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Drama viewership ratings for the week of Dec. 14-20, 2020

This week, The Spies Who Loved Me aired its finale, with Kairos soon to follow. Now looking at the chart, the majority of our shows are new or recently new, and it’s a nice feeling. (I don’t know about y’all, but the last drama season felt five seasons long.)  We’ve got a lot of variety too, which certainly makes the week colorful.

The beginning of the week is mostly dark and thrilling, with things like Penthouse; the middle of the week is a little lighter, with Run On and True Beauty; the weekend is just plain fun, with Uncanny Counter and Mr. Queen. And boy, the ratings for those weekend shows are really soaring sky high. We’re still so early in too!

Drama viewership ratings for the week of Dec. 14-20, 2020

Ep. # Station Rating
Monday, Dec. 14
Kairos 13 MBC 2.9%
Penthouse 14 SBS 22.0%
Awaken 5 tvN 3.9%
Tuesday, Dec. 15
Kairos 14 MBC 3.5%
Penthouse 15 SBS 23.3%
Live On 5 JTBC 0.7%
Awaken 6 tvN 4.4%
Wednesday, Dec. 16
Cheat on Me, If You Can 5 KBS 4.1%
Run On 1 JTBC 2.1%
True Beauty 3 tvN 3.8%
The Spies Who Loved Me 15 MBC 2.3%
Thursday, Dec. 17
Cheat on Me, If You Can 6 KBS 3.9%
Run On 2 JTBC 2.7%
True Beauty 4 tvN 3.6%
The Spies Who Loved Me 16 MBC 2.9%
Friday, Dec. 18
Fly Dragon SBS
Hush 3 JTBC 2.9%
Saturday, Dec. 19
Homemade Love Story 27 KBS 30.3%
Fly Dragon SBS
Hush 4 JTBC 2.3%
The Uncanny Counter 7 OCN 7.7%
Mr. Queen 3 tvN 9.0%
Sunday, Dec. 20
Homemade Love Story 28 KBS 32.6%
The Uncanny Counter 8 OCN 9.3%
Mr. Queen 4 tvN 10.4%

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ratings have told the broadcasters what audience want. This certainly was he main theme of the year. Every year gamut of inequality is played and this proven bait works all the time. Yet, all these broadcasters had pretty average year. Same for 2019. They can either take the road of that crazy writer but highly effective writer who can so easily be called a member of proud boys or they can revel in their stupidity and wait for the final blow.

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I was thinking along similar lines. These breakout shows are becoming quite regular and their frequency hints that there is still a sizeable audience waiting to be tapped.

Revisiting older shows makes you painfully aware of each layer being peeled away in "value management" and every Hail Mary idea trying to be a silver bullet that seam to roll through the SK dramaverse in waves.

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I'm only watching TUC and Mr. Queen and I understand the ratings!

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Penthouse has 21 episodes. It's going to reach Homemade Love Story's numbers by its finale.

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Is Penthouse is good drama? Haven't watching any Kdrama since IONTBO and yet to pickup whats best next...

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@fydea Penthouse was one of my best K-dramas of 2020 so it's a good drama in terms of ratings. You see how Kim Sun-ok, the writer of this series was still remaining one of the most successful K-drama female screenwriters and she was born in 1970 and she was still struggled as a veteran screenwriter when she was at 50 years old.

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it's so good! a high quality makjang

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Try "The Uncanny Counter". It's by the same production company of IONTBO, Studio Dragon. Also Netflix. So the quality is unquestionable. But the story, performances, execution and chemistry is what keeps you reeled in. Try it.

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I used to pay attention to the network, not the production company. This is a great point. We have to do a lot of homework to learn about the different production companies in Korea though.

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Studio Dragon projects typically tend to be safe bets. It's home to Start-Up, IONTBO, CLOY and 'Because this life...' and several other solid dramas. But they also brought TK:EL, Revolutionary Love, and My Shy Boss so you know...

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I still congratulate Penthouse (Season 1) for being a consecutive runner-up in ratings only one step behind Homemade Love Story. I hope that first Penthouse will be one of the K-drama 2020 hits.

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Uncanny encounter is so much fun! I am so glad it is getting good ratings. I have to admit, I am getting huge crush on Mo Tak ajushhi. He is such a charmer! He has a weird, cunning personality and sooo badass! See, if dramas make the uncles in their mid 40s this HOT, then how do you expect women not to fall for them? I mean seriously! Jokes apart, the almost family like relations between the 4 counters are so heartwarming! But I am concerned with the looks of So Mun now that things are getting serious and when they are getting so close of finding out the truth.

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surprisingly actor who plays mo tak is already in his 50s

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Seriously? Lol

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Ooh it's the sizzling hot ahjusshi and all-round great actor Yu Jun-sang. Oddly enough, he also played the put-upon loser Poong-sang in Liver or Die. Well, actually he has played a lot of losers in Hong Sang-soo's films.

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Oh my! I knew I saw him in another drama! But he doesn't seem loser here at all! I think he is one of the most fittest ahjusshi I ever saw in k-drama land. Just checked and he is 51! Who else do we know is above 50 and hot in k-drama? Any other names guys?

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yes he's 51 yrs old internationally and 52 korean age hahaha

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MR. QUEEN is a lot of fun.

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Just watched first episode. It is fun...but still waiting on how it can keeps funny and interesting until finale. Still haven't made my mind yet

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I am worried about that as well. Clearly place politics will intrude.

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Kairos fighting!!!!! 🥳🥳

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It's the final week! It feels surreal that it's ending tomorrow 🥺

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Fighting!!!

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@katakwasabi I knew that Penthouse was still behind Kairos ratingwise. Despite of that, Kairos still fairlt well and see how my fave SSR still a lot of good performances and great, healthy acting while he was still on SBS' Master in the House.

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I'm not surprised by the high ratings for Mr. Queen and The Uncanny Counter. Maybe a little surprised by just how high The Uncanny Counter's ratings are. I like it, but why this OCN drama and not others? I guess that is always the question with ratings.

There does seem to be some bright spots ratings-wise every winter.

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I'm a fan of Uncanny Counter. I think this is one of OCN's brighter dramas so it has wider appeal. It's a drama that wouldn't be out of place on TVN so I can see it getting the sort of ratings that a mildly successful TVN drama would get.

I'm more surprised about Mr.Queen since I don't recall fantasy fusion sageuks ever doing that well. Maybe the chinese original had a lot of fans in korea, too? I agree that it's always a question of why did this do well and not the others. It's always interesting to think of what could have added or detracted from the ratings. I wonder if even the weather of the day that the premiere happens can affect it.

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why that show with park bo gum and that child actress.. moonlight in the clouds etc..

personally, i don't like moonlight .. and that reached 20% on tvn i think .. also, a saguek done well always seems to garner viewership (mr. queen.. is legit good)

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I don't think that one had a supernatural/fantasy element to it unless they introduced it later on. I started it but I didn't end up finishing it. I was thinking that sageuks with fantasy elements (and I'm not counting those moments when a shaman accurately predicts something) tend to get not so great ratings. I can recall only one sageuk fantasy that did really well - Legend (Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi), but that drama felt like it was in a genre and league of its own.

I'm glad Mr.Queen is doing well since I'm enjoying it too! It is very refreshing. It's not a youth sageuk, but has the effervescent energy of one.

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What happened with The Legend is a sad story. This is a drama with very high ratings that ended up loosing a ton of money instead of making money. That should not have happened. The PD ended up in debt.

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After The Legend, PD Kim Jong-hak and writer Song Ji-na (better known around here for Healer) collaborated on another fusion sageuk, Faith (aka The Great Doctor) starring Lee Min-ho and Kim Hee-sun. By the standards of the day, it was a ratings flop. According to PD Kim's Wikipedia entry, he was then sued and investigated for a variety of financial irregularities. Shortly thereafter, he committed suicide. And this was the guy who directed the legendary Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass. I don't know the exact details, but it is indeed a sad story.

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Sageuks are popular in Korea but this year there is a sageuk drought. As of today, only 3 sageuks aired in 2020. The first 2 aired on TV Chosun, and both got high ratings for the channel. The 3rd sageuk that aired this year is Mr Queen.

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@katakwasabi Gosh... only three sageuks this year, I think because the lowest number of sageuks in a calendar year.

Let's see what 2021 might get above three or more sageuks when it'll increasing the number of sageuks by productions.

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@magajesj Jezz,
For sageuk fans here is what I have come across for sageuk possibilities for 2021:
1. Currently MR. QUEEN/QUEEN CHEORIN is airing and available on Viki (USA);
2. ROYAL SECRET AGENT begins airing today and will only be available outside SK on iQIYI;
3. JOSEON EXORCIST;
4. RIVER WHERE THE MOON RISES;
5. HONG CHUN GI;
6. RED CUFF OF THE SLEEVE; and
7. BOSSAM-STEALING FATE.

It is not starting off very good for me.
MR. QUEEN is not for me. So I passed on it.
I am really annoyed that KBS's ROYAL SECRET AGENT is not on Kocowa or Viki.
What is the point of subscribing to Kocowa if KBS, SBS, and MBC productions are not going to be available there? Then next up is probably SBS's JOSEON EXORCIST. I am hoping it will be available on Kocowa and Viki.

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I agree that 2020 was a sageuk year of drought with only QUEEN: LOVE AND WAR, KING MAKER: THE CHANGE OF DESTINY and now ending the year with MR. QUEEN/QUEEN CHEORIN.

Going down recent memory lane there was
The Great Sageuk Year of 2019. We had available: THE CROWNED CLOWN, KINGDOM, HAECHI, NOKDU FLOWER, ARTHDAL CHRONICLES, JOSEON SURVIVAL, MY COUNTRY and the beginning of Q: L&W. I t was a great year.

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Tale of Nokdu and Rookie Historian Gu Hueryung.

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My list above is what I watched in 2019 but of course THE TALE OF NOKDU and ROOKIE HISTORIAN GOO HAE RYUNG also aired and were well received in 2019. That reinforces was a great year 2019 was for sageuk fans. Frankly we may not see another one like it for awhile.

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2019 has many Saeguk but not a good one.

Nokdu flower is bad, haechi is not that good, joseon survival is half baked. Kingdom is not good for people who don't watch zombie, hard to say if it more historical or more zombie, artdhal is a mess fantasy wannabe drama. Rookie historian is fantast with unbelievable female lead and such a bad male lead actors

Only crowned clown and my country served.

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OCN dramas are usually dark and gritty. They specialize on thriller/horror/mystery genre. Just by looking at their previous dramas you can tell- the guest, search, save me, hell is other people etc. And these dramas usually appeal to a smaller audience, same reason lots of their dramas aren't recapped here.

TUC is a breath of fresh air for OCN. If I can liken this to a book genre, I'd place it on the young adult/coming of age genre, add some superhero elements, and you have the recipe for a hit drama.

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The Uncanny Counter is certified Hit with that rating from OCN.

Mr Queen rating just show that the controversy is probably most often from people who don't actually watch the drama. Sometimes I wonder if uproar online is even the same as real life since many things that big online seems to have their own environment that doesn't reflect real life

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m happy for mr.queen

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The industry pundits have officially called MBC a failed channel. Nobody knows how to revive this dead horse. JTBC is struggling in this half but Sisyphus should revive them again.

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In the end, I felt that The Spies Who Loved Me was quite mostly a disappointment. That's why MBC was about to look like a bad year for drama due to lost to SBS and KBS rating-wise.

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SBS and TVN are the winner for this year. They had consistent ratings the whole year. JTBC had highs and lows but MBC only had lows. Everything flopped. KBS only survived because of weekend dramas.

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Did you watch Spies Who Loved Me?

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@katakwasabi Yes, I enjoyed watching until the final episode even though it was "my underrated series to watch". It was so much fun especially the espionage and its cast were did an incredibly perfect job.

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I really liked Spies - but I did feel slightly deflated by the ending. I think it was a bit too rushed, but I'm not sure if that's entirely why. But the storytelling was mainly fairly solid from my POV, and I was sorry it didn't get more attention.

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The uncanny counter and Mr queen are really fighting head to head. I'm watching (and enjoying) both atm.

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Not really head to head because they are not in the same timeslot. They only air on the same day but different time. Mr Queen is at 9pm, Uncanny Encounter is at 10.30pm. With Delayed Justice which airs at 10pm (Fri-Sat) currently postponed for 3 weeks(?), probably the viewers migrated to the other current airing dramas :).

I'm happy both got good ratings. It's a present for the team 🎉.

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