Drama Casting & News
Ratings report: New cable channels underperform expectations
by | February 13, 2012 | 63 Comments

Time to take another look at cable programming, now that some of the new channels have completed a drama series or two since opening for business. While there have been some notable successes outside of KBS, MBC, and SBS — Vampire Prosecutor, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, TEN — it looks like there are more that are having trouble gaining ground.

Vamp, Ramyun, and TEN have surpassed the 1% mark, even topping 2% (with Vamp hitting 4% at its highest point), but they are on fairly established cable channels like tvN and OCN. For the newly launched channels, which are referred to as general-programming stations, 1% is still the magic number. Which is why it’s disappointing that many are falling into what the media is calling the 0% zone.

AGB Nielsen monitored dramas that aired on the four general-programming cable channels (MBN, Channel A, JTBC, TV Chosun) starting on December 1 of last year, which is when MBN and Channel A opened for business. They found that of the 15 programs airing between December 1 and February 7, numbers ranged from 0.24% to 1.67%.


Vampire Idol

Cable dramas are probably not as ratings-driven than the big broadcast stations, but a cable station is still going to react to a ratings dud. JTBC, for example, hasn’t been happy with the 0.2% average rating of its terribly named morning drama When A Woman Does Her Makeup Twice (I’ve also seen the translation When A Woman Powders Twice). The show, starring Im Jung-eun (Joseon X-Files) and Danny Ahn (Runaway Plan B), was planned for 120 episodes is looking at a likely cut-down to 60 instead.

This doesn’t only apply to scripted programming; over on MBN, reality program The Duet had been planned for a 12-episode run, wherein singers and producers would team up and perform. It was cancelled after just four episodes. The show had a substantial production budget of 200 million won per episode, which its 0.4% ratings could not justify.

MBN has tried to mitigate low ratings for other shows by moving timeslots to avoid tough competition. It did that with sitcom Vampire Idol, leaving the crowded waters of 9:30 pm for the less competitive 7:30 pm. At first the move caused confusion among viewers, who are having enough trouble getting all the timeslots straight with the sudden influx of new programming. But the ratings have been steadily climbing, coming close to the 1% mark on certain days.

Furthermore, Vampire Idol has enough buzz to carry it through, aided by the trendy youth component. The stars are enjoying boosts in visibility, and the show overall has been enjoying solid popularity.


When A Woman Does Her Makeup Twice

Another timeslot shifter was Channel A, who recently wrapped its romantic-comedy drama Color of Woman. I thought the drama started out super-cute and breezy, but about halfway through it lost its zip and apparently viewer interest as well. The drama couldn’t compete with JTBC’s Padam Padam, one of the few cable successes. When Padam ended on a 1.898%, Color settled for a 0.380%, down from its 0.757% premiere.

Channel A then changed Color of Woman’s timeslot in the middle of its run from 9:20 pm to 8:50 pm, and managed to end on a 0.528% rating. It was an improvement, but Color of Woman was initially planned as a 24-episode series; instead, producers chose to end on 20.

Padam Padam, meanwhile, can look forward to export cash; rights were recently sold to Japan’s TV Asahi for 2.2 million dollars, making it the first of the general-programming shows to be licensed abroad.


Operation Proposal

TV Chosun is another new station that recently unveiled its drama series Operation Proposal. I thought last week’s first two episodes were cute and engaging and I don’t think the show’s in any danger of being cut, but it opened with lower-than-expected ratings of 0.449%. The production was undoubtedly hoping that fans would tune in for its star, Yoo Seung-ho (who is great, as is Park Eun-bin), as well as out of interest for the original Japanese drama Proposal Daisakusen upon which this drama is based.

Of the general-programming outlets, though, the Proposal premiere came in third place out of four. JTBC’s Fermentation Family has been staying quietly solid and brought in a 1.005% rating on the same day, while Channel A’s Bachelor’s Vegetable Store had a 0.504%. MBN’s daily sitcom You’re Here, You’re Here, You’re Really Here (light, silly, cute) came in fourth with a 0.287%.

Last week also saw the premiere of another TV Chosun show, the anticipated spy-action drama Hanbando (Korean Peninsula). That show got off to a great start with a 1.649% premiere, but Episode 2 saw a sizable drop to 1.205%. I haven’t seen this one yet but it seems viewers lost interest, and based on kaedejun’s review I can understand why.

Hanbando has a 2 billion won production budget, putting it into blockbuster territory on par with the likes of Athena. I’ll be curious to see if that’s a show that can justify the hefty price tag. Athena was likewise a ratings disappointment, but on network that means low teens, and it also has exports to make up for some of that budget.


Hanbando / Korean Peninsula

More money doesn’t necessarily equate bigger ratings, though, as we know by now. Over the New Year’s holiday, Thousand Day Promise writer Kim Soo-hyun’s 3-episode special Father Is Sorry performed strongly with ratings of 1.364%, 1.662%, and 1.440%.

JTBC’s weekend sageuk Queen Dowager In-soo and TV Chosun’s Saving Go Bong-shil Ajumma are both in the 1% range as well.

In conclusion? Prime-time cable dramas are still in that nascent stage, and it’s probably going to take a while before they seriously challenge the big broadcasters. OCN and tvN have produced some noteworthy exceptions, but they’ve been around a lot longer than the newbies; it’s probably premature to expect huge numbers from channels that are barely three months old at this point. But I look forward to seeing the greater diversity of programming emerging from cable in the coming year.

Via Kuki News, Hankook Ilbo, My Daily

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63 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. glace

    I’m very happy with jTBC’s dramas Padam and Fermentation Family. They’re very unique dramas, and I don’t know if the main stations would pick them up because of that.

  2. kbap

    Love OCN, tvN, and jTBC’s dramas (well, some of them). Tuned in Padam Padam (sadly, I must admit) soley because there’s Kim Bum, OCN just killed me with a certain sexy Vampire Prosecutor, and tvN is giving me crack every Mondays and Tuesdays (oh hey, that’s today! And it rhymed. hee.) Other channels I’m not to familiar with, but I’m definitely looking forward to watching (on my ever-growing list) Operation Proposal and Fermentation Family. :) Hope they’re promising shows!

    • 2.1 Ani

      *softly nudges kbap* You really should try Fermentation Family as soon as your viewing schedule clears up. It’s really good. X)

      • 2.1.1 kbap

        Once I get the time. If I have some spare moments I think I’ll start today x)

  3. Min

    no mention of “I Live in Chungdamdong”? (JTBC) :(
    its HILARIOUS.
    not to mention loads better than high kick

    i hope that these ratings go up!

  4. Leona

    I think some people need tons of patience

    They need to conquer the audience… they ain’t KBS, MBC nor SBS who already are on the remote control at 1,2,3 while newest apparitions on the market could be somewhere at 31st position or more.

    This happened in my country… first some channels didn’t have viewers, while now 3% or 4% is considered a very large piece of pie for channel programs

    Korean cable guys don’t get it that the big 3 have even the viewers from the countryside while they have only the subscriptions (in my country the big 3 televisions have even terrestrial transmission – but in the same time have 3 or 4 cable channels each – however smaller fishes have very few options, yet they survive on the market without having known recipes to the pubic as dramas are in Korea). More Discovery and National Geographic are doing pretty well here.

  5. pabo ceo reom

    Very informative! I have a strange fascination with drama ratings for some reason.

  6. Zain

    I’m happy that vampire idol is popular. Hopefully operation proposal gets even more ratings because the first two episodes were amazing and very cute. In not suprised that padam padam is popular and that Japan is going to air it because it’s an awesome show.

  7. urbanscrappy

    Interesting posting. How’s Shut Up: Flower Boy Band doing in the ratings?

    • 7.1 Saima

      same here as well…

    • 7.2 mojitos

      I’m pretty sure every episode so far has been over 1%. Which is good.

    • 7.3 jessie

      I heard Shut Up FBB has good ratings, something between 1%-2%.
      I really like it! I love all the cast <3

  8. daisy

    i love vampire idol!

    • 8.1 Stacy

      I want to love it too, but there are no subs! *sobs* Still, I’m downloading the eps faithfully, in hopes and prayers that somebody somewhere will eventually sub the whole thing.

  9. Mystisith

    Very interesting accounting, even if i don’t consider ratings when i chose a drama to watch. I believe that those new channels are still undecided about their strategy when it comes to dramas : All around, niche targeted, family or teenager, sitcom or 24 or 12 episodes. They will naturally come to exploit different time slots : Nobody said than all dramas must be programmed between 9pm and 11pm isn’t it ?
    What i see is that shows seriously produced ( solid script and acting even if with no Big Stars and big budget ) find their audience. For those i watch who disappoint in terms of ratings :
    - Bachelor veggie store : The cast is great ( all of them, seriously ), but the story hesitates between rom-com, makjang and documentary / biography film. I think viewers are just surprised by that mix by now.
    - Color of Woman : Nice love triangle, but that’s all. The story is almost non-existent when you take out the cute scenes ( very cute indeed, but cute is not lacking on our screens ). 16 eps would have been enough.
    Now, i have 3 questions to ask :
    - Do koreans use recording devices, because if you like 2 shows that air at the same time, how do they deal with that ? If yes, is it counted in the ratings ?
    - I assume a lot of people in Korea watch dramas on PCs like us, but also on tablets or mobile phones. After all, they are the most connected people on this planet, right ? Is there stats for that ?
    - How dramas are financed exactly ? Advertisement, sponsoring and product placement ? Special budgets allocated by the channels, or independent drama market for buyers ?
    I find that little world fascinating indeed, and it’s nice to see how that huge Seoulwood machine works.

    • 9.1 diorama

      I got very interested in all your questions and did some research. Apparently a whole load of money is made off of advertisements and selling rights overseas, mostly to Japan. These two factors are huge in the new influx of product placement in dramas (I think Best Love even got a warning), and the gradual manipulation of dramas to appeal to Japanese audiences (think Love Rain choosing Yoona as a lead, since SNSD is huge in Japan). Mister X/Anarchist has an excellent overview of all these on his site: http://dramatic.weebly.com/yeouido001.html

      • 9.1.1 Mystisith

        Wow ! Thanks for the link diorama ! Will read that with a clear mind, after a good resting night.
        I love how people help each other on DB !

        • 9.1.1.1 diorama

          No problem! Actually, I’ve been wondering the same things myself. Watching TV on an actual TV is now a thing of the past for me, so I have to remember that channels rely on people sitting down at a certain time. It’s interesting that now they’re starting to narrow their targets to specific audiences, like tvn with the ‘flower boy’ series. Mostly they just used to split them by genre and then splash in some makjang anyway, lol.

      • 9.1.2 Menci Ang

        Thought provoking… Thanks @ diorama for the link; and thanks @Mystisith for the questions.

  10. 10 Ani

    I’m so happy to hear the Fermentation Family has been doing well in the ratings by staying within the 1%, perhaps fluctuating above and below it. And I know from the tiny whispers here and there over the internet that there’s quite a following for it. It may not be a following rivaling those that watch the other more popular Cable and mainstream shows, but we’re out there, and we’re supporting F-Fam. Before it’s done airing, I hope we can summon enough followers and manage to give our verbal thanks and encouragement to the stars of the show. X)

    And glad to hear Vampire Idol is doing well for itself. Hopefully, when the English Subs come out or I learn Korean – whichever is first – I’ll be sure to pick it up. Cable fighting!

    • 10.1 kbap

      sometimes I learning Korean might be faster, LOL. especially for those poor neglected cable shows :(
      Or some older ones that just never get subbed, ever. And I’m not speaking like Jealousy old, but like…old. Haha. I dunno. But there’s some certain dramas that just never come around and get subbed :(
      I would if there were Chinese subs. But there isn’t, haha! Plus I can’t read simplified (what type of a fail Cantonese person I am, haha! Well, born in the US, so…it’s my only good excuse btw. Which isn’t very good.)

      • 10.1.1 diorama

        I agree – the only bad thing about cable (apart from adding so many dramas to my list, T.T) is that their shows are really slow in getting subs. Dramas with big name stars or pretty people, like Padam Padam and Flower Boy Band, do well, but I’ve been waiting for months for Queen Insoo subs. I think only 2 out of 24 episodes have been subbed, and from what I hear it’s the same with most of the other cable dramas.

        • 10.1.1.1 daniela

          I just watched this 2 subbed episodes and 3 row, but this drama has a plot almost identic with The Princess Man and it’s getting boring. I can’t watch it!! I tried, I promise!

  11. 11 cherkell

    This situation reminds me of the old Bruce Springsteen song “57 Channels and Nothing’s On.” There’s too many offerings at once, and it’s my opinion that the Korean viewing public is going batty trying to figure out what to watch and when. BVS’s airing time was pushed up to 8:50 PM KST when Channel A found out that two weeks after its premiere, “Moon/Sun/Fluffernutters” was going to air opposite it at its originally-scheduled time of 9:50 PM. A pretty smart move on behalf of their programmers, but 8:50 PM is considered the “Golden Hour” for many dramas, with several more airing at that time so you’re going to get dilution of your product regardless.

    How I understand the process is that no matter what media device you’re using to view, the Ratings Police know what you’re looking at during that point in time. AGB Nielsen and TmNs takes readings at various points throughout the country during the airing of said drama and then those numbers are averaged for the official tally — “Moon/Sun” was reaching upwards of 49% in a past episode, but then bottomed out at the end by people turning off their sets (probably going to bed since it’s on so late) and only garnered a 39% for that date (but that was for the Seoul-only numbers; they also sample a nationwide aggregate as well).

    As to budgets, it’s the drama’s Production Company that comes to the networks with hats in hand; most times, they usually get what they ask for. The channels make up for the monies spent through a combination of advertising, product placement and sometimes even private money from their financiers. Of course, the channels are hoping that any syndication rights eventually come through to balance any shortfalls in a less-than-ratings-grabber production. Channel A should be jumping up and down, because in only its second week of airing, the rights to BVS were already sold to the same Japanese ConHugeCo that had previously bought the rights to “Boys Over Flowers.”

    And granted, the Big Three (KBS/MBC/SBS) still pretty much have their stranglehold on the viewers, because they’re terrestrial over-the-air stations and not pay-for-play cable channels. I think as the Korean folks get more used to the idea of cable and the offerings therein, the viewers and ratings will increase exponentially. The television landscape there has grown in leaps and bounds, but it’s still baby steps for the folks who watch… :)

    • 11.1 Mystisith

      Thanks for your much appreciated explanations cherkell.

      ** Wawing to Korea **
      And don’t forget foreign countries !! I’m sure you have as much if not more, viewers outside your borders. :)

      • 11.1.1 cherkell

        Hiya Myst! *waves* Sorry to say, international viewers are not taken into account on the front end of the Ratings Wars, because if that was the case, we’d see numbers well over the .5% or so that most of these dramas are pulling right now. But on the back end, if/when a series is produced for a DVD sale (in any market), that’s when the Production Company and the Channel Bosses see more money in their pockets (because they usually split the proceeds 50/50). If they have smart lawyers, the DVD sale contract language is usually the first item to be negotiated.

        And I forgot to add to my missive about any monies the cable channel makes for VOD (video on demand) episode sales goes into their bank accounts as well. I have a sinking feeling that is going to be the wave of the future for cable broadcasts — suck your viewers in with the first couple of episodes for free, and then revert to a pay-per-view business model instead. Yeah, Channel A… I’m lookin’ at you. :)

        Still gonna keep beating the drum for My Precious Veggie Boys, though. Aja aja aja FIGHTING!!!

    • 11.2 Cruelsummer

      *Giggles* “Moon/Sun/Fluffernutters” . I love this.

  12. 12 anotheraddict

    I hope it’s economically viable for most of the cable stations to continue to produce original programming indefinitely. It wasn’t that long ago that we were experiencing a drama drought– now we’ve got a deluge of dramas. (That’s great for me, but I feel sorry for our recappers. I also miss the days when it seemed like most of us on DB were watching the same dramas and we could joke about the Hand Towel or pine for Kang Ahhhhh together.) I’m really happy about the proliferation of cable-produced shows because I love having more dramas to choose from, but also because cable can include content that wouldn’t be allowed on a network show.

  13. 13 kdrama fan

    I’m glad that Queen Insoo is doing quite well around 1% (that is not bad for cable shows right?) – but i watch it for eunjung and chae sira will be stepping in the next episode so i might stop afterwards hahaha. i watch fermentation family too when i have nothing else to do, and the food makes my mouth water everytime!

    oh and just as a sidenote, any information about MCB’s strike?

    • 13.1 imbe

      The strike isn’t over. For as long as “MB-ssi”…I mean, MBC’s Current Prez sits on his position…… Hahaha!

      OFF TOPIC: Imagine how MBC suffered ratings lost in their news department. Their main primetime newscast which aires at 8:55 PM rated 30-40% in the 90′s (Even reaching 45.5% in 1991). Now, it only rates 6-10%, lower than SBS gets in their 8:00 PM News.

  14. 14 sdfghj

    All I know is that I tuned in for every episode of PADAM PADAM.

  15. 15 WM

    I have been pleasantly surprised by Kimchi Family (Fermentation Family), and watch it consistently. I have to say, though, I’ve not been as consistent with Bachelor’s Vegetable Shop, which is good, but just doesn’t have that same oomph as K.F. does for me. I’m really happy to see all the different shows coming out, though. It means competition, and lots more for the viewers to chose from.

    • 15.1 cv

      I love F-family! :) Can’t wait for it to be subbed on dramafever. Only four more episodes to go!I’m going to miss this drama but can’t wait to see the end. ^^

      I like BVS–it’s good acting all around—just hate the storyline. Like someone said earlier in the comments, you can’t tell if it’s rom-com, melo or documentary. Other then that, it’s pretty good so far. Four more episode until the end too!

      Shut up flower band–not bad, not bad.

  16. 16 ppd

    it really is hard broadcasting on cable channels..but with time, hopefully many people will tune into those shows. i absolutely loved padam padam and was glad it passed the 1% mark each time. though many suspected it’d go over 5%, to me, just going over 1% is success. besides the ratings, the drama was beautiful <3

  17. 17 kim

    Kim Bum’s abs are definitely worth more than 2.2million dollars. Just saying ;)

    • 17.1 TammieR

      Amen.

  18. 18 malta

    Ratings aside some of the cable offerings recently have been a welcomed relief from the dramas of the big 3 channels. I like the diversity of the offerings and some of the cable shows are my favorite. tvN and JTBC have the best cable programming. I’m currently enjoying Fermentation Family and I’m sooooo glad the show is done airing so I don’t have to wait to see the next episode!

  19. 19 chasen8888

    Love watching Fermentation Family, its a good drama with great acting and a lovely storyline. As for Bachelor’s vegetable store – I have stopped watching it and decided to continue reading Cherkell’s recap on soompi (thanks cherkell). Queen Insoo can watch but I have decided not to as Sat/Sun has Ojakyo Brothers and Feast of the Gods. All in all the cable channels has some very decent shows and I look forward to their future projects and would like to see what they can do.

  20. 20 Jinny

    Interesting….Padam Padam and Fermentation Family seems like interesting and unique dramas (did anyone notice that they’re both alliterations?) but the ones I watched were Ramyun Shop, What’s Up, and currently airing Flower Boy Band and Operation Proposal XD I definitely thought that a lot of the dramas would be over 0.8% but I guess not…

    Does anyone know how What’s Up did ratings-wise? Just curious haha.

    • 20.1 Jinny

      Oh and I really want to watch Bachelor’s Vegetable Store but I’m only going to watch if it’s worth my time since I’m juggling 2 dramas and 3 variety shows….Anyone want to vouch for it?

      • 20.1.1 moidiom

        I’ve been following it every week. It almost lost me in the beginning because it was too focused on the side story of a crazy mother. I stayed only because I wanted to watch Jihyuk as I’m a fan of his group, Choshinsei/Choshinsung. It got really good and interesting between episodes 6 and 12 when the focus turned to the main story of the struggle to open the store. Now it’s up to episode 16 and it’s back to crazy side story. I’m been getting annoyed with the angst of recent episodes, though it’s happening because the series is ending and it needs to close some loops. Still, the fun and breezy storyline of the middle episodes was what made the show worth watching.

        I must say, this show hosts one of the best looking casts I’ve seen in dramas. I think it’s better than Shut Up Flower Boy Band’s cast because they are not playing teenagers. I can’t stop drooling over that Ki Young character who has very few lines, but oh man, he’s hot as hell. One of the best looking Korean men ever, like EVER! I swear!

  21. 21 hot_saranghae

    I’m really liking fermentation family…..Song IlGook and Park JinHee surprisingly have a lot of chemistry together and the premise is really unique for a korean drama (this kind of quiet, family premise with quirky characters is more prevalent in japanese dramas)……

  22. 22 canxi

    I’m loving the cable channels. I like what tvN is offering like I Need Romance and am looking forward to their new drama (That’s that 12 Men rom-com right?) and I really like OCN. From their channel I’ve watched Someday, Vampire Prosecutor, and am moving on to the second season of God’s Quiz (which is awesome and on Viki so ya’ll should check that out).

    I also finished up Padam Padam from JTBC and miss it dearly. It was so good and it made me cry literally through the last 6 or 7 episodes but it was worth it, I tell you! I like that the cable programming is less restrained especially when it comes to relationships. There is so much to enjoy and even the teen shows seem more mature and relatable.

    • 22.1 Ani

      Ah, I loved I Need Romance too and so can’t wiat for Twelve Men. Hopefully, since it’s tvN, Dramafever will be able to get the rights to it too and we could get subs the way we did with INR. Here’s to hoping. X)

      • 22.1.1 canxi

        I think there is a pretty good chance, they did manage to get both Flower Boy shows, so maybe they’ll get 12 Men too. It’s more convenient if Dramafever has it anyway, rather than me hunting around for who knows how many parts to one episode,lol.

  23. 23 asianromance

    I love Fermentation Family! It feels like a cross between a kdrama and a j-dorama and the pacing is so deliberate that there are not one episode is faster or slower than any other episode.

    I’m guessing it may take time for people to subscribe to these new cable channels?

  24. 24 Dara

    Fermentation Fam is solid, though it’s more like a family drama, and lotssss of kimchi, yummy!

    Veggie boys, I sticked thru thick and thin just for CJW. Just this recent ep that I finally gave up on this writer, excessive tears, the female lead cried in every ep I watched and now it’s the male lead’s turn to cry. It would be fun if just tell the story of the boys building the enterprise but why the mom, mom, mom, whyyyyy?

    Operation Proposal , two eps and love! YSH as Kang Baek-ho was amazing, though he tended to think a lot, aka VoiceOver. Checked the J- version and love too, but Ken in J was somehow cooler, YSH fighting! Also the chemistry of the boys in K-version needs improving IMO cuz YSH stands out, others need to step up.

  25. 25 DB5K

    I know this is off topic….but I’m currently addicted to Feast of the Gods. I know JB & GF have an aversion to makjang, but I don’t have a problem with it as long as it doesn’t go overboard.

    Feast of the Gods gives off vibes that rrrrrreally similar King of Baking Kim Tak Goo and Shikgaek (aka Gourmet). I don’t find the Feast of the Gods’ plot as ridiculously angsty and contrived as Bachelor’s Vegetable Store. I think it FotG did a good job of laying down all the makjang elements in the first 2 episodes, building a premise for the drama, so that the next episodes don’t have to be riddled with angst. The makjang in FotG is more “organic” and handled better than it was BVS.

    Anyways, the MAIN reason I’m OBSESSED with FotG is because of my attachment to the characters Sung Yuri, Joo Sang Wook, and LEE SANG WOO play. This leads me to become emotionally invested in this drama and eagerly anticipate seeing the evil biatch go downnnn in flames >:3

    Please skip the first 2 makjang episodes. Just read the recaps. And then plunge right into the story with the wonderful adult leads <333!!!!

    • 25.1 Mystisith

      OK. Mr lawyer, you convinced me. I will give it a try. Skipping 2 eps, i know how to do that, and i miss the men, so…

  26. 26 DB5K

    I liked Vampire Prosecutor, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Padam Padam and Shut Up Flower Boy Band. I’m glad there are more choices for us viewers. However, most of my main drama obsessions are still the ones that air on the main channels: History of the Salaryman, Moon that Embraces the Sun, Ojakkyo Brothers, and Feast of the Gods. While cable dramas are quite good, the big 3 station dramas are still generally much better. It will be hard for the smaller stations to compete with them. I feel like one in every ten, twenty cable dramas will be as addicting to me as the ones on the major stations. Basically, we have more choices, and they’re surprisingly good, but they’re generally not as good as the ones that air on the major stations~~~

  27. 27 JAY

    After watching so many kdramas, it is a breathe of fresh air to get a break from the typical storylines. I think cable dramas give better options for fresh approach to scripts. There is always that extra hmph! that most of the more famous dramas lack. I don’t want to be able to predict how a story will progress. I want gut wrenching surprises, I want genuine life lessons. I want maturity. I can’t get that with some of the cheesier dramas. I hope cable stations hang in there and continue to produce dramas for those of us who want something different. Like everyone else, I love kimchi family and padam padam. I will have to try vampire prosecutor now that so many ppl have vouched for it (although I am not really into all the recent wizardry/ werewolf/ vampire craze)

    • 27.1 MsB

      Agree, I find the story lines of the cable shows to be much better. Through watching cable shows, less likely to have the tiresome angles (at least so far in my viewing history) than the main stream shows. Mystery, I like; angst gets to me after awhile.

  28. 28 Hannah25

    I love Fermentation Family (heh) but also love Dowager Queen InSoo – I wish someone was doing English subs so other people can enjoy a wonderful drama. It has another interesting portrayal of King Sejo who seizied power from his nephew. Also, I love the young ambitious In Soo.

  29. 29 myra

    does anyone know if channel A is airing (or aired) a drama called heaven’s garden? there was some information about it back in december when it was supposed to premiere, but nothing since then.
    and could you please add the other cable dramas in the currently airing section on this page-Syndrome, 12 men in a year, go!mrs go!, for the emperor and maybe others? it’s nice to have a general view of all these dramas…

    • 29.1 Kibou

      Heaven’s Garden is airing, but subs are nowhere. :(

    • 29.2 cherkell

      Yup, it’s still running on Channel A Saturdays and Sundays at 7:40 PM KST. It started on 3 December 2011 and is scheduled for 42 episodes (TBA). I hear it’s a real slice-of-life family drama that’s not doing very well in the ratings because of the other weekend offerings airing at the same time. Torrents are out there if you’re so inclined to watch. :)

  30. 30 Miky

    Well i love Vampire Idol and i see it everyday but oh well it doesn’t really count for them jaja

  31. 31 imbe

    jTBC, TV Chosun, Channel A and MBN are still young and has a potential to become big networks someday. The only problem when.

    In the first place, they aren’t just competing with KBS, SBS and MBC, they are also competing with established Cable networks which are NOT general broadcasters, and airs more entertainment programs than these channels (YTN , which is a news channel, rated higher than these 4 channels last December….Hahaha!).

    Also, they aren’t still available in regional parts of South Korea, and if they are, there’s a little chance that they tune-in to these channels since they are more exposed to Free-To-Air TV.

    Lastly, these channels may get more than 1% in dramas, but how about in other genres, like news? because as far as I know, these networks are being criticize for their bias towards Lee Myung Bak.

    • 31.1 imbe

      In addition to my explanation, jTBC, TV Chosun and Channel A airs their dramas at 8:45 PM, almost the same time when news programs from big networks air.

  32. 32 spark67

    How many times must we say that it’s all about the writing? Sure, not every script can be perfect, but the ratings don’t lie. The reason that some of these shows do better than others is…the writing. I agree that I watched “The Color of Woman” and found it light-hearted and breezy in the beginning and had high hopes for it, like the series “I Need a Romance”. However, in the 6th episode and beyond, it just draaaaaaaged all the way through and I started to lose interest in the storyline. It’s as if the writers lost inspiration and decided to just throw in anything, hoping the chemistry between the actors would make up for it. It didn’t. If you watch the shows that ARE doing well, like “Saving Go-Bong Shil”, you understand why audiences are tuning in. Great acting PLUS the sharp writing make it irresistible . It doesn’t take rocket science to get that…although one wonders.

  33. 33 Solita

    Can anybody tell me if Color of woman is worth the time? I want to start watching a new drama,but I am not sure about it..

    • 33.1 Mystisith

      Honestly, only if you are gaga over one of the men. And even then, i’m not sure i would have started it knowing what i know now. It was shortened from 24 to 20 eps. There is a good reason to that : Brain dead script.
      Watch the fan MVs on YT instead, you’ll save some time.

  34. 34 Belle

    Well, there’s still time for Operation Proposal…not only did it start last week (ranked 3rd place among its general programming as stated above), but this week’s episode 4 already finished first among those competing w/ it. It is a very good drama (so far) w/ a very talented cast (Yoo Seung Ho, of course! …among others). I just hope SK audience continues to tune in, since many of us in the international market would like to continue seeing him work in more projects.

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