the 3 actors: Taecyeon, So Yi Hyun and Kim Jae wook to Running Man

Skye 2 years ago

i'm a KJK fan and i used to love the way he kicks ass in the show but in the recent episodes it feels like he is trying to maintain his gentleman image and always holds back as compared to the beginning episodes. i want the old KJK back! SPARTA T.T

farramajid 2 years ago

I can't imagine watching running man without song ji hyo..because she is the reason im watching running man...there is a big NO to replace her with someone else..she is the running man's precious!

RNLover 2 years ago

I love Running Man. It is the only Korean show that I watch. I can't wait until Monday to watch it. It'd be nice if they could rate it through the Internet because I need the English subtitle and I have to wait until someone subs it in order for me to understand what casts are saying.

ruman 2 years ago

i love mongji..

ellieverde 2 years ago

great! RM really invited EXO,tho they didn't make it one eps long..i'm still very thankful^^and the latest Ryumes Bond, tho not so exciting as Yoomes Bond, still thanks..i love suzy miss A so much,so i enjoyed every eps she was in.. can't RM invite other members of Miss A too?

i want to say that RM crews have worked hard during these 3 years..finding new, ideas aren't easy. best luck for RM.

aicilivex 2 years ago

well, maybe their rating are falling because most people now watches it on the internet.. but idk also, because i watched runningman since the 1st episode and still loving it so far :)

amethyst 2 years ago

RM, please invite Kang Ji hwan, i think he'll be funny in the show. i also want to see Lee Soohyuk.

Bn1500 3 years ago

As someone who doesn't watch a lot of Korean television, I have absolutely nothing go complain about when it comes to Running Man, as even the "bad" episodes are better than the majority of American television. Running Man is much more creative and entertaining show than most American shows, so I'm just happy that Running Man exists. Every episode has left me satisfied.

wan 3 years ago

I love RM.. B4 this I wonder will RM drop. Seem like imposible bcz the show is too great. But we all know that we can never be at top. Mb now is the time RM come to the end.

ellieverde 3 years ago

I personally wish RM would invite Kim Jae wook, JYJ, kim Namgil,Joo Jihoon,Song Hyekyo,Gil Leessang, Song Seunghun,Lee Joonki, Shin Mina,Seo woo,Yeon Woojin,...i think top stars like Won Bin or hot idols like EXO,Boyfriend,Miss A (with all 4members),Crayonpop will also be interesting..and the one that will sure make the rating go up again: YOON EUNHYE..or PD may consider an episode which features RM casts with their family members.haha teams up with byul will be interesting to watch..and please can Lee Kwangsoo show up him being capable more often like when he teamed up wit Gong Hyojin? i'm getting bored seeing LKS stumble here and there,i mean it's really funny seeing him clumsy but there are times when i watched him and i wanted to hit the screen coz i felt he couldve done much better(coz i wanted him to win so bad..~sigh).i agree RM should consider to add a new cast.john park? hehehe,he is really entertaining. MC is okay tho it's fake.i love both SJH&KG.

another eps of Yoomes Bond is OK.but how about this time give another cast chance. Haimes Bond,Gaemes Bond,Jimes Bond. i've seen LKS becomes Lee Kwangja in the latest eps, what about Kim Jongja? hehe,then Yoon Eunhye is the surprise guest.ahhhh..i'm rambling too much~_~

puspaindahk 3 years ago

i love this post.

i know you guys are RM's biggest fans and don't wanna the show to end, me too!

so this is what comes to my mind, why don't someone try to reach the production team? it would be great if they can hear our opinion and read this post.

i know the show need some changes and everything like what you're saying but what's the point if they don't know what should be change?

yes i know the PDs knows exactly what situation is RM facing now, therefore, fans and viewers are the most important thing that can support the show now. so the PDs need to hear fans opinions and they need to see from fans viewpoint too.

i love RM so much and just don't wanna this year become the last year of the show..

Running Man Fighting...........!!

Jakarta indonesia 3 years ago

I started watching RM when it was alrdy episode 120plus and it really captures my attention so i start looking for the collection from episode 1 to now the latest one ep 165..

Some episodes might not be as interesting as others but as their fans i never miss a single episode but it wont help their rating because i'm watching through a stream website.. (Which really help for international fans like me). But going through this article n all the comments, i would say there is so much love for this show esp coming from overseas.

As for some suggestion to change the cast member, i think it will help the show any good bcoz i personally wont watch the show without them. Games, guests might change but the members are very important for the fans.

One of the thing that i could think of how to increase the rating is to keep the competition concept but make it to something more "citizen approach" such as the ep 165 is one of the good example. Or they can also do some games for charity or useful purposes like winning the game for the poor or disable people, games to create people awareness in environment or anything similar (as people will cheer not only for the members but also support the show to keep running). There are a lot of things that can be improved but always KEEP THE SHOW TO ITS CORE such the members, competition and games concept (it might not need a very competitive one always but something more friendly competition might be good as well).

Also, RM does a lot of good thing for Korea not only in the entertainment business but also tourism since i start to know more artists and went there for holiday. Having the idea to close the show will result to losing people like my profile...

I hope the show keeps rolling and get better....

Jenny 3 years ago

I feel some people may not understand the importance of ratings to a variety show like Running Man. They may sell overseas rights and have fan meetings in many countries, but these do not help in the local ad revenue, which is fuelled by ratings, that the TV station is getting and in turn, determines the survival of a show.

I do not agree with the changing of cast as each member is integral to the team and will definitely create a drift with the fans. Family Outing was no longer the same when some left, and many fans never really took to the newer members.

One of the problems now would be that there is too much focus on the guests and it means the RM members have to adjust their own roles accordingly to take care of the guests, unless you have well-honed variety types. This turns off some fans and creates squabbles. This is why many fans have been calling for more episodes of just RM with no guests.

Also there are less outstanding concepts these days. The Superpowers was a classic, so is the water gun. A recent good one will be the episode where Suzy and SJH were revealed to be 'supernaturals' at the end. The occasional spy element will help too in introducing unpredictability.

iamryx 3 years ago

Nice blog. I didn't know about RM's ratings in korea since I am from the Philippines and the only way I watch this is through the Internet. But yeah, I should say there are episodes that are getting boring,like blah. I still love the show though,uhm,maybe because of Kim Jong Kook. I tagged PD Myuk in twitter with a link to this blog though, I hope he reads it. Keke. Maybe they will have some ideas for the show.

passerby 3 years ago

invite A list Celebs to the show. Lee young ae, kim tae hee, bae yong joon, won bin, so ji sub. Rating will soar like crazy.

icekid 3 years ago

Running Man may have dropped in rating, but im pretty sure they still enormous number of international fans. Especially in asia.

Lyra_Verse 3 years ago

Wooww...I disagree with you about Song Ji Hyo! I find her VERY entertaining.

Yin 3 years ago

Yeah. I agree with the points. They should try to change the roles of each member. I really love their characters now. But since it has been the same for a lot of episodes, I'm really bored. It's always LKS that betrays or KJK be the strongest. I miss HaHa being playboy or JSJ being the smartest. I miss KJK and the Two Kids.

Not only that, it seems like they never play games that require working together such as ep 27 (the best example for that) anymore. They just compete with each other. It is boring to see them competing with each other every episode.

And by the way, I'm super sick with female guests that can only be, well, females (SJH is exception). I miss the lineups such as ep 104(Olympic) and 138 (Gentleman's Dignity - Kim Soo-Ro is the best!).

We need another Yoomes Bond or Best of The Best episode.

I don't care about kpop or kdarama at all. Running Man is the only Korean thing that I care about. So please, PDs. Discuss the problems and fix them. I don't want RM to be ended. It is, literally, the best variety show I've ever watched!!

from PH 3 years ago

It's so sad to see that the ratings of RM is dropping. Now, I'm curious if the PD is aware of this. but, i think they all aware. As I watched EP 153, where KJK said that RM is in their tough time now. In my opinion, what they need now is more good guest. like hallyu stars. why not try to guest Lee min ho. hehehe. right timing that he has now a new drama. or guest any actors and actress. because i think they have guest too many KPOP idols. anyway, i just hope that RM staffs are doing something. i hope they will not let us become sad and let RM ends just like that because of the low ratings. actually i'm too much scared to know if RM will end. like NNNOOOOOO!!!!! please..

Momon 3 years ago

I love this article. it's so true, fact.

RM is way too predictable now, so scripted. like "the guest have to win" "lks always disturbs kjk" "haha teum up to elimate kjk" i love to see Kjk in old times, when he is scary, everyone is scared of them, now it's kinda sad too watch.

and one thing, i love the review and comment about fake loveline, it's not even funny anymore, it's pathetic. First time it's sweet and all, but now i'm wanna vomit every time i see fake MC loveline, so i skip it. I see it's not just me who feels that.

5. FAKE LOVE LINE that is not funny, sweet and cute to watch anymore, it was back then, but not anymore, it's forced and ridiculous to watch now. (the boat has set sail already, and won't go back anymore) Don't force a Love-Line, it's too obvious if it is, and it would make it less "enjoyable". -BEST COMMENT-

xypherfarrell profile image

xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

Running Man's rating dropped to single digit this week. Here's to hoping for a double digit next week.

doucheeebagg 3 years ago

Lee Kwang Soo and Song Ji Hyo the best!!

all I know is Running Man will not feel the same without them..

NooNa-Dongsaeng, Ace Ji Hyo, Bad Ji Hyo, Song Ji Yok, Miss Mong, Mong Ji, Monday Girlfriend...Timid Kwang Soo, Framer Kwang-soo , Kwang-vatar, Giraffe (기린), Icon of Betrayal (배신의 아이콘)

and Prince of Asia... Running Man will feel empty without those roles that they represent and does so well.. just my 2 cents..

hahahaha 3 years ago

no worry, Running Man still has many fans in other world especially Asia.. They had highest fans in asia like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China, and Malaysia. And the rating in that coutry is pretty high..

Annyeong 3 years ago


Haha!! You're funny :))

Why did you think xnoralisj is a Russian? Even though RM is not my first variety (I watched FO, SH, HT , etc.) I don't think what their saying is completely wrong. You maybe right about them not being able to write articles like the author but what they're doing is responding to it. This article will be useless if no one respond to it.

Also you're so mean saying that watching frozen flower will just let you make "not spectacular " comments. Why? Just SJH had some nude scenes? I'm pretty sure lots of actress had some nude scenes too (son yejin, choi ji woo , Kim tae hee etc.)

Passerby 3 years ago

Great articles. None of these posters have seen enough of variety shows. RM might be their first variety show ever.


Are you russian?You've probably watched Frozen Flower a couple of times,that makes you less likely would throw out some spectacular comments . All i got from you is you're incapable of writing an insight like the author does.

Moosecade33 3 years ago

@xnoralisj haha , kinda mean but I also agree with you a little bit. How SJH interact with others is part of the show . I'm pretty sure that she's really close not only with RM members but also with the guests. Besides that's what make the show fun (bad ji hyo, bully ji hyo) . And IF there will be any member change I bet the rating will drop even more because each member have their own fandoms so if a member disappear it will cause a huge difference and might cause to end the show.

xnolarisj 3 years ago

all I got from this dumb rant is you're a jihyo hater

nothing you said makes any sense

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

@Mooscade33 i have no problems with her being on the show but IF there is cast revamp, making an all male cast might do the trick.

i love the show, i don' t like it all that much right now but i love the show. I don't give up easily on the ones i love ;-)

and just because i expressed my displeasure on the show doesn't mean i would want to stop watching it. i express my displeasure on our President, i have changed my nationality yet.

Moosecade33 3 years ago

Uhmm.... Like many other people said , I don't think the problem is on the members and games. I agree with ????? . It feels like you have some issue with SJH being a member in RM. you're, she's not funny sometimes but that's because they don't give her chance to show her cute and hilarious side because they focus too much on guests who are not even funny. And I don't think she won many games because RM gave her advantages because she's a girl. She's the ace, she worked hard for it with her own strength and she deserves it . Another thing, what do you mean by her relationship with others , FYI RM members were all close with SJH behind the screen .

But I agree with you that they should bring funny games back or maybe come up with something new that will interest the viewers.

BFF also contribute to this ( why did SBS make this kind of show seriously. I like the cast but the plot/format is honestly......)

And if you think that RM is getting less interesting then stop watching it or wait till it gets more cool and awesome like it used to be.

BTW don't think I'm hatin I respect your opinion there are some stuff that I agree with and there are some that I think is wrong. Anyway GJ.

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author


i also wish they could read this LOL

astridw 3 years ago

great article :) they do need some rechaneling of each others relationship and their teamwork, like what's the ONE CHANCE segment. :) Maybe it's a known fact that they do have good relationship for real , even the fans always noticed their little interaction (esp. SJH's relationship with other members other than Gary). To reinforce that little interaction to a real deal for the mission/competition would be a great idea.

by any chance , is there a way so some of RM PDs could stumble into this article? :D any RM fans website ?

Shirley 3 years ago

Too much focus on the guests.

Rara 3 years ago

I didn't think there is any problems with the casts, I think the main problem is THE GUESTS.

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

@Gee 153 was still fun for me but not as fun as the first time Park Ji Sung guested in the show. let's hope for a better ep 154

roszario 3 years ago

My opinion is all games should be less scripted even though the guests might not be happy of their losing to RM members..that is the purpose of a game right? We cannot predict who will be the winner and it is more interesting to watch..and also bring back the hide and seek gam. Miss that so much..please PD!

Gee 3 years ago

Ep153 (somehow) didn't fail my expectations. The final stage was the one I was looking for--strategy and action. I think the teams were balanced, that's why I can't predict the final winner. I watched it in RAW, even though I dind't understand a thing (because I was so excited about Sulli and Park Ji Sung, expecting the "debt" KJK owes SULLI to be paid here [ep129] ). Another repeated game: ALARM TALK. Anyway, 8/10 for ep153, but expecting a lot more on ep154.

PS. I was expecting SJK in the dream cup match. But he was not there. :/ [ep97:DCM1, KG, KJK, SJK on field]

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author


your comment was marked a spam by the system because of the nickname you put... i will repost it.

Here is a comment from ??????

it's really amazing how you left out Kwang Soo in every discussion in your thread, so Lee Kwang Soo is the Odd-Man-Out?

anyway, this show wouldn't even be this popular or will not survive without even just 1 of the 7 pillar members..

6 males yet you only name 5..

if you really want to write something like a "RELIABLE" and "INFORMATIVE" blog, or whatever your trying to pull-out, then you should have thrown-out your feelings, like your Bias and the one you hate, out of the window. a Blog that is FAIR at least to make it useful to read..coz if you can't, it will only make this blog pathetic, useless and unreliable which it already is..

I'm still glad that I didn't finish reading it all, it was really boring and just a hearsay from a fan/s that just want to blame someone ..

all this blog does is Blame someone for the downfall of the show.

like replacing a member/s who helped bring the show to its peak, is ridiculous ..

comment section is even more ridiculous..(replacing Ji Hyo and Kwang Soo would not make this show better rather it would make it worse than it already is) those 7 members were all in this together through thick and thin, from low ratings to HIGH.. they already experience low ratings before with the same members in 2010 and 2011, yet they still get their ratings back as high as 20% and even more..

what should have been said here, is--- "give them a chance", they would and surely will get it back to the top..


did you forget that they only got single-digit rating when they first started the show? I guess you all don't know about it, well based on how you people react..


1. what's the downfall of XMAN and Family Outing 1?? yep, a member left the show..


-and now you want a member/s on RM to leave.. cruel? cruel is not even the right word.. it's an understatement..

I like/love all 7 members of RM, and it's really idiotic to even contemplate on wanting a member/s to leave..

the real problem/s are (now this is how to do it, without Bias)

1. Worthless GUESTS - they need to invite guest that are interesting to watch and can magnet people to watch the episode (not usually a new guest, guest like YongHwa, Nickhun, Capt.Park Ji Sung, Han Hyo Joo etc. guests that were/are great and funny to watch).

2. CONCEPT or theme.

3. Repeating/Boring GAMES - it's time to bring back the Hide & Seek Game that was a hit in the past. more nametag ripping but with less Manipulation from the PD's.

4. SCRIPTED/MANIPULATED Endings. (at least don't make it obvious)

5. FAKE LOVE LINE that is not funny, sweet and cute to watch anymore, it was back then, but not anymore, it's forced and ridiculous to watch now. (the boat has set sail already, and won't go back anymore) Don't force a Love-Line, it's too obvious if it is, and it would make it less "enjoyable".

6. A Spoiler Kind of PREVIEW - the preview should be put in an interesting way but not too much spoiler(it would just make it more less interesting like they did this past few episodes).

7. COMPETITION, there is nothing we can do about it, it happens.. the only thing that would make it afloat and won't get capsized against their tenacious, solid and stiff competition, is to stay away from my choice of 6 problems of Running Man..

practically that's what Variety Show is all about in Any Country..

?????? 3 years ago

it's really amazing how you left out Kwang Soo in every discussion in your thread, so Lee Kwang Soo is the Odd-Man-Out?

anyway, this show wouldn't even be this popular or will not survive without even just 1 of the 7 pillar members..

6 males yet you only name 5..

if you really want to write something like a "RELIABLE" and "INFORMATIVE" blog, or whatever your trying to pull-out, then you should have thrown-out your feelings, like your Bias and the one you hate, out of the window. a Blog that is FAIR at least to make it useful to read..coz if you can't, it will only make this blog pathetic, useless and unreliable which it already is..

I'm still glad that I didn't finish reading it all, it was really boring and just a hearsay from a fan/s that just want to blame someone ..

all this blog does is Blame someone for the downfall of the show.

like replacing a member/s who helped bring the show to its peak, is ridiculous ..

comment section is even more ridiculous..(replacing Ji Hyo and Kwang Soo would not make this show better rather it would make it worse than it already is) those 7 members were all in this together through thick and thin, from low ratings to HIGH.. they already experience low ratings before with the same members in 2010 and 2011, yet they still get their ratings back as high as 20% and even more..

what should have been said here, is--- "give them a chance", they would and surely will get it back to the top..


did you forget that they only got single-digit rating when they first started the show? I guess you all don't know about it, well based on how you people react..


1. what's the downfall of XMAN and Family Outing 1?? yep, a member left the show..


-and now you want a member/s on RM to leave.. cruel? cruel is not even the right word.. it's an understatement..

I like/love all 7 members of RM, and it's really idiotic to even contemplate on wanting a member/s to leave..

the real problem/s are (now this is how to do it, without Bias)

1. Worthless GUESTS - they need to invite guest that are interesting to watch and can magnet people to watch the episode (not usually a new guest, guest like YongHwa, Nickhun, Capt.Park Ji Sung, Han Hyo Joo etc. guests that were/are great and funny to watch).

2. CONCEPT or theme.

3. Repeating/Boring GAMES - it's time to bring back the Hide & Seek Game that was a hit in the past. more nametag ripping but with less Manipulation from the PD's.

4. SCRIPTED/MANIPULATED Endings. (at least don't make it obvious)

5. FAKE LOVE LINE that is not funny, sweet and cute to watch anymore, it was back then, but not anymore, it's forced and ridiculous to watch now. (the boat has set sail already, and won't go back anymore) Don't force a Love-Line, it's too obvious if it is, and it would make it less "enjoyable".

6. A Spoiler Kind of PREVIEW - the preview should be put in an interesting way but not too much spoiler(it would just make it more less interesting like they did this past few episodes).

7. COMPETITION, there is nothing we can do about it, it happens.. the only thing that would make it afloat and won't get capsized against their tenacious, solid and stiff competition, is to stay away from my choice of 6 problems of Running Man..

practically that's what Variety Show is all about in Any Country..

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

@Gee it was okay for me... things were a little predictable (Jongkook will win wrestling, guys will let jihyo win, jihyo will utilize her advantage as a female, haha was nowhere to be found, gwangsoo will play a prank on kjk) and the wrestling match was repetitive...

but the banter and jokes were fun

Gee 3 years ago

Sadly, I find the recent episodes not that interesting as before. "More talk, less action" format. I think the last good episode I've seen is 147.

All my concerns have been raised already. I just hope that the PDs should do something. I don't know. I think it almost became a one-episode AMAZING RACE show with stations/challenges and such--very different from the first episodes on RM.

Kim 3 years ago

IMO, ep. 150, maybe they're purposely hitting each other, so Choo Sung Hoon can fight againts Jung Du Hong. It seems PD or writer make them suspicious about each other and give Jong Kook limitation (stupid power). Again as a girl, Jihyo got the best kind of ability compared to others.

aaaacccccceeeeeuuuuu 3 years ago

About 150, while i agree that the guest were too strong and the outcome became too predictable, i think they might've risked that episode to eventually show/teach them that they do have to work together at times, especially if the guests are too strong. That episode, the members were too self-centered trying to win by themselves which caused them to lose, but at the end it showed that all but sjh got failing marks. so i guess its like a build up episode for a future avenger episode. Also the paintball game could've succeeded but I think that if they intend to use it, they should use it for those Olympic style games where they are facing off against idol teams, since lets face it, paintball if way more fun to watch if there are more people moving around a bigger field.

The previous 2 did fail to meet expectation but only cuz they have some terrible mixture. The food race was pretty lackluster because the every last mission was stacking dominos, which could've just been placed earlier in the episode and have done something with a bigger punch for the last mission. For the gumiho episode, they just invited guests that the cast that would just limit their characters, that is not to say they aren't good guests it just that all of them shouldn't have been invited all at once. The cast always becomes cautious of their actions when a female guest like an idol appear, and they are just as if not more cautious of their great seniors. That episode had both so it looked like they were somewhat struggling, though I'm glad LKS made it a bit funny.

I like the current cast members though, and hopefully none of them will have to leave, because that will be a huge hole that will need to be filled. Also while Barefoot Friends has a pretty bad rating, I don't think it should effect Running Man as much since it shows after Barefoot, so Running Man just has to make their show exciting, which it has shown countless times that it is capable of doing it, and its rating won't be effected, though the same cannot be said for the SBS rating, which is the one that is being effected greatly by Barefoot

may 3 years ago

I disagree about having an all-male cast; I like the dynamics with one female member and Jihyo is pretty kick-ass compared to any other females they could bring to the show. Even if the cast was all male, they'd still bring in female guests and imo those are the ones that break the show. Like, 9/10 female guests don't do anything at all and the cast is forced to be easier on them; they don't need to do that with JH and it adds a different appeal to male fans (like in the gigantic tug-of-war episode showing JH's popularity).

However, I do feel that RM probably needs another format change. Ep 150 held so much promise but just fell flat... I love the current cast, but the format needs an upheaval and, as hard as it is to come up with fresh games after 150 episodes, that is what needs to be done the most. (And they need to screen their guests better. 150's guests were way too strong, and with the cast not cooperating with each other it just didn't work out.) Nevertheless, I still enjoy watching even the duller episodes just for the interaction of the cast.

silentsounds 3 years ago

interesting insight of what happened to the show and i agree with you 100%. things just get a little bit boring recently. The paintball games are the worst. we can't see faces, only dialogues. I hope they won't do it again. The games also become repetitive recently, like the accupressure game and dodgeball. But I think, it's not the game that make the show interesting, it's the characters. Their characters are so pure and honest on screen, and lately they seems so directed.

marichel307 3 years ago

I agree! As a fan, I am worried of the low ratings of the show. I don't want RM to disappear.

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author


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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

i haven't seen Appa Eodiga. i am watching 1n2d season 1... that's next on my list

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

thank you for dropping by

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

@existence i saw this, it's a list of episode wishlist of running man of a fan. there is one there that caught my attention, a LOST episode, inspired by the TV series.

i think that episode will revive their "bond" as a family and put them back in that frame of mind that they are family first before competitors.

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author


i think Real Men will hold on to number 1 for a while. let's just see how long they could hold on. i think it's novelty, it's a new concept but unless there's some family and friendship dynamics there, people will not develop emotional connection to the show

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

@Got, i'm glad you like it. However, I like the current line-up.

BUT if i am FORCED to choose and change the line up... This might be cruel too but I think they need to make an all male cast. maybe because i'm such a fan of IC and 1N2D season 1 that i see the difference in the dynamics with a female around. their current line up worked for more than 2 years but i think the factor of having to always think about social decorum is starting to take its toll. then, we all know that the management company of SJH did complain about "not being appreciated" when RM started treating SJH as one of the boys.

i think if there is a line up change, SJH goes and get someone like EJW or Yong Hwa.

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xypherfarrell 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA Author

@wan... a lead-in program does affect a rating of a show. you are right that BFF might be affecting RM. they brought in Eun Ji Won. This might be an effort to try to make the Papa Bear and Baby Bear team that worked in the 1N2D season 1. however, EJW said he is there only as a guest. maybe EJW also wants to see if he can affect the show positively.

existence 3 years ago

If they can only include the ratings outside the walls of Korea. Then, those shows mentioned above will have no match on ratings both national and beyond the waters of Korea. Running Man is a respected variety show in korea but you know what's more far interesting? Individual(s) sub it to their own dialect because of monetary reasons and of course the fun that it brings to all the international audience. I've been watching running man since it was subbed (English) from episode 1 up to present and I admit some episodes just won't bring me that much laughter compared to other episodes specials but i admit, it's just the secondary reason why i watch them. I watch them because of their bond and their family-like attitude that you won't even see everyday!

applejuiceman 3 years ago

Here could be few reasons for the rating drop:

- Real man

- Less interesting guests

- In same lineup with Barefoot friends (btw, such a bad name for a show)

- Episodes should start more interestingly (It's surprising how often the first game is the longest and most boring one causing viewers switch the channel, like the paint ball in 150)

- Game's should involve more talking and interaction from members

- Lately there has been relatively bad episodes (148, 149, 150) and only one really good episode (147)

- Too much car drive scenes, it breaks the atmosphere

- I really like RM's humour a lot, but sometimes (emphasis on sometimes) it's little too childish, like Kwangsoo trying to revive the doll giraffe in ep 150

Got 3 years ago

I love your analysis is what i've been thinking. I think that the characters are fully developed. And even if i love all of them it feels a little sad that they have to act in the same way over and over. When it comes a new female guest they have to overreact LKS is the shy guy, now that haha is married Gary try to fill that spot but it doesn't suit him (imo). It's for this reason that when Gary last years was in talking to live i was kind of excited. I love Gary, but i was thinking wow who could be the new member? Even if i'm glad that Gary stayed i would like some changes. I think that this worked for 1n2d. It's time to fill Song jong ki spot or replace LSJ (i know it's cruel but the show needs fresh air). Plus this year They have to 'fight' dad where are we going (i like that show but after a few episode i think that become already a little boring...) and being with Barefoot friends doesn't help.

I don't think that they have to slow down with the competition, I like the format because it's different from others shows like IC, 1n2d, where there isn't competition.

I know this is cruel but i think that they need a new start with some new faces ( and I said that even if a could cry if LKS leave cause he is my favourite, but i love too much the show, and i don't want to watch it dying slowly). So thank you for this post! (Ps. Sorry for my english)

wan 3 years ago

i think barefoot friend cause this rating drop...same as 1n2d because of mama mia......running man, 1n2d, dad where we going need a great show as a of the reason dad where we going rating rise because of real man..i hope sbs should consider law of the junggle as one of a good sunday segment....

sandra 3 years ago

even though i enjoy other VS ..RM come first

dins 3 years ago

as much as I like Appa Eodiga, Running man always be my #1

fff 3 years ago

I have been waiting to hear from someone say what's happening to the show.

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