‘Dr. Romantic 2’ becomes first drama to surpass 20% TV rating in 2020

Dr. Romantic 2 is still on a roll after its latest episodes Tuesday night obtained nationwide TV ratings of 16.5 and 20.7 percent, making it the first Korean drama in 2020 to hit 20 percent in viewer ratings.

According to Nielsen Korea, the recent ratings of the series translate to up to 4.1 million viewers throughout South Korea. These figures broke the previous highest records of 19.9 and 18.6 percent which the series achieved on its 8th and 12th episode, respectively.

Chart showing Dr. Romantic 2‘s TV ratings, which have now climbed past the 20 percent mark.

Dr. Romantic 2 premiered on January 6 and scored a win right off the bat by recording double-digit ratings of 10.8 and 14.9 percent. Now in its fourth week, it has still maintained such an impressive performance. As of January 29, the average rating of the drama stands at 16.0 percent, which is way higher than the 6.9 percent average rating of the 34 free-to-air dramas that aired in 2019 (meanwhile, the average rating of Korean dramas on free-to-air TV from 2016 to 2018 ranges from 6 to 8 percent).

The commercial success of SBS’s Dr. Romantic 2 is partly driven by the absence of rival dramas on KBS2’s and MBC’s Monday-Tuesday time slot. Last year, the two broadcasters temporarily stopped airing prime-time series in this time slot after the conclusion of The Tale Of Nokdu and Welcome 2 Life, respectively. SBS did a similar move when The Secret Life Of My Secretary ended last June but it resumed its regular schedule with the premiere of VIP, Dr. Romantic 2‘s predecessor, in October.

The interest in the series is also hugely influenced by the fact that it is a sequel to the 2016-2017 medical drama Dr. Romantic (also known as Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim), which obtained an average rating of 20.4 percent and became the second highest-rated Korean drama in 2016. In the sequel, Han Suk-kyu reprised the role he played in the first season along with several original supporting actors.

Dr. Romantic 2 Poster
Main Poster of Dr. Romantic 2

Meanwhile, Lee Sung-kyung and Ahn Hyo-seop have joined the main cast as the counterparts of the main characters played by Seo Hyun-jin and Yoo Yeon-seok in season one. Ahn Hyo-seop portrays a general surgeon in Geodae Hospital who is ostracized by his fellow doctors and recruited by Han Suk-kyu’s character to work at a small hospital in the countryside. Lee Sung-kyung, meanwhile, takes on the role of a cardiothoracic surgeon who ends up in the same hospital after making a mistake in Geodae’s operation room.

Dr. Romantic 2 airs every Monday and Tuesday at 10 p.m. KST. It will be followed by Kim Seo-hyung’s Nobody Knows in March.

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Samfann is a writer and editor for Kdramapal. He works closely with other writers to produce and publish online content. At the age of 21, he founded a Korean entertainment blog that went on to become a major player in the industry. He spends most of his free time watching American and Korean TV series and doing volunteer work for an online initiative that provides underserved students with grants and scholarships. He's also passionate about unique and revolutionary ideas that make the world a better place.