“Defendant” ends run, beats “Romantic Doctor’s” ratings record

SBS drama Defendant ended its run yesterday and achieved 28.3 % in nationwide viewership ratings, making the average rating of its 18 episodes equal to 21.7 %. Data from Nielsen Korea reveal that it surpassed Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim‘s peak and average rating of 27.6 and 20.4 %, respectively. Romantic Doctor, which was also a hit during its run, preceded Defendant on the Monday-Tuesday time slot.

complete ratings chart of Defendant

Nationwide ratings from Nielsen Korea show that the finale of Defendant improved its 17th episode rating by 1.3 percentage points.  This change in percentage points (CPP) is slightly lower in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, at 0.9, but increased the rating of the 17th episode from 28.8 to 29.7 % in the finale. Meanwhile, data from TNMS show that the drama actually broke through the 30 % mark in Seoul area after recording 30.3 % in its last episode, a 1.3 percentage points increase from its 17th episode. 

Both data from Nielsen Korea and TNMS reveal that Defendant achieved its peak nationwide and Seoul ratings during its finale. This resulted to the decrease in the ratings of its rival drama Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, which posted its all-time low rating of 8.8 % last night, a 0.9 percentage decrease from its Monday episode rating of 9.7 %. Perfect Wife, meanwhile, is still struggling to reach the 5 % mark while The Liar and His Lover saw a drop in its second episode ratings by 0.10 percentage point despite airing at a different time slot on cable network tvN.

Earlier during its run, Defendant became the first 2017 kdrama to reach over 20 % in ratings. It achieved 20.9 % for its 7th episode aired on February 13 and now holds the record as the highest-rated weekday prime time drama in 2017.

Official Poster of Korean drama Defendant

In the drama, Ji Sung (Entertainer) portrays the titular role of the defendant, a prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office who went to prison after being accused of a crime he did not commit. He fights back against those who framed him to clear his name but finds it more difficult to do so as he has lost four months of his memory, including the day when the crime in which he is implicated happened.

Defendant will be followed by Whisper on March 27, 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.