Based on its run in the first week, MBC drama Ruler: Master of the Mask outperforms SBS drama Suspicious Partner in terms of television audience share for the Wednesday-Thursday timeslot according to Nielsen Korea. MBC and SBS recently implemented a new system in which each night’s episode is split into two 30-minute parts with advertisement running in between. Hence, instead of having just two rating scores for two episodes, both dramas have now four rating scores recorded in their first week.
On its premiere alone, Ruler: Master of the Mask goes way ahead of Suspicious Partner with 10.65%* nationwide viewership ratings (average of the two parts), which is higher by 4.1 percentage points than Suspicious Partner’s average ratings of 6.55 %. With only a commercial break in between two parts, the MBC drama improved in ratings from 9.7% to 11.6%. In contrast to this nearly 2% development, Suspicious Partner’s ratings only went up by 0.5 percentage point after the break, rising from 6.3 % to 6.8 %. Data from TNmS also show this kind of trend between the two dramas.
The historical drama sustains its lead til the last half of its second episode with 12.6% ratings compared to the romcom drama with only 7.2%. Based on the two episodes’ ratings of each drama, Ruler: Master of the Mask enjoyed a 0.9-percentage point increase for the first week while Suspicious Partner remained relatively flat with just 0.1-percentage point increase.
These figures show an overturn of the first-week performance of dramas released by MBC and SBS. Ruler: Master of the Mask, with its impressive ratings in the first week, completely reversed its predecessor’s (Radiant Office) relatively poor performance. Meanwhile, Suspicious Partner was not able to follow the above 15% rating record obtained by Saimdang’s Light Diary during its first week.
The first episodes are always crucial for Korean dramas since these beginnings should make a lasting impression on the viewers and drive them to follow the drama’s story on the next episodes. Although there is much expectation on a drama’s pilot week, there is also still a lot to see and discover with the next episodes of the newest drama offerings from MBC and SBS.
*Unless otherwise stated, all ratings mentioned in this article are based on nationwide data from Nielsen Korea.