“Defendant” becomes first 2017 kdrama to surpass 20% ratings

SBS drama Defendant recorded a 20.9% nationwide viewer ratings in its episode last night and became the first 2017 Korean drama to surpass the highly coveted 20%. Considering all weekday prime time dramas that aired since January, it is the third one to achieve a rating higher than 20% after Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim and Legend of the Blue Sea.

Defendant poster

Nationwide viewership data from Nielsen Korea show that the drama’s ratings have been increasing since its premiere last January 23 and finally reached a little over 20% in its 7th episode which aired yesterday. This rating is 2.3 percentage points higher than the previous episode rating of 18.6%. Meanwhile, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth also increased its new episode ratings while Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People failed to sustain its ratings increase. Hwarang obtained 8.2% in its 17th episode to improve its previous episode rating by 0.3 percentage point while Rebel dropped down to 10.7% from 12.3%, a 1.6 percentage points decrease from its 4th to 5th episode.

Defendant tv ratings

Defendant premiered  with a 14.5% viewer ratings last month and has dominated since then the Monday-Tuesday time slot. It replaced the time slot previously occupied by the highly successful Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim and can potentially achieve the same success. Romantic Doctor posted a 9.5% ratings in its premiere and broke through 20% in its 8th episode. In contrast, Defendant‘s first episode rating is higher by 5 percentage points and it surpassed the 20% mark an episode earlier, at episode 7.

The drama stars Ji Sung as a righteous prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office who is wrongfully accused of killing his wife and daughter. His character finds it difficult to prove his innocence as he suffers from temporary amnesia that took four months of his memory. He last played a drama role in SBS drama Entertainer that aired last year. His past dramas include Kill Me Heal Me, Secret, and Protect the Boss. Other main actors of the drama include Kwon Yuri and Uhm Ki-joon.

Defendant airs every Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 pm in South Korea and is scheduled to end on March 14, 2017. 


Me? Just an ordinary lad with an extraordinary (says this something called 'stereotype') habit of watching Korean dramas. It started with action-filled City Hunter and the rest, as they say, is history.