tvN’s crime thriller Secret Forest ended its successful run Sunday night, achieving a nationwide viewership rating of 6.568 % that makes it the highest-rated drama on the cable network in the first half of 2017. Data obtained from Nielsen Korea show that the 16-episode drama recorded an average nationwide rating of 4.562 %.
The drama’s final episode aired last night and posted a peak rating higher than 6 %. Secret Forest is the first ever tvN drama this year to break through 5 % in ratings, a figure considered a success on cable television. In Seoul area, this number is even higher, at 7.622 %. No other completed tvN drama in the first of 2017 has recorded a rating close to this value.
Secret Forest ranks third among the list of highest-rated cable dramas in the first half of this year based on average nationwide ratings, following OCN’s Tunnel and JTBC’s Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. When it comes to average Seoul ratings, it comes in second with 7.622 % and beats out Tunnel’s 7.057 %.
This development is a good news for tvN which has been suffering from a slump in ratings lately. Since February this year, the network was unable to pull off higher viewership ratings even for its high-quality shows like Tomorrow With You and Circle. The recent changes in the network’s drama time slots could have been influenced by this slump. It announced in May that it would move its Friday-Saturday dramas to Saturdays and Sundays and restore its Wednesday-Thursday dramas. The first shows to be affected by such changes are Secret Forest and Criminal Minds, which premiered last week with record-breaking ratings.
Secret Forest, also known as Stranger, centers on an emotionless prosecutor and a warm-hearted detective cop who discover the innermost secrets within a “forest”— the prosecutors’ office full of corrupt officials and hides something about a murder case. Leading the cast of the drama are Jo Seung-woo (God’s Gift: 14 Days) and Bae Doo-na (Master of Study), whose appearance in the show has contributed to the purchase of the drama by Netflix for $200,000 per episode. Bae Doo-na is popular worldwide as one of the leading cast in the American TV series, Sense8.
The series has been aired simultaneously on tvN and Netflix. The streaming giant company made the purchase under the condition that it would be the drama’s sole contributor globally to over 190 countries.