SBS’s ‘Penthouse’ sets new personal best, breaks 20% viewership rating

SBS’s popular suspense-drama series Penthouse is off to a great second-half run as its latest two-part 13th episode logged in 17.6% and 22.1% viewership ratings, landing a special spot as the second drama this year to hit the 20 percent mark. According to Nielsen Korea, up to 4.1 million people nationwide watched the drama last night, making it the most-watched TV show in South Korea on December 8.

Penthouse’s current record falls relatively higher than Dr. Romantic 2’s 20.7%, the 10th episode rating that made the hit medical drama the first Korean television series in 2020 to surpass 20 percent television ratings. The latter concluded with an impressive 18.4% average rating, a close best to its first installment’s (2016) 20.4%. Like Penthouse, both seasons aired as Monday-Tuesday dramas on SBS.

On October 26, Penthouse premiered with strong 6.7%, 9.2%, and 9.1% records for each part of the episode, respectively. By its second episode, it hit the double-digit rating and has since seen a steady rise in its viewership success. With its current running record, should it hold stable or see even more improvement, Penthouse has a high chance of securing a notable finale rating next year.

Penthouse features actresses Lee Ji-ah (The Ghost Detective), Kim So-yeon (Mother of Mine), and Eugene (All About My Mom) in the lead roles. Set against the luxurious 100-floor residential building called Hera Palace, the series follows the stories of three ambitious women from different social standings. Armed with a strong desire to succeed and become the best while protecting their family, they embark on a dangerous journey with unimaginable consequences.

Recently, the production team behind Penthouse revealed that a new season is officially in the works, following the realization of the team’s initial plans and the project’s boost in popularity among its fans and viewers.

Meanwhile, rounding out the roster of Monday-Tuesday dramas are Namgoong Min’s tvN thriller Awaken, which recorded 4.281% for its latest episode, and Shin Sung-rok’s time-crossing fantasy series from MBC, Kairos, which had ratings of 2.9% and 2.6% for its two-part 12th episode.


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Kang Center is an assistant editor for Kdramapal and a girl with many pseudonyms. You'd often find her typing away on her phone, most likely writing a short story or finding a new K-drama to binge-watch. She's addicted to police procedurals and rom-coms, citing Voice, Phantom, and Master's Sun as a few favorites.