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
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