Crash Landing on You is the most-watched Korean drama in February throughout South Korea, an analysis of television viewership data from Nielsen revealed.
Of the 17 prime-time Korean dramas broadcast in February, Crash Landing on You ranked no. 1 based on the highest number of viewers it recorded during the month. Below is the list of the top 4 Korean dramas that pulled in at least three million viewers. (Note: We did not include Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life in the ranking, considering weekend dramas of KBS2 easily get high ratings. We based the ranking on the number of viewers so we could directly compare free-to-air dramas with cable series.)
1. Crash Landing on You (tvN) – 6.3 million viewers
Crash Landing on You, a Netflix ‘original series’ starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin, concluded with a nationwide rating of 21.7 percent—which translates to an estimated 6.3 million viewers. It surpassed the peak rating of Reply 1988 (18.8%) and is now the highest-rated Korean drama of tvN as far as peak rating is concerned. Overall, it became the second cable drama to climb past the 20% mark and is now the second highest-rated Korean drama in cable TV history, following JTBC’s SKY Castle (again, in terms of single-episode rating). Meanwhile, the series only ranks fifth when the average ratings of episodes are considered. Mr. Sunshine remains the highest-rated cable drama of all time in terms of averages.
2. Dr. Romantic 2 (SBS) – 5.2 million viewers
Starring Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, and Lee Sung-kyung, Dr. Romantic 2 made a runner-up finish this month with 5.2 million viewers tuning in to its final episode. The series did not beat the peak (27.6%) and average (20.4%) ratings of the first season, but its own record of 27.1% and 18.3%, respectively, is no mean feat. With this achievement, it beat The Fiery Priest and When The Camellia Blooms—two of the highest-rated Korean dramas of 2019—to become the most-watched Korean drama in free-to-air TV from April 2017 to February 2020 (again, we’re not considering KBS2’s Saturday-Sunday dramas here). Dr. Romantic 2 was the first drama that premiered in 2020 to hit 20% in TV ratings.
3. Stove League (SBS) – 3.9 million viewers
The success of SBS on its Friday-Saturday time slot continues with Stove League, which premiered with a modest 3.3% rating but ended with an impressive 19.1% that translates to 3.9 million viewers nationwide. It is now the second most-watched Korean drama of SBS on Fridays and Saturdays, next to The Fiery Priest. Starring Namgoong Min and Park Eun-bin and featuring an underdog story about a bottom-ranked professional baseball team, the drama is proof that very famous lead actors (like Lee Seung-gi and Bae Suzy in Vagabond) are not a prerequisite for a series to become a commercial success. Vagabond, which is also a Friday-Saturday drama of SBS, only achieved a peak rating of 13 percent.
4. Itaewon Class (JTBC) – 3.3 million viewers
Itaewon Class drew 3.3 million viewers to its 8th episode, and considering only half of its total episode count has been broadcast so far, this figure can still soar to remarkable levels. It is currently the second highest-rated Korean drama of JTBC in terms of peak ratings, next only to the smash hit SKY Castle, and sixth overall in terms of average ratings. The series owes its popularity to a gripping storyline about an ex-convict (Park Seo-joon) who runs a pub with the help of a female high school graduate (Kim Da-mi) who has psychopathic tendencies. Itaewon Class is also available for streaming on Netflix.
Meanwhile, the following dramas rounded out the top 10: Never Twice (2.1 million viewers), Hyena (1.9 million), Hi Bye Mama! (1.7 million), Selection: The War Between Women (1.4 million), Forest (1.3 million), and Black Dog (990,000).
ONGOING KOREAN DRAMAS: Backstreet Rookie | Chip In | Flower of Evil | Graceful Friends | It’s Okay to Not Be Okay | Men Are Men | Memorials | Once Again | The Good Detective | Train | Was It Love
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