Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, Signal hold record as 2nd highest rated drama in 2016

This entry is part 10 of 21 in the post series Dramatop 2016

Today marks the 10th day of Dramatop, a post series that ranks kdramas based on their viewership ratings from Nielsen Korea. As we announce the second highest rated drama in 2016, our list is nearing completion and by tomorrow we will know which drama in FTA and cable television achieved the highest rating last year. For today, the second highest title goes to Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim and Signal.

Free-to-Air TV Top 2:  Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim (20.39 %) 

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim poster

It’s just yesterday when we announced Doctors as the second highest rated kdrama in 2016, and now we are announcing again another medical drama from SBS as one of the most watched dramas last year. Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim is one of only two dramas in 2016 whose average ratings surpassed 20%. It started in November last year with an already impressive 9.5% and broke through 20% in its fourth week. The remaining six weeks saw even higher ratings with the final episode achieving the highest at 27.6%. The drama received the most number of awards in the SBS Drama Awards last December 31, 2016, with its lead actor Han Seok-kyu winning the Daesang (Grand Prize). It might be nominated for Best Drama in the Paeksang Arts Awards later this year.

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim tv ratings

Director: Yoo In-shik Writer: Kang Eun-kyung Main Cast: Han Seok-kyu, Yoo Yeon-seok & Seo Hyun-jin  Broadcast Period: November 7, 2016 – January 16, 2017 (Mon-Tue) Time-slot Rivals: Sweet Stranger and Me, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, Woman with a Suitcase & Night Light

Cable TV Top 2: Signal (8.82 %)

korean drama Signal poster

If Reply 1988 is the highest rated cable drama in 2015, I personally thought Signal would hold the same record for year 2016. I was quite sure about that until one particular drama showed up and made me think again. Anyway, top 2 is not bad and if we rank these shows based on how good they really are (not just on viewer ratings), Signal is surely a drama to beat for the top spot. It is a perfect example of a highly rated drama whose quality is award-winning and superb. In fact, the Paeksang Arts Awards last year recognized it as the Best Drama, beating out strong nominees such as Descendants of the Sun, Reply 1988 and Six Flying Dragons. It premiered successfully as the first episode already posted over 5% in viewership ratings. On average, the ratings kept improving every week until it reached its peak at 12.54% for the finale.

Korean drama Signal tv ratings

DirectorKim Won-seok Writer: Kim Eun-hee Main Cast: Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo & Cho Jin-woong  Broadcast Period: January 22 – March 12, 2016 (Fri-Sat) Time-slot Rivals: Madame Antoine

To see all the list of rankings on one page, go 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.)

(Source of images: SBS & TVING)

Post Series Navigation<< Doctors, Oh Hae Young Again rank third among 2016 kdramasDescendants of the Sun, Goblin achieve highest TV ratings among kdramas in 2016 >>


Me? Just an ordinary lad with an extraordinary (says this something called 'stereotype') habit of watching Korean dramas. It started with action-filled City Hunter and the rest, as they say, is history.