Not the famous dramas in the 2010s that we are familiar with, there were times when Korean dramas’ ratings were above 60%.
In recent years, Korean dramas have continuously earned new records of viewership ratings. Rating is also considered an important measure of the success of many productions. Popular dramas can record ratings up to over 20%, even over 30%. However, many young viewers are probably not aware of the time when the ratings of Korean TV series exceeded 60%. This was when the Internet was not prevalent and online streaming platforms had not yet appeared.
1. You And I
You And I is the highest-rated series in the history of Korean dramas. The peak rating was 66.9% – a record that perhaps will never be broken. The drama aired in 1999 – 1998, centering on the life of an old sailor and his three sons. You And I is also one of the first dramas that helped Song Seung Heon become one of Korea’s most outstanding actors.
2. First Love
Released in 1997, First Love is also a drama watched by a large number of Koreans when the highest rating was 65.8%. First Love is a typical melodrama that depicts conflicts in the relationship between family and love. Up to now, First Love is still deemed one of the most iconic works in the history of Korean TV.
3. What Is Love
What Is Love revolves around two families with starkly contrasting lifestyles. One is conservative and patriarchal, while the other is modern and practical. Aired in 1991, the drama once reached a rating of 64.9% – an achievement that no current drama with a family theme can surpass.
Sandglass earned the highest rating of 64.5%. The drama’s remarkable success is the launch pad for famous actors that still manage to maintain their popularity until today, such as Go Hyun Jung, Lee Jung Jae,… Sandglass depicts the story of two men whose friendship is tested from the late 1960s to the 1980s, one of Korea’s tumultuous political periods.
5. Hur Jun
63.5% is the highest rating that the only historical drama in this list, Hur Jun achieved back in the day. Broadcast in late 1999, early 2000, Hur Jun remains the highest rated Korean drama of the 21st century to this day. Hur Jun tells the life story of famous physician Hur Jun during the Joseon Dynasty.