Drama Casting & News
Empress wraps on cable, looks at a second season
by | December 26, 2011 | 9 Comments

E Channel’s Saturday drama Empress wrapped over the weekend, concluding its story of an upscale bar hostess out to get her revenge on the rich and powerful men who trampled over her. The show enjoyed strong ratings, ending on a high of 1.4%, and was particularly watched among twentysomething female viewers, ranking first in that demographic. Now that it’s at the end of a successful run, talk has turned to bringing it back for another season — a popular topic these days for a lot of hit cable shows.

The finale wrapped with some tears and tragedy, but also hope for the future of its characters. Empress has given E Channel a foothold in the new cable landscape, and they’re eager to see that continue. Ergo potential Season 2, according to reps at the production company, who confirmed that they’re considering the prospect favorably.

It seems like every cable show these days is being touted as a new hit, a buzz sensation, #1 in its timeslot. And while some of that is surely hype (sure it’s #1… if it’s got no drama competition at 11pm on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday night), the 1% barrier is basically the litmus test for cable. Vampire Prosecutor, TEN, and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop have raised the bar by exceeding that (Vamp broke the 4% mark at its highest), but on the converse, there are cable shows that are struggling. We just don’t tend to hear about the ones whose ratings are in the 0.25% range.

To put things in perspective, JTBC’s Saturday drama Queen Insu had at one point hit 1% and beyond, but its latest episode settled back under that line, at 0.893%. Its Wednesday-Thursday drama Fermentation Family has been straddling the 1% line, while Padam Padam is the strongest of the new bunch and broke 2% with a recent episode, but then dropped back down to 1.802% for its latest outing. MBN and Channel A have been doing less robust numbers; the recent episode of Bachelor’s Vegetable Store brought in a 0.508%, whereas Color of Woman has been hovering under 1%. The only number I can find for Vampire Idol is 0.333%. (The latter shows have been airing at an earlier hour and are in fact being moved this week, timeslot-wise, to challenge the competition.)

It’s interesting that the broadcast dramas haven’t been able to pull off the multi-season format, while cable seems to be wide-open to the possibility. Perhaps it has to do with the kinds of shows being produced by cable, or the freer narrative style that allows them to leave threads untied for the future. And while I’ve always been a fan of the Korean drama format of one show, one season, if the industry can manage to pop out decent episodic fare — like Vampire Prosecutor, which seems made for that kind of format — I’ll be much more willing to hop onboard the multi-season train.

Via Naiel News


9 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. bkshi

    i dont know if i should watch this or not, any one shed me a light about this!

    • 1.1 asianromance

      I’ve only watched up to episode 11?, but I think it is an okay watch. Maybe because I haven’t seen the japanese original, but I was a disappointed that it wasn’t so much as a delicious revenge drama (a la Revenge on the US tv channel, ABC), but more of a melodrama with a bit of revenge. It was riveting at first (the suffering and injustice that InHwa goes through in the first few episodes is really hard to bear), but I got impatient with the revenge not really coming into play until later in the series and with the lack of charisma from the male lead.

      There are only 13 episodes and the episodes feel really short, so you can finish it in a day.

    • 1.2 Locturne

      I’ve tried a few episodes then dropped it. I felt like watching a nice revenge story, but this one’s just a neverending series of clichés :/
      If only there was a nice main pairing, but the actress is a little limited imho, and the male lead… I can’t even say that his acting is the problem, because his character is so bland. Basically, his job is to look sexy and brooding, and that’s about it.

      • 1.2.1 TiaC

        I completely agree. I missed most of what happened in the first episode because I was rolling my eyes so much.

  2. cherkell

    Thanks for the news, JB — this looks quite interesting and is definitely on my list to watch when things settle down (which hopefully will be after Bachelor’s Vegetable Store is done airing).

    I’m wondering if the drama-watching public have been overwhelmed with the explosion of new cable channels in the latter half of 2011, thereby watering down the ratings accordingly. For so many years, all they received were the Big Three terrestrial channels — KBS, SBS, and MBC — providing all their needs. Now everyone and their dog (even what I would consider straight-news channels like MBN and YTN) are offering a drama every five minutes, not to mention having to pay extra won in order to even watch these channels. Ottoke…

    There’s also what I think is a relative lack of publicity for these new dramas as well, which is a cryin’ shame. If it wasn’t for a mention here on Dramabeans, I would have never heard of most of these newbies that I am banking for later watching. I particularly got annoyed at Channel A for not pushing out Word One on BVS until well after the channel launched on 1 December. The cast wasn’t even finalized until the day of the Press Conference on 14 December. The Show aired its first episode on 21 December! Someone there needs to attend Promotions 101 class big time. The only cable drama that got some serious press was OCN trumpeting “Vampire Prosecutor,” and I believe that contributed to its high (for cable) ratings. Not to mention it was truly a very good show, and then word-of-mouth helped it along as well.

    On the good side, though, the proliferation of all these new channels and shows gives a really nice selection of diverse programming to watch these days. Now all I need to do is figure out a cloning process so I can catch up on shows I started watching in 2009 and have still yet to finish… 🙂

    • 2.1 diorama

      I know how you feel. All of a sudden my head was spinning with the explosion in dramas this year, as much from cable as from the Big Three. In my opinion, though, that’s a good thing, considering that cable is willing to consider original stories and push the boundaries a little bit more. I was getting tired of the same-old same-old stories we were getting, the same chaebol romance, same historical stuff, yadda yadda. Just looking at the variety in cable shows is refreshing. I agree that cable needs to market their dramas more, because some of them really are fantastic and it’s a crying shame to miss them. If it wasn’t for Dramabeans, I wouldn’t have known about Vampire Prosecutor or Padam Padam, both of which are amazing productions.

  3. bim2

    Hooray for season 2. I’m actually love this drama. This drama quite dark for revenge and prostitution theme. I hope in season 2 they’re explore the story deeper than now.

    But for now, Vampire Prosecutor was the best to expected for season 2.

    And for flower boy ramyun shop season 2….errr….are you serious? That’s really stupid ^^ I can’t see why they considering to make another season for FBRS. Just end it in 1 season ^^

    • 3.1 blondbs

      But now I want the Pillar to star in his own show, where he roams the countryside, bringing ramyun and wisdom to all he meets! Then he can have his own romance, and bring Ba Wool and Hyun-Woo back as cohorts. Pretty please???

  4. more

    They should try bring a bit more risque instead of playing it safe mean this is cable right?

    smh -_-

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