It's a challenging time for programming. Following Song Joong-ki and Lee Bo-young, now it's Lee Do-hyun, the dramas aired at the same time as the variety shows featuring Lee Hyori continue to hit jackpot. Among the hit series, Kim Tae-ho PD's new variety show "Dancing Queens on the Road" is struggling to deliver the expected results.

"Dancing Queens on the Road," which premiered on May 25, is a variety show that captures a national tour concert story where Kim Wan-sun, Uhm Jung-hwa, Lee Hyori, BoA, and Hwasa meet fans face-to-face around the country. The idea for the project originated from Lee Hyori while filming "Seoul Check-in" on Tving, which brought together solo female artists representing the generations from the 1980s to the 2020s and sparked a sensational response.

The unveiled "Dancing Queens on the Road" delivered laughter through the witty remarks and professional performances of the five female singers, whose combined debut years total 129. Lee Hyori addressed the retirement rumors saying, "People just talk about retiring. I even joined a company for this program." The youngest, Hwasa, showed a bold appearance even at the sudden guerrilla concert, saying, "I like this more, impromptu."

The program made viewers tear up with BoA reproducing her "No.1" days, but the ratings fell short of expectations. "Dancing Queens on the Road," which recorded a 3.2% rating, ranked third in the same time slot, following TV Chosun's "Mr. Lotto" and SBS's "Tale of the Nine-Tailed." However, there's hope as "Mr. Lotto" had dropped by 1.3% from the previous week.

The problem lies with the competing dramas. JTBC's drama "Bad Mom," which started with a 3.6% rating, broke through 10% after 10 episodes due to word-of-mouth. It's the biggest rival for "Dancing Singer Nomads."

While 3.2% isn't a low figure, considering the show features the top female singers of the era, including Lee Hyori, and that it's Kim Tae-ho PD's music project, it's a bit disappointing.

Moreover, the fact that Kim Tae-ho PD and Lee Hyori's previous work, tvN's "Canada Check-in," suffered a humiliating 1% viewer rating due to a drama airing in the same time slot, makes the defeat even bitterer. The competitive drama was "The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate," which was approaching a 20% viewer rating from the first episode and recorded a 1.6% viewer rating against "Canada Check-in." In the third episode, it jumped to 2.1%, but fell back to 1% after facing "The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate" led by Song Joong-ki and then "The Proxy Agency" led by Lee Bo-young.

The value of a program can't be evaluated by viewer ratings alone. "Canada Check-in" also delivered a meaning beyond the viewer ratings by capturing Lee Hyori's sincerity and tears in dealing with dogs. Since it wasn't made in hopes of a hit from planning, it wasn't hit hard by low viewer ratings.

However, "Dancing Queens on the Road" is a show Kim Tae-ho PD and the cast made with determination, so they're more sensitive to its performance. There is hope as it ranks second after "Bad Mom" on the OTT Tving content rankings. "Bad Mom" only has four episodes left. The end of "Bad Mom" might give "Dancing Singer Nomads" a chance to rise.