5 K-dramas rejected by SBS, only to become mega hits with insane popularity

The broadcasting station SBS must have been in deep regrets after rejecting these famous series 

While public channels are no longer dominating the K-drama field, SBS is still a formidable contender compared to the remaining stations, with many iconic works in recent years. However, SBS also missed out on a fair share of mega hits, with the following 5 K-dramas being the most regrettable case.

Signal (2016) 

From 2011 to 2014, SBS produced 3 series from screenwriter Kim Eun Hee. However, the broadcasting station refused to air “Signal”, as it believed the crime series’ complicated time-transcending plot will not be able to attract the audience, and its grim topic will not be able to interest sponsors and ads. 

“Signal” ended up going to tvN and becoming one of the most iconic K-dramas there. In particular, the series recorded a rating as high as 12.544%, and also received critical acclaim. It was also a big hit at awards ceremonies, winning Best Drama, Best Leading Actress, and Best Script at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards. 

Descendants Of The Sun (2016) 

SBS must have been in deep regret in 2016, considering that they not only missed out “Signal”, but also “Descendants Of The Sun”, which later became a phenomenon. According to SBS at the time, they did not have enough fundings to produce “Descendants Of The Sun”, and the war-themed drama is not “public-friendly” enough to guarantee success. 

Meanwhile, KBS2 decided to risk it all and placed their bets on “Descendants Of The Sun”, which eventually took Asia by storm, with ratings peaking at a whopping 35.3%. In addition, the series also won the Grand Prize Daesang at the 2016 Baeksang Arts Awards, so KBS2 is a big winner. 

Woman Of Dignity (2017) 

In the case of “Woman of Dignity”, this series included a lot of risqué scenes, making it unsuitable for a public channel like SBS. As a result, the series was aired on the cable channel JTBC, where there was less censorship. 

Starring Kim Hee Sun and Kim Sun Ah, “Woman of Dignity” ended up becoming the most successful K-drama of JTBC, as of 2017. While it was dethroned by “Sky Castle” in 2019, the series still remains among the Top 20 highest-rated JTBC series, landing in the 17th position. 

Mr. Sunshine (2018) 

Kim Eun Sook, the writer of Descendants of the Sun, continued to offer SBS the script for the drama Mr. Sunshine with high hopes and aspirations two years later. However, because the production budget was too enormous, this station continued to disappoint the famous writers.

This time it was tvN’s turn to play the big game and decided to accept the script from Kim Eun Sook. Mr. Sunshine went on to become not only a huge commercial success, but also a high-quality Korean small-screen product. Mr. Sunshine’s highest rating is 18.129 %, which helped it rank among the top six most popular cable dramas of all time. This work received nine nominations and one award at the 2019 Baeksang Arts Awards.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

SBS turned down Extraordinary Attorney Woo this time. Unlike the previous four dramas, the public has no idea why SBS rejected this project. Maybe it’s because this station already has enough programs involving attorneys in 2022, such as Again My Life and Why Her?

Whatever the cause, SBS will undoubtedly be disappointed to see Extraordinary Attorney Woo sparking a craze and bringing popularity to cable station – ENA. Park Eun Bin also appears to have a tight ties with SBS. SBS produced her first drama, while Park Eun Bin’s most prominent dramas were likewise produced by SBS.

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