Two new cable dramas premiered Monday night, with one competing against those from the three BIG networks. Its timeslot (9:30 p.m. onwards) is actually a major disadvantage, especially if a very popular free-to-air drama is airing over at another station.
That series is tvN’s ABOUT TIME, which recorded a nationwide and Seoul viewership rating of 1.766 and 2.249 percent, respectively. These modest numbers are not what the drama’s production team had in mind before the premiere but when a free-to-air series is enjoying a double-digit viewership (such as The Miracle We Met), disappointments may really be inevitable. Thankfully, the figures went up the next day, to 2.103 (nationwide) and 2.842 (Seoul) percent. That’s not a lot of improvement, but at least the series managed to record an increase because it is important for the second episode to surpass the pilot episode’s performance in terms of ratings, especially for a show which starts off with below 2-percent viewership. About Time would be in trouble had it recorded a drop in the second episode because chances are the third episode will end up with low viewership, too. And so on, unless the drama does something that would magically draw in more viewers into the show (like what Descendants of the Sun did).
Meanwhile, MISS HAMMURABI, which airs from 11 p.m., is off to a good start with over 3 percent viewership. Its pilot episode posted 3.739 percent nationwide and 4.179 percent in Seoul area. The following day, these figures increased to 4.553 and 5.201 percent, respectively. These are all impressive numbers, making the executives at JTBC very glad since the previous show (Welcome to Waikiki) only managed to secure a one-percent average rating. The timeslot is good enough for broadcasting dramas (since free-to-air series end around this time), so it’s really up to the show to showcase what it got (cast, story, cinematography, etc.) and convince the audience to stay until the last minute. Miss Hammurabi is actually the first Mon-Tue drama of JTBC to pull in this impressive viewership since Waikiki and Rain or Shine can be considered as flops as far as TV ratings are concerned.