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Top 5 reasons why many good K-dramas get low ratings

Are you curious why many K-dramas that get much praise for their plots and acting still end up with poor ratings? 

A bitter truth of many Korean dramas is that despite having a captivating storyline and a potential cast, they still earn poor viewership ratings in every episode. What are the reasons for this alarming situation? Let’s find out with KBIZoom! 

Missing familiar faces in the cast 

Actors are one of the most important factors that attract viewers for Korean dramas. If a scandalous male actor can drag the rating down, the lack of familiar faces in the cast can also result in a poor performance rating-wise. As can be seen, most popular Korean dramas have a star-studded cast including well-known actors or idols with a strong fan base. Therefore, with an unfamiliar cast, it can’t be helped that many Korean dramas with interesting plots often fail to succeed commercially. 

Top 5 reasons why many good K-dramas get low ratings

Actors involved in scandals

Another reason is because the leading actor of the drama is involved in a scandal. This easily causes the viewers to turn their backs on the drama. Casting famous Kpop idols has long been an effective way to improve ratings of Korean dramas, but many projects have unfortunately experienced low ratings due to the presence of actors and actresses who are caught up in controversies. An example is “Moon Lovers”, a drama appreciated for its emotional storyline but failed to get high ratings. Part of the reason is because the female lead was played by IU, who sparked much controversy among the Korean public during the drama’s broadcast. 

Top 5 reasons why many good K-dramas get low ratings

Broadcast on cable networks 

This reason does not apply to every drama, considering the fact that a great number of cable dramas have achieved great success with impressive ratings. However, records have still shown that series broadcast on major Korean TV networks like KBS, SBS… tend to attract more viewers than those on paid cable stations. An example of this is tvN’s drama “Bring It On, Ghost”. Despite its exciting, unique plot and the presence of famous and talented actors, including Ok Taecyeon and Kim So Hyun, the drama still could not break through in ratings.

Top 5 reasons why many good K-dramas get low ratings

Centering on topics are not easily received by the mass audience 

Most viewers who enjoy Korean dramas are usually women, from housewives to young women in their 20s and 30s. They often like dramas of the romance genre, depicting healing love stories and meaningful life lessons. That’s why despite having gripping storylines, detective and adventure series with more dramas and complicated events can receive less attention and lower ratings.

Top 5 reasons why many good K-dramas get low ratings

Strong competitors 

In many cases, because they are broadcast in the same time slots with hit dramas, they inevitably lose viewers to the more highly anticipated dramas. An example is “Please Come Back, Mister” led by Bi Rain. Although the drama was complimented for its hilarious storyline and natural acting by an experienced cast, because it was aired in the same time slot as the TV blockbuster “Descendants of the Sun”, “Please Come Back, Mister” had low ratings.

Top 5 reasons why many good K-dramas get low ratings

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