The release of ranking results has finally begun! And for the Top Kdramas of 2016 in free-to-air and cable TV, which is the highlight of Dramatop, we’re not going to announce all the winners at once. Instead, we will make it two dramas per day (1 drama each for free-to-air and cable TV) until the ultimate winner is announced on January 26. Other categories will follow, but for now let’s focus on the top 10.
Free-to-Air TV Top 10: Monster (9.73 %)
MBC didn’t have a hit drama last year as far as viewership rating is concerned, so it’s a good thing that Monster managed to be on the bottom of the list. This Monday-Tuesday drama has 50 episodes, making it the longest running drama among the 2016 shows that were ranked for this year’s Dramatop. That being said, one can commend Monster for making it to this list as prime-time dramas with over 20 episodes are always faced with the challenge to keep the viewer’s interest till the final episode. It started fine with 7.3 % and went up and down in ratings during its run. In general, however, the net trend in changes in ratings is positive, which means that the drama succeeded in making sure that viewers keep watching.
Director: Joo Sung-woo Writer: Jang Young-chul and Jung Kyung-soon Main Cast: Kang Ji-hwan, Sung Yu-ri, Park Ki-woong & Claudia Kim Broadcast Period: March 28 – Sep 20, 2016 (Mon-Tue) Time-slot Rivals: Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho, Beautiful Mind, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, Jackpot, Doctors & Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Cable TV Top 10: 38 Task Force (3.34 %)
38 Task Force is one of the only three dramas that OCN produced in 2016 and the only one that aired on the Friday-Saturday time-slot at 11 pm Korean Standard Time. tvN and JTBC dramas on these days start at 8:30 pm, so 38 Task Force didn’t have a rival during its whole run. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean its episode ratings averaged out to 3.34 % only because of the absence of competition. The drama is a mind-blowing show capable of surprising its viewers with unexpected twists. It’s no wonder its finale nearly tripled its first episode ratings. The viewers were hooked from start to finish by the con-artist and his tax collection officer buddy who work together in deceiving the bad guys into paying their unpaid taxes.
Director: Han Dong-hwa Writer: Han Jeong-hoon Main Cast: Ma Dong-seok, Seo In-guk & Choi Soo-young Broadcast Period: June 17 – August 6, 2016 (Fri-Sat)
Ok, so we have MBC’s Monster and OCN’s 38 Task Force as the 1oth highest rated weekday prime-time Korean drama last year in free-to-air and cable TV, respectively. One might wonder why the distinction between FTA and cable dramas is applied here (and on other ranking categories). It’s because it is not fair to have one ranking for all when dramas aired on cable channels do not have an equal chance as their rivals on KBS, MBC and SBS to be watched by the viewers. There are many viewers with no subscription to cable TV, and these people do not have the choice to switch to tvN, JTBC or OCN whenever they like to. In contrast, those with cable TV have access to all the channels and complete options to watch whichever drama they like. As a result, kdramas from the three big networks have a wider audience reach than those from cable channels.
To see all the list of rankings on one page, go to the Korean Drama Rankings 2016.
(Dramatop: Korean Drama Rankings 2016 is a Kdramapal post series that ranks kdramas based on their nationwide average viewership ratings from Nielsen Korea. It includes in its ranking only prime time dramas that air from Monday to Saturday. We ensure the accuracy of our ranking result by collecting data directly from Nielsen Korea’s website and other reliable sources. If you have feedback or questions regarding the rankings and this post series in general, you can send them to [email protected], message us via Facebook, or comment on the post below.)
- Dramatop Introduction: 50 kdramas included in 2016 ranking
- Monster, 38 Task Force join the top 10 dramas of 2016
- Jealousy Incarnate, Let’s Fight Ghost ranks 9th among 2016 dramas
- W, Drinking Solo rank 8th among 2016 dramas
- Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho, The Good Wife occupy 7th place
- Remember, The K2 place 6th in top dramas of 2016
- Legend of the Blue Sea, Dear My Friends rank 5th among 2016 dramas
- Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Cheese in the Trap secure status as 4th highest rated drama in 2016
- Doctors, Oh Hae Young Again rank third among 2016 kdramas
- Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, Signal hold record as 2nd highest rated drama in 2016
- Descendants of the Sun, Goblin achieve highest TV ratings among kdramas in 2016
- 5 highest-rated KBS dramas in 2016
- 5 highest-rated MBC dramas in 2016
- 5 highest-rated SBS dramas in 2016
- 5 highest-rated Mon-Tue dramas in 2016
- 5 highest-rated Wed-Thu dramas in 2016
- 5 highest-rated Fri-Sat dramas in 2016
- Legend of the Blue Sea, Goblin top drama ranking based on first episode ratings
- Descendants of the Sun, Goblin top drama ranking based on final episode ratings
- Descendants of the Sun, Goblin still no. 1 in drama ranking based on peak ratings
- Complete ranking of Korean dramas in 2016 based on viewer ratings