Running Man to end next year

SEOUL • South Korean variety show Running Man will end in February next year and keep its cast of six to the last, reports said.

The fate of the six-year-old show, which is more popular overseas than it is at home, was decided after an emergency meeting yesterday, said websites such as Koreaboo and Apple Daily.

Actress Song Ji Hyo and singer Kim Jong Kook, whose shock departures were announced this week, will now stay till the end of the run.

Broadcaster SBS was quoted by Koreaboo as saying in a statement: "Running Man members and producers gathered together in Seoul today for an emergency meeting and overcame their misunderstandings and miscommunications. After deep and lengthy discussion, both sides decided to end the show at the end of February 2017."

The stars and the producers "did not want to end the show on such a sad note" and they decided not to break up the cast of six.

The decision came after SBS' reported plan to reboot the show next year. The cast lost a member last month when rapper Gary left to focus on music.

On Wednesday, after Song and Kim confirmed their departures, SBS said host Kang Ho Dong would join the show next month, reported Yonhap News Agency.

But on Thursday, Kang changed his mind, after it emerged that Song's agency had found out about her departure from the news.

The producers apologised to Song and Kim in a statement. They said "unexpected news reports about the overhaul" were published before they could communicate with the cast.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2016, with the headline 'Running Man to end next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe