There’s another smash cable hit on the horizon, with JTBC’s weekend series Childless Good Fortune hitting rather impressive numbers just six episodes into its 30-episode run. The weekend’s fifth and sixth episodes drew ratings of 3.285% and 3.524%, building on a solid premiere of 1.683%.
To break it down further, the show reached a peak in the real-time ratings analysis with a 5.4%. With this kind of a rise, it’s possible the show will reach the heights of JTBC’s previous top drama, Wife’s Credentials, whose top episode drew a 4.418% (and whose real-time ratings peaked at 6%). It remains to be seen whether it can challenge this year’s most buzzed-about cable offering, tvN’s Answer Me, 1997, for the top cable rating of 6.22%.
Remember the days when 1% was considered a good cable number? And even odder, remember how those days were just one year ago? It seems like cable shows are posting higher and higher ratings every day, which just goes to show the fast-changing nature of the landscape, and how broadcast stations are no longer the only worthy players in the game. So while the rising numbers these days don’t retroactively make the earlier 1-percenters less successful (in that landscape, that was a big deal), I think we can expect that 1% won’t be the benchmark for cable dramas for much longer. Vampire Prosecutor, Ten, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Yellow Boots — those all made at least 2%, sometimes hitting 3% or 4%.
So, Childless Good Fortune. The show had a number of things going for it at the outset, probably most of all its hitmaker writer Kim Soo-hyun. She’s had hit after hit with her broadcast dramas, hitting 40% ratings with Mom’s Dead Upset, while My Man’s Woman had 30% and Life Is Beautiful high 20’s. The cast features many of her “family” of actors, whom she tends to take from show to show: Kim Hae-sook is back after Thousand Day Promise and Life Is Beautiful, as is Lee Sang-woo who makes a special appearance in the upcoming episodes. Yoon Da-hoon and Jung Joon also repeat.
The story follows three generations of a family headed by Lee Soon-jae, who plays Grandpa. There are his children and their spouses, as well as his grandchildren’s generation, all dealing with their own set of issues. The younger cast includes Eom Ji-won (Can Love Become Money), Ha Suk-jin (Standby), Oh Yoon-ah (Athena), Lee Do-young (My Daughter, Flower), and Kim Min-kyung (Padam Padam). With this sprawling family tree, the title’s got to be ironic, no?
Childless Good Fortune airs on Saturday and Sunday evenings on JTBC.