SBS’s The Fiery Priest is off to a good start with impressive nationwide TV ratings.
Data from Nielsen Korea show that the series recorded nationwide audience shares of 10.4 and 13.8 percent for its first two episodes which aired on February 15, beating variety shows on rival networks MBC and KBS2. The Fiery Priest is the first Friday-Saturday prime time drama of SBS, which changed the time slot of Laws of the Jungle, a long-running variety show with strong viewership ratings, to accommodate the drama.
On February 16, the nationwide rating of the third episode dropped to 8.6% but the series quickly recovered in the fourth episode, which obtained 11.2%.
The Fiery Priest, which is described as an “extreme investigative comedy,” is headlined by Kim Nam-gil, Kim Sung-kyun, and Lee Ha-nee. Kim Nam-gil plays a Catholic priest with extreme anger management issues who ends up partnering with a below average violent crime investigator (Kim Sung-kyun) and a know-it-all prosecutor (Lee) because of a murder case and other cases involving the church.
Many viewers were anticipating how the premiere will play out. Kim Nam-gil’s performance is all out despite his out-of-the-box character, while Lee Ha-nee’s fiery charisma and Kim Sung-kyun’s comic antics balance the plot. Other talented actors including Kim Won-hae, Jung In-gi, Baek Ji-won, and Jung Young-joo are also expected to bring laughter to the general audience.
Although it is still premature to predict an overall success for The Fiery Priest, its double-digit viewership during the premiere is good news to the drama’s production team, led by director Lee Myung-woo (Whisper) and screenwriter Park Jae-bum (Chief Kim).