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Drama viewership ratings for the week of Sep. 30-Oct. 6, 2019

With the Halloween season officially here, I’m in the mood for some spooky content. There isn’t much horror airing this month, though — with the exception of the creepy Hell Is Other People — so I’ll have to binge summer drama Hotel del Luna on my own time. (I’ve been hearing good things!) For now, let’s dive into the first batch of October premieres.

At the start of the week, we had the premiere of gender bender sageuk Tale of Nokdu, which garnered 7.1 percent Monday and 8.3 percent Tuesday. I’d say that this is a big win for KBS since its last drama Let Me Hear Your Song barely reached 4 percent ratings. Mid-week, we had the premiere of fantasy romance Extraordinary You, which didn’t quite do as well.

Then, over the weekend, we had the premiere of yet another sageuk called My Country. Like Tale of Nokdu, it came into the week with great numbers, garnering high 3 percent ratings. 2019 really seems to be the year of the sageuk, doesn’t it?

Drama viewership ratings for the week of Sep. 30-Oct. 6, 2019

Ep. # Station Rating
Monday, Sep. 30
Tale of Nokdu 1 KBS 5.6%
Tale of Nokdu 2 KBS 7.1%
Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency 5 JTBC 3.1%
The Great Show 11 tvN 2.0%
Tuesday, Oct. 1
Tale of Nokdu 3 KBS 6.5%
Tale of Nokdu 4 KBS 8.3%
Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency 6 JTBC 3.0%
The Great Show 12 tvN 2.4%
Wednesday, Oct. 2
When the Camellia Blooms 9 KBS 9.3%
When the Camellia Blooms 10 KBS 11.5%
Extraordinary You 1 MBC 3.1%
Extraordinary You 2 MBC 3.5%
Secret Boutique 5 SBS 5.3%
Running Investigators 5 OCN 0.8%
Miss Lee 3 tvN 3.0%
Thursday, Oct. 3
When the Camellia Blooms 11 KBS 10.2%
When the Camellia Blooms 12 KBS 12.9%
Extraordinary You 3 MBC 2.2%
Extraordinary You 4 MBC 3.3%
Secret Boutique 6 SBS 5.8%
Running Investigators 6 OCN 0.8%
Miss Lee 4 tvN 3.9%
Friday, Oct. 4
Vagabond 5 SBS 11.5%
My Country 1 JTBC 3.5%
Pegasus Market 3 tvN 3.3%
Saturday, Oct. 5
Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life 5 KBS 18.5%
Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life 6 KBS 20.7%
Golden Garden 45 MBC 6.6%
Golden Garden 46 MBC 9.3%
Golden Garden 47 MBC 9.6%
Golden Garden 48 MBC 9.9%
Vagabond 6 SBS 11.3%
My Country 2 JTBC 3.8%
Hell Is Other People 9 OCN 2.4%
Melting Me Softly 3 tvN 3.2%
Sunday, Oct. 6
Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life 7 KBS 21.7%
Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life 8 KBS 25.7%
Hell Is Other People 10 OCN 3.9%
Melting Me Softly 4 tvN 3.2%

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for some reason, the trend is that saeguks typically have average to high ratings and high school dramas have low ratings.

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Moments of 18 didn't have low ratings while Flower Crew does so it's not exactly a rule.

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if you see the ratings of the first episodes, Flower Crew's one is better than Moments of 18. Its not a rule but more often than not such is the case. Of course, how the ratings fare after the first few episodes are dependant on the quality of the drama. But usually Korean viewers tend to go for saeguks over high school dramas first.

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Human rights below 1% - Expected. This show isn't for everyone. very hard to sit around for 1 hour for that kind of stuff. Tale of single mother and Wagebond - questionable choices indeed. Demand and supply right in front of you. Sympathy for writers.

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Extraordinary You has a lot of competition but I hope it will have good ratings, the two first episodes were really great!

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Extraordinary You airs 1 hour before KBS and SBS dramas and about 30 minutes before Miss Lee on tvN. In other words...EY does not have a direct competitor since it airs earlier than other dramas.

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With that said..I hope EY ratings pickup. Eventhough I do think it was a cheesy drama when I started ep 1, it turned out to be fun. Dan Oh is a hoot.

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Thank you for that information, that's good to know. But that doesn't always matter. Some people have a particular number of shows they would watch a day, a week etc. So if they choose Camellia for the day, it may not matter that the competition airs earlier. I wonder if Extraordinary You would do this poorly if it aired on Monday-Tuesdays? It still may have because even though Nokdu has the same youthful vibe it also has the sageuk aspect to draw the older crowd in.

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By that argument Flower Crew has a sageuk factor why is performing worse than Moments of 18 which aired on the same channel at the same time? There isn't any rule about how many dramas people watch in a week or timing or genre. Those are just excuses fans make to pacify themselves when something they like doesn't perform well. Truth is international and domestic audiences don't have the same criteria to watch a drama.

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There are no rules but there are tendencies. I wasn't writing as a fan of any particular drama or making excuses, just pondering over the reasons and other factors that may have affected the outcome as my scientifically trained brain tends to do.

I watched neither Flower Crew (the low rating example) nor Moment at 18 (the high rating example). While the former has its fans I have read many criticisms of it so the reason appears to be it not being such a good drama and every comment I read about the latter notes its high ratings are atypical.

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There aren't any tendencies like that. If you note that Moments of 18 is atypical, which I assure you it isn't, then it must mean the audience doesn't think the drama is good or worth their time. Comes back to my point domestic and international audiences don't agree about what dramas they like.

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Even if it's not direct, it still influences the ratings. The other dramas start before the end of EY. And people can choose what they want to watch because they have a lot of choices and plan their evening according to their desires.

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My country is gorgeous. I hope people tune into it. I’m loving it so far. All the actors are doing an amazing job so far. I’m going to gush about Yang Sejong for a sec. this boy can act. Woo DoHwan is absolutely fine and his costuming and styling is beautiful, but YSJ just emotes so well. And Jang Hyuk just commands the screen in the first scene. This bromance is already killing me.

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I can't wait till eps 3 when Yi Bang-won and Hwi will meet at the battle field. That's the more promising friendship.

I need more Jang Hyuk seriously.

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My country premiere was very epic and solid, i give special credit for director kim jin won for his work. His directing is so good. there was no boring scene at all, and that is an achievment itself because this is saeguk drama. And he captured real battle, not a mere battle with very little number of soldier or too clear war zone. I’m looking forward for next episodes.

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PD Kim Jin-won is fantastic!

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I'm just become a total fangirl. The budget for my country seems so big. I hope t

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Yes the ratings needs to be way better than QUEEN INSOO and CRUEL PALACE. 3% is still low for it's budget. It needs to be above 5% at least even with Netflix's help.

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@kiara,
I think that MY COUNTRY is on its way to those higher figures. It's within spitting distance of 4% after the second episode after we only got to see Yi Bang-won for a minute in the opening scene. Wait until he appears on the battlefield.

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@pakalanapikake

I think so too. Small increase so far but we haven't seen much from Yi Bang-won and we are far from the main historical conflicts.
Hopefully they are done torturing our hero.(*cries for Yang Se-jong*)

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I thought the PD's name was very familiar so I checked it out and yes he is the PD of JBL and The Package. He surely knows how to make simple things beautiful. But the writer has some bad track record so I'm quite reluctant to step into the show.

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The writer was the only one I was worried about but this is one of the more familiar part of Goryeo's history that has been made into films and dramas and he has to be really bad to screw it up right?

So far so good. It's forward and honest.

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But the writer has written the best part of Inspiring Generation. They changed the writer after 10 episodes and it became bad.

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He has no solid reputation to go by. He wrote 1/1/2 dramas and that's about it.
I dropped both so that's why I was worried.

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I know right, he cant mess it up since the plot quite common and based on historical event. I actually comparing it to six flying dragon, since both drama set in the same timeline. I was a little bit skeptical because SFD is hard to beat. But this one quite good at catching up. But again, i give the credit for the director for making everything interesting and worth to watch. I can imagine if this is being done by other pd, it will be pretty much boring.

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This is going to be different from SFD. No Sambong and more Yi seong-gye. He didn't need Sambong to win battles. Sambong chose him because of his reputation.

SPOILER

I love how he was so open about his assessment of the Liadong expedition before the deployment.
He was openly criticizing the king which is treason.

I've always wanted Kim Yeong-cheol to play Yi Seong-gye because he owns every single historical characters that he portrayed. This is very much a dream come true for me.

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Jbl and the pacakage are also my 2 of favorite dramas. I have many doubts one the writer, especially this is saeguk drama. Things tends to go wrong easier, but suprisingly, the premiere is so good. I belive in the director, even his choice of bgm is precise and elevate the scene.

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KBS must be very happy these days....

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Yes, 3 for 3 is a rare achievement. KBS is now almost a monopoly on the longer weekend dramas and though the ratings of their current offering is not phenomenal by any means those tend to start low and rise slowly. And 20% these days is nothing to be scoffed at.

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A KBS all-kill is not that rare imo. It also happened back in June with Perfume, Angels Last Mission and Mother of Mine and also Season of the Sun. But it's amazing to be repeated πŸ‘πŸ».

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That all kill latest only 2 weeks before Perfume ratings plummeted. KBS is lucky to have it repeated once more but the Mon-Tue time slot does not work for them. This all kill will probably not make it past week 2.

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Awww..just be happy for the ratings. Nokdu has a good chance of maintaining top spot since its the only drama airing in the time slot.

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Oh I forgot. SBS will return with VIP in the Mon-Tues slot. Jang Nara and Lee Sang Yoon πŸŽ‰.

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The odds of Nokdu surviving against VIP is nil. Ratings aside what were popularity ranking for last week?

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Well, looks like VIP is not arriving until October 28, by that time we will know Nokdu's core viewership who will stay with it no matter what.

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@moonbean thanks for the info about VIP. I keep forgetting it's air date. I thought it will air on 7th oct πŸ˜….

You're right. Nokdu's core viewers will likely remain.

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KBS does nothing to promote either of their weekday dramas or the weekend drama. They should be very thankful to the actors, directors and scriptwriters of all the dramas for getting those ratings.

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They do promote. They promote it a lot. Camellia is heavily promoted. Same goes to Nokdu. KBS weekend drama is in it's own category and is just a sure hit. Also it is promoted too.

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They aren't promoting these dramas especially when you compare to other channels. TVN, SBS, JTBC even the worst channel MBC are doing better promotions. Camellia and Nokdu are not heavily promoted they haven't even put up the dramas on KBS World. Netflix and Kocowa aren't even promoting them in their channels despite having airing rights.

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Wait...do you mean promotion for international audience or local audience?

My comment was for local audience in Korea. Their dramas are heavily promoted for local audience as observed on their official instagram account. For international audience...maybe it's not their main target audience? Or they plan to air it on KBSWorld later, sometime in the future?

Whenever I open Netflix, the first drama that appears on the preview list is Camellia. And I'm not even watching the show πŸ˜….

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I'm seeing their promotions compared to Melt Me and Flower Crew Agency which is on TVN and JTBC. In comparison to those KBS dramas aren't being promoted properly. Netflix is promoting Vagabond it barely promotes Camellia. Kocowa is trash it doesn't promote Nokdu at all. KBS is barely releasing BTS videos on their main channels and where are the subtitled videos on KBS World? They did it for all their previous dramas.

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I don't know all the rules but when a drama is picked by Netflix, there is less promotion on youtube like BTS scenes or parts of the episode. Camelia is promoted on The Swoon youtube channel like other Netflix dramas (Vagabond, Rookie Historian, etc.), they put some part of the dramas.
For Nokdu, they showed BTS scenes before the beginning and still doint it on Dramakbs channel.

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I commented before that CAMELLIA was heavily promoted by the production company with several press briefings, poster PR, photographs of the cast and crew while filming and social media through GHJ. The positive interest was shown in the strong opening ratings.
Other new shows are taking a guarded, secret approach; not promoting at all such as Crash Landing of Love. I feel that is a mistake.

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MY COUNTRY's premiere was everything I could have hoped for. It effectively set the stage for future developments and reeled me right in. MY COUNTRY is shaping up to rival the excellence achieved by NOKDU FLOWER and HAECHI earlier this year. Nice to see the uptick to 3.8% for the second episode.

In comparison, JTBC's other currently-airing show is also a sageuk, FLOWER CREW: JOSEON MARRIAGE AGENCY, which is hovering around 3%. That seems pretty good for a show that hasn't been getting a lot of love in comparison to sageuks ROOKIE HISTORIAN and just-launched TALE OF NOKDU. I've been enjoying it.

Last week, tvN's GREAT SHOW deftly pulled the chestnuts out of the fire just as politics was threatening to take over, which may have accounted for the jump to 2.4%. This is another show that doesn't seem to be getting much love despite the engaging character arcs and solid performances.

tvN's PEGASUS MARKET continues to dole out the metered dose of episodic whackiness that I need. It airs once a week in the late Friday night dead zone, so the fact that it garnered 3.3% is pretty darned good. (TOP STAR YOO BAEK had earlier occupied this same slot.)

Yay for WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS! I'm thrilled to bits to see its well-deserved upward trajectory in the ratings. Although it looks like a rom-com, there's a murder mystery running in the background. Conformity to social norms -- and the ensuing wangtta in its breach -- prominently figures in it, too, which may be a stumbling block for international viewers. Great performances by a dandy cast.

VAGABOND is doing well. I dropped it because I need all my wits about me for MY COUNTRY. But I enjoyed the action in the first 2-3 episodes.

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PS -- Many thanks, @sailorjumun for crunching the numbers. ;-)

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I dropped everything for MY COUNTRY except for TALE OF NOKDU. I need something light and fun on the side.

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Thanks @pakalanapikake and @kiara for your MC reviews. I am so relieved that they so positive.
I will be watching both episodes tonight. I plan to make MC my Sunday night viewing.
VAGABOND is my Saturday night viewing.
Do you both have anything to say yet on the history presented in the first 2 episodes?

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I've been a bit under the weather.

I was favorably impressed with both episodes of MY COUNTRY. From what I can gather of the flashback to 1388 with blacksmith Hwi being shipped off to fight on the Liaodong Peninsula, he'll be crossing paths with Yi Bang-won. LBW passed his government service exam in 1382 at about the age of 15, which makes him about 21 or 22 during the Liaodong campaign. I expect he's got at least 5-6 years of military service with his father under his belt by then. I have a theory as to the identity of his swordsmanship instructor. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake,
Thanks. I hope you are feeling better. I really enjoyed the first two episodes of MC.

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You're most welcome, @marcusnyc20 bong-soo. Thanks for your good wishes. I'm on the mend. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake

PEGASUS MARKET is getting no love on DB but 3% is amazing for this show. There is something sweet about this drama. Its like a weekly dose of cat video. Fun, a little silly and leaves you with nice feels.

The drama knows exactly what it is and thats nothing like any other k-drama . It doesn't stress viewers at all, the only surprise is the wacky, never the plot which is as readable as a 1940s comic.

I suspect for many in SK this is a wonderfull moment in opposite world.

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@SadKdramaLama,
It helps that the subtitles come out pretty quickly. As I recall, there was also a delay with the subtitles for TOP STAR YOO BAEK, which wasn't recapped, so there really wasn't a designated place to squee over it. The satoori was thicker than in PEGASUS MARKET, which may have contributed to the delay in subtitles -- but that was also part of TSYB's charm.

You're right about the comic-book quality, too. I'm reminded of it every time I see Evil Director Kwon practically twirling his pr0n 'stache. ;-) I've got total whiplash because the same actor is simultaneously appearing as Evil Scheming State Councillor in FLOWER CREW -- after portraying the female detective's courageous sunbae in GUEST. His showdown with Park Il-do was a doozy.

I'm enjoying the surreal quality of PEGASUS, in particular President Jung's schemes to sink the store, only to have them backfire on him. That shopper-powered turnstyle for generating electricity at the main entrance is one of the nuttiest hamster cages I've ever seen. What a great spoof of green building design.

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@pakalanapikake

CAMELLIA at 12% only 3 weeks into its run - in current ratings world - that is just amazing. It gives me hope that they will keep the budget up to it and not be tempted to weaken the story chasing viewers.

I am actually happy that most beanies can't comprehend "wangtta" - not being aware of or exposed to that level of brutality is no bad thing. However, from the re-cap comments, I suspect many Beanies are hitting their moment of culture clash in this show.

Its been such a long time since DB ran their series on Kdrama tropes, that they could re-run it for a whole new beanie audience (and add "wangtta" to the usual pieces on the "Wrist grab", and "Two people passing each other").

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@SadKdramaLama,
CAMELLIA truly deserves its viewership rating. It is unique, offbeat, and deals realistically with uncomfortable aspects of life in a small town in the sticks.

Apropos of vintage DB trope articles, I logged on to my copy of Why Do Dramas Do That? Part 1, but it doesn't cover wangtta. Even so, it's a good read for newcomers to Kdramaland. Shameless plug for the benefit of new Beanies: http://www.dramabeans.com/book/

I've been incubating my observations on eps. 7-8, and hope to post them before I get too far behind. Have been under the weather and am getting back to commenting. ;-)

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Graceful Family had a whooping 7% on its Wednesday episode and 6% on Thursday! πŸ‘πŸ‘

This is such a great feat as MBN is a much smaller cable network than TVN and JTBC. This is perhaps MBN’s highest viewership rating. Congratulations my makjang peeps! Hope MBN rewards you a vacation!

+++
Hopefully Extraordinary You’d ratings pick up 😞

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That's pretty awesome! Love rooting for the little guys.

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Graceful Family is my favorite currently airing show. Im Soo Hyang and Lee Jang Woo are great together.

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Impressive numbers for Graceful Family and MBN!

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Yay for Tale of Nokdu. May its rise continue despite the premiere of VIP this week. I have been quite worried for the extremely low ratings romcoms are getting lately because I am not a heavy drama, sageuk, horror or melodrama person. I can manage a good drama every so often but majority of my viewing is composed of things that relax, entertain and amuse me so I can escape the heaviness of real life (news is ready to depress one on any given day!) So I am in constant fear of less romcom offerings when the ratings drop too low. The other thing to cheer Nokdu for is a Monday-Tuesday drama getting such a rating. Monday-Tuesday ratings have been depressed for so long that the networks are slowly withdrawing from it. Nokdu is the last Monday-Tuesday drama for KBS for the year. Its next announced drama for that time slot at this point is Welcome in March 2020. That's 3-4 months away from the finale of Nokdu. MBC is on an indefinite hiatus on Monday-Tuesdays after the wrap up of Welcome 2 Life recently and SBS is only returning from its Monday-Tuesday break after the conclusion of The Secret Life of My Secretary back in June this week with VIP. If Monday-Tuesday dramas continue to do poorly I am afraid cheaper variety shows will take over permanently.

I feel for poor Extraordinary You as it is facing stiff competition against When Camellia Blooms. I think it is a tough spot for it as the Camellia has the advantages of a two week head start, big name Gong Hyo Jin and a storyline to appeal the parts of the Korean population who still watch their dramas on TV. Extraordinary You is a show that would appeal to a younger, manhwa reading demographic who would watch their dramas on the web.

I gave up on Vagabond but it continues its rise. I suppose the TV watching demographic I mentioned above missed their golden boy Lee Sung Gi and will watch it girl Suzy despite her crappy acting in a crappy drama as long as there are explosions.

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PS. Melting Me Softly kept its 3.2% ratings from its opening week which is a good news for me on the ratings of lighter dramas.

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Ooops, I see VIP has been postponed to October 28, good news for Nokdu I guess.

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EY and CB don't air at the same time. EY has almost no competition in it's time slot. It airs at 9PM while CB airs at 10PM.

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I have replied to this point above at comment number 3.

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This may be a stupid question, but when they compute ratings is it just for Korea viewers or for real-time broadcast, or do they include people watching it on-demand on legit places like Netflix, Viki, Viu etc?

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The ratings are only for real-time domestic viewers. Iirc, there is a ranking for VOD too, but VOD is not computed in real-time rankings.

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Thanks πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

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Where do you see VOD rankings? Can you share a link please?

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I think My Country's ratings will pick up next week. With segeuk dramas, people tend to overlook the first few ep and will only tune in when good word spreads that the drama is good. Acting, story, and directing, they got them all down. So hopefully, this drama will turn out like mdbc ratings-wise. Crossing all my fingers for this🀞

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I am really interested in Extraordinary You but I thought it wasn't licensed by anyone at first. However, it turns out the name is hyphenated on Viki: Extra-ordinary You.

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I am happy for the ratings When the Camellia Blooms has received. I know this might not by everyone's cup of tea but it has so nice cast and crew team. Though I might hold some suspension regarding the female lead's acting, I am glad that more and more people will realize how well Kang Haneul really is in terms of acting. I haven't recognized this before (there were so few scenes of him in Misaeng) but he almost outshone everyone in this very show.

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*suspicion

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