Can you imaging what could have been if a collaboration between MBC‘s most popular variety show, “Infinity Challenge,” and KBS‘s most popular “1 Night, 2 Days” actually panned out? It might have been the greatest thing to happen to Korean TV, but unfortunately, it was the very Korean TV system that kept it from happening.
“Infinity Challenge” is one of TV network MBC’s representative show, while “1 Nights, 2 Days” is KBS’s. Both have been and are incredibly popular with the Korean public, and the producers (PD) of the shows have received a lot of recognition for making it so.
“Infinity Challenge” circa 2013
Kim Tae Ho is the current PD, and has been for a while, of “Infinity Challenge.” Na Young Suk was once the PD of “1 Night, 2 Days,” during the height of its popularity. He has since left KBS and now is part of the cable network tvN (CJ E&M) where he heads other popular variety shows like “Three Meals a Day” and “Grandpas Over Flowers.” Both men are some of the most well-known and admired PDs in the industry because of what they have done with “Infinity Challenge” and “1 Night, 2 Days.”
In a interview with Na Young Suk, local news media Osen asked about a rivalry between him and Kim Tae Ho. Na Young Suk said in a typical non-answer fashion that their styles are completely different, implying it is hard to be rivals, but he also added that instead of a rivalry, they feel a kind of fellowship with each other.
“1 Night, 2 Days” circa 2008
Na Young Suk explained that he, during the days when he was the PD for “1 Night, 2 Days,” had been curious about what kind of person Kim Tae Ho was after watching “Infinity Challenge.” During that time, he had the opportunity to talk to him on the phone for the first time and during that first conversation, they talked about a collaboration between their two shows. It would be filmed together and aired as a two part series, where the first part aired on Saturday on MBC through “Infinity Challenge” and the second part would air Sunday on KBS through “1 Night, 2 Days.”
In the end it didn’t pan out, as Na Young Suk explains, because both networks said it didn’t make sense to do a collaboration with another network. Such is the division and inflexibility of the TV network system in Korea.
Na Young Suk added that despite the end result, it was very enjoyable to talk to Kim Tae Ho, whom he found to be someone who really understood him. Despite this, they had never actually met each other face to face, until about a month ago by coincidence at a restaurant.