Wonderful Season breaks records in its debut
It seems drama viewers were craving a winter pick-me-up: New drama Wonderful Season smashed records this weekend by breaking the 30% mark by its second episode. Whoa. It handily beat the previous record, set by the recently concluded King’s Family, which had earned a respectable 23.8% in viewership by its second showing.
King’s Family finished strong with 47.3% ratings, so it’s likely that viewers (especially with the conclusion of the Olympics) were eager to pick up a new weekend drama. Timing, the popularity of the cast (Lee Seo-jin of Grandpas Over Flowers and Kim Hee-sun of Faith star as reunited lovers), the feel-good and family-centric storyline, and the Midas touch of Samhwa Networks, all contributed to boost initial viewership. Not to mention the reteaming of Nice Guy’s writer-director duo, Lee Kyung-hee and PD Kim Jin-won.
An extension is already being whispered about, and Samhwa Networks is being labeled a drama hit factory. The production company was also behind the popular cable series Childless Good Fortune, which ended its extended run in 2013 with over 10% viewership—impressive for a cable show—and last year’s Gu Family Book on MBC (which ended with 19.5% of the nation’s viewers), and SBS’s Goddess of Marriage (11.7%). Samhwa Networks also produced 2010’s wildly popular Baker King Kim Tak-gu, which ended with a whopping 49.3% of national viewership.
Time will tell if the drama can keep up its momentum, but with the first week’s remarkable draw and the buzz generated by its formidable production company, Wonderful Season is on pace to be the next national drama of 2014.