Cable network tvN confirmed on June 28 the four weekend dramas it has lined up for the second half of 2019, all of which boast of A-list actors, writers, and directors who had previously worked on critically and commercially successful projects.
At present, the weekend drama programming of the said network is scheduled at 9 p.m. Korean Standard Time every Saturday and Sunday. The time slot is currently occupied by the second part of the Song Joong-ki starrer Arthdal Chronicles, which will be followed in July by IU‘s Hotel del Luna.
tvN has secured the rights to broadcast the new drama of Hyun Bin, Crash Landing Of Love. The said series will premiere in November, following the conclusion of Ji Chang-wook’s Melting Me Softly which is expected to begin its run three months from now.
July—Hotel del Luna starring IU and Yeo Jin-goo
The first month of the second half of the year will see the premiere of fantasy romance Hotel del Luna which is headlined by IU and Yeo Jin-go. IU (My Ajusshi) is starring as the owner of a mysterious hotel which caters only to ghosts, while Yeo Jin-goo (The Crowned Clowm) is playing the hotel’s top-flight manager who has a master’s degree from Harvard Business School.
Directed by Oh Choong-hwan (While You Were Sleeping, Doctors) and written by the Hong sisters (A Korean Odyssey, The Master’s Sun), the 16-episode series will be broadcast from July 13 to September 1, 2019. It is one of the record-high 17 new Korean dramas that will premiere next month.
September—Arthdal Chronicles starring Song Joong-ki and Kim Ji-won
Following Hotel del Luna is the third and last part of the currently ongoing series Arthdal Chronicles, which is directed by Kim Won-seok (My Ajusshi, Signal, Misaeng) and penned by Kim Young-hyun and Park Sang-yeon (Six Flying Dragons, Tree With Deep Roots). It is an ancient historical drama that follows the inhabitants of a mythical land called Arth as they vie for power and protect their loved ones. Song Joong-ki (Descendants of the Sun) and Kim Ji-won (Fight For My Way) are playing the lead roles along with Jang Dong-gun (Suits) and Kim Ok-bin.
Arthdal Chronicles is currently the most talked about drama in South Korea, having topped the ranking of the most buzzworthy series since its premiere on June 1. The three 6-episode parts of the series were completely pre-produced but tvN decided to delay the broadcast of the last part until the first week of September, which is an atypical format in the K-drama industry.
The third part of Arthdal Chronicles is expected to be broadcast from September 7 to 22, 2019. Since the filming for the entire series was already completed in May, its schedule will not be affected by the recent announcement of Song Joong-ki about his impending divorce with his wife Song Hye-kyo.
September/October—Melting Me Softly starring Ji Chang-wook and Won Jin-ah
Ji Chang-wook’s Melting Me Softly will replace Arthdal Chronicles in the last week of September or early October. It is a sci-fi romantic comedy about a man and a woman who are victimized by a mysterious scheme during an experiment. Ji Chang-wook (Suspicious Partner) signed up for the role of a variety program director who participates in his own show’s experiment that will put people to sleep and have them frozen for 24 hours.
Won Jin-ah (Life) took on the role of a part-time employee at the broadcasting station where Ji Chang-wook’s character is working. She ends up participating in the experiment in exchange for money. Both characters get the shock of their lives when they wake up 20 years—not 24 hours—after the start of the experiment and learn that they must maintain their body temperature at 31.5 degrees Celsius (88.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to survive.
November—Crash Landing of Love starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin
Lastly, the year will be capped off by Crash Landing Of Love (or Love’s Emergency Landing), a romantic series whose story unfolds when the heiress to one of the biggest companies in Korea strangely ends up landing on North Korean soil during a paragliding accident. She is rescued by a North Korean commissioned officer who subsequently develops feelings for her.
Son Ye-jin (Something In The Rain) And Hyun Bin (Memories of the Alhambra) were confirmed last month to play the main characters. Both actors previously worked together in the 2018 film The Negotiation.
PD Lee Jung-hyo of Romance Is A Bonus Book, Life On Mars, and The Good Wife is at the helm of Crash Landing of Love’s production. Meanwhile, the screenplay team is headed by Park Ji-eun, the screenwriter of My Love From The Star, The Producers, and Legend Of The Blue Sea.
Major K-drama programming
The weekend prime time slot of tvN has seen some of the biggest and most successful Korean dramas of the network in recent years. It was originally on Fridays and Saturdays, but the network moved it to Saturdays and Sundays in June 2017 to “to accommodate the lifestyles of its diverse viewership.” Chicago Typewriter was the last drama that was aired before the scheduling changes were implemented. On the other hand, Stranger became the first ever series that was affected by the new schedule.
The most successful weekend dramas of tvN include Dear My Friends, Signal, Reply 1988, and Misaeng for the Friday-Saturday time slot; and Mr. Sunshine, Live Up To Your Name, and Stranger for the Saturday-Sunday schedule.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sunshine, Room No. 9, and Memories of the Alhambra made up the network’s drama lineup in the same period last year.