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S. Korea serious on sitcoms.

SEOUL Hollywood sitcom writers yammer about putting out 22 episodes a season. That's nothing in South Korea, where "summer hiatus" lasts about a week and the laughs have to keep coming year-round, five days a week.

The country's top sitcom, under the roughly translated title of "Funny Women's Clinic," centers around a doctor, his wife, four adult daughters and a bumbling son-in-law.

The show, which began its run 1 1/2 years ago, airs at 9:25 p.m. weekdays on the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), drawing between 6 million and 10 million people -- nearly a quarter of South Korea's population. Still, this is not good enough to crack the top 10 of the nation's three free-to-air nets, which are dominated by dramas. Average rating/share during June was 19.5/26, according to Media Services Korea, the official rating service for Seoul broadcasters. (One rating point equals 80,000 households.)

The month's highest rated show was the finale of drama series "Tomato," which drew a juicy 49.5 rating.

Although new, sitcoms have become lucrative for South Korean television, with a show such as "Funny Women's Clinic" earning advertising revs of 72 million won per program ($60,000).

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Title Annotation:popular situation comedy and dramas on South Korean television
Author:Alford, Christopher
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Aug 2, 1999
Words:199
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