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On January 31, KBS made an official announcement on reasons why they decided not to air the TV series City Conquest through their network.
KBS said, “We are very sorry that the production company for the series insists that our decision is an arrogation. They even said that we are feeling constraint in the new government, which is completely not true.”
“We held four meetings to review the series and whenever the series receives suspension we asked the production crew to make up for the weak points in the series.”
“However, the recent proposal that they handed in for the latest meeting is insufficiently competitive and contains a lot of violence to air through public broadcasters. That’s why we decided not to air the series,”
“We clearly stated on the letter that if the script for the series is insufficiently competitive, it is not allowed to air. Even though we made the decision through our official system, the production company is insisting that we are feeling constraint in the new government. They also used an expression on defamation of character.”
KBS added, “We are determined to sternly deal with the insist that the production company made.”
Kim Hyun Joong’s drama ‘City Conquest’ was originally scheduled for a time slot with KBS but was recently rejected for what the production company is claiming “government intervention”. In a press release, they detail all of the demands KBS made, including switching out script writers, editing the scripts, switching out parts of the cast, etc, which they all complied with out of pressure.
In the end, KBS decided to drop the drama all together after a certain switch of power in the higher ups. “KBS officials told us that the reason they could not air the drama was because despite its superior content and business potential, the depiction of violence was not the right fit for a time when the government is making a new start.”
KBS came out with their own statement saying that their claims are unfounded. “The drama features too much violence and revenge themes and makes a mockery out of the police. We thus felt that it was inappropriate for broadcast.”
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KBS and Media Back, production company of the drama City Conquest, have entered a conflict over the reason the channel will not yield a time slot to the drama. Media Back has been saying the channel isn′t yielding for political reasons, while KBS has strongly denied the claims.
Media Back said through a press release on January 31, “The executives of the KBS drama center said the reason we were not given a time slot was because, though the quality of the drama′s content and its business value is high, its violence does not fit the mood of the launch of Korea′s new government.”
City Conquest is about the lead Baek Mir′s fight against the social evils that led his family to ruin.
It added, “We listened to the opinions of the executives while we tried to reach an agreement on the issue, and replaced our screenwriters and actors, and edited our scripts despite the loss it brought to our production costs. Soon after, however, a new president was appointed to KBS and he replaced the drama center executives, after which we were told through an unofficial route, as if they were tossing us aside, that we would not be getting a time slot.”
It then touched on the issue of the drama Iron King, saying, “The issue of the drama Iron King, which sparked much debate before the Presidential elections last year, has been brought up again in the time slot discussions, showing that [the channel] is trying too hard to show its loyalty to the new government. City Conquest′s deadline to get a time slot was to last through 2013, but the sudden new decisions that were made at the first meeting with the new executives show that KBS is being tyrannical. We also wish to question whether the new executives of the drama center are qualified to work for KBS, which is supposed to be a public broadcasting system.”
Iron King had previously been pitched into a giant controversy regarding its subject matter, as it seemed the drama would glorify former President Park Chung Hee, the father of current President-elect Park Geun Hye, as its story unravelled.
Media Back then added that the drama had already signed a contract to be sold at a hefty amount to Japan, and that it was expected to draw more profit and attention from a variety of countries around the world, supporting the competitive edge the drama has.
KBS soon answered the press release with a notice of its own, posting its stance on its official webpage.
The channel said, “We have held four meetings regarding the issue of City Conquest, and looked over it with care. We have continuously asked the drama for feedback on its quality, following our decision to wait before giving it a time slot.”
It added, “After looking through the recent scenario and plot, however, we have decided that it is not very competitive, and contains too much violence as well as other issues unfit to air in a public broadcasting channel. This is why we made the decision to deny it a time slot.”
KBS then mentioned that in an initial document handed to the producers, which showed KBS intended to allot a time slot to the drama, it was specifically stated that a time slot would be denied if the script turned out to be uncompetitive. It added it would take strict measures against the claims taken up on the part of Media Back that defamed the channel.
City Conquest stars Kim Hyun Joong, and is based on a Korean manga of the same title.
Photo credit: Media Back
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After the performance..
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Kim Hyun Joong has updated his fans with a set of photos.
On January 29, Kim Hyun Joong posted his updates on his Weibo account. He posted a short message that read, “Middle of winter,” along with a set of photos. Kim Hyun Joong is wearing a series of different uniforms. One particular photo stands out where he is sporting a scuba suit and is about to dive into the water with snow in the background.
Netizens who came across the photo commented, “You look so cold, entering water in the middle of winter,” “I was wondering about your whereabouts so it’s nice to see this update,” “The weather is so cold so be careful of the cold,” and more.
Meanwhile, Kim Hyun Joong was cast as the male lead for the upcoming drama. “City Conquest,” as Baek Mir. Baek Mir is a strong young man who struggles with the loss of both parents and had a rough upbringing. But he transforms into a weak man in front of love.
Check out some of the stills from “City Conquest” that were released last year.