“Whisper” ratings drops to 13.4 %, “Rebel” takes lead

SBS drama Whisper saw a decrease in its ratings for the second episode, allowing Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People to take the lead in the Monday-Tuesday time slot. According to Nielsen Korea, the latest episode of Whisper recorded a nationwide rating of 13.4 %, which is lower than the first episode rating of 13.9 %. Rebel, in contrast, gained a 0.1 percentage point increase in ratings to end the week at 13.9 %.

Official poster of Korean drama Whisper

This development shows the failure of Whisper to copy the first week success of its predecessor Defendant which ended last week. In Seoul area, it also suffered a drop in ratings from 16.1 to 14.9 % while Rebel managed to record an increase from 14.3 to 14.8 %.  Data from TNMS also show this kind of trend wherein Whisper lost 2.5 percentage points nationwide in its second episode as Rebel achieved a 0.4 percentage point increase. In Seoul area, the changes are even higher. Whisper failed to maintain its first episode rating of 19.1 % and lost 3.8 percentage points in in the following episode. Rebel, meanwhile, enjoyed a 0.8 percentage point increase that increased its even episode ratings to 13.1 %.

The first week of airing is important for Korean dramas in making a good impression on the viewers. This is the time when they have to convince the audience to watch them and leave an impression that will persuade the viewers to follow their story on the next episodes. Whisper succeeded in having a big audience watching its premiere, as evident on its impressive ratings higher than 10 %. However, the negative change in its ratings from the first to second episode  signals a loss of the viewers’ interest in its story which can cause further decrease in the ratings in the following episodes.

Nevertheless, it is still too early now to say that the drama has really failed to capture the attention of the Korean audience. It will be seen next week if it can recover from its loss in the first week and live up to expectations that it will duplicate the success of Defendant.

Whisper airs every Mondays and Tuesdays until May 16, 2017.


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.