Strong Woman Do Bong Soon started about two months ago and hit the headlines when it recorded the highest first episode rating among all previous JTBC dramas, at 3.829 %*. Now that it has finished its run, its successor is setting another records for the cable network. Man to Man premiered Friday night and posted a nationwide viewership rating of 4.055 %, the highest rating ever for the first episode of any JTBC drama.
Man to Man’s record is higher than that of Strong Woman Do Bong Soon by 0.226 percentage point. When it comes to ratings in Seoul area, this difference is even bigger. Man to Man obtained 4.808 %, a number that is 0.764 percentage point higher than Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’s 4.044 %.
The record set by Man to Man can be attributed to the publicity it gained since last year. The drama was completely pre-produced. The cast and crew started filming as early as October 2016 and finished it in the first week of March 2017. Aside from the promotional materials consisting of at least 9 official posters and 6 trailers, the fact that the drama features popular actor Park Hae-jin as the main lead boosted its popularity. The actor starred in the 2016 cable drama Cheese in the Trap, which garnered international popularity during its run.
Man to Man tells the story of a black ops agent who disguises himself as a bodyguard to a longtime celebrity (played by Park Sung-woong) while completing national secret missions. It is the first Korean drama to be broadcast simultaneously by streaming giant Netflix, where fans in over 190 countries can stream the latest episode just one hour after its airing in Korea.
The drama airs every Fridays and Saturdays at 11 pm. It is set to end on June 10, 2017 and will be followed by Woman of Dignity starring Kim Hee-seon and Kim Sun-ah.
*Unless otherwise stated, all ratings mentioned in this report are based on nationwide viewership data from Nielsen Korea.