Jo Byung-gyu in a still from The Uncanny Encounter. The writer of the hit Korean TV drama has left the production over creative differences.
In a surprise off-screen twist, Yeo Ji-na, the writer of The Uncanny Counter, has left the hit Korean TV show. A representative for the OCN series announced the news on Sunday. Yeo’s last script was for episode 12, which aired on January 10.
Yeo disagreed with the producers of the show over the direction its narrative was taking in the final episodes. Reports suggest that rather than a major blowout, a mutual split was decided after a long discussion between both parties.
The news was met with surprise by fans of the show, which has been a major success for OCN, becoming the first to top a 10 per cent audience rating in the cable TV channel’s history. Several viewers had previously wondered whether the show had suddenly taken a different direction once it returned from a short break after episode 8.
Series director Yoo Sun-dong stepped up to write the script for episode 13, which aired on January 16, while a new writer was found to pen the remaining three episodes in the series. Episode 14, which screened on January 17, was credited to Kim Sae-bom.
The show was Yeo’s first credit in nine years, following The Man Who Can’t Get Married on another South Korean television channel, KBS2. Replacement writer Kim was one of the scriptwriters on the youth romance film Hello Schoolgirl.
The Uncanny Counter follows a group of demon hunters who pose as noodle shop restaurateurs during the day. Based on a webtoon, Amazing Rumour by Jang Yi, it stars Jo Byung-gyu, Yu Jun-sang, Kim Se-jeong and Yeom Hye-ran.
It is not unusual for writers to depart shows that are currently on air, but this normally happens when new episodes receive poor ratings and reactions from viewers, or when productions are faced with major obstacles. It is decidedly less common for a writer to exit a show that is popular with viewers and topping its ratings record week after week.
The news may have affected the show’s ratings in South Korea, as the latest episode failed to set a new record on Sunday, and was only marginally ahead of the previous night’s instalment. Up until then, each new Sunday episode had posted a healthy gain over the episode shown a day earlier.
Meanwhile, the show continues to do well around the world, maintaining its first-place Netflix ranking in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as in South Korea.
The show is scheduled to conclude its run this coming Sunday, January 24.