List of Korean Drama Has the Highest Rating of All Time (Public Broadcast and Cable Television)

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Korean Drama, The New Addiction for People All Around The World!

Lately, all things Korean are becoming huge and popular, whether it is Korean culture, Korean music, or Korean drama! Not only that, viewers of Korean drama come from all around the world, and it’s quickly becoming their new addiction! Channel-Korea is going to provide you with a detailed outline of everything about it, so stay tuned!

Korean drama has been becoming very popular, especially since the early 2000s. There are a lot of Korean dramas, some focus on romance, others are historical, psychological, thriller, melodrama, and many other themes. For the most part, however, romances and melodramas seem to be the most popular genres. Some of the reasons why people love Korean drama are because of the actors and actresses, obviously, the attractive storylines, and also the conflict in some dramas that felt like real life.

In this article, Channel-Korea will introduce you to the Korean dramas with the highest rating of all time!

What Makes K-Drama So Special?

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Even though there’s a lot of dramas from all over Asia, Korean dramas are more popular than other Asian dramas. Compared to dramas that come from other parts of Asia, such as Japan, Thailand, or China, Korean drama is beyond all of them for various reasons. Some of the reasons are that people love the acting abilities of the actors and actresses. At the same time, they successfully evoke all types of emotions in the viewers, whether it is happiness, sadness, or anger.

Other than that, Korean dramas also have good soundtracks. Every time you watch a Korean drama, we bet that you’ll always fall in love with the soundtrack! The soundtracks come from a lot of great singers, and the songs are related to the scenes in the drama.

Korean dramas also pay attention to every detail of the drama, such as the details of a hospital setting for a scene. There’s a lot of medical implements for the hospital scenes, and they create a sad atmosphere to assure the viewers in a hospital scene! So, are you still hesitant to watch Korean dramas?

Highest-Rated Korean Dramas of All Time in Public Broadcast

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At first, Korean drama came from public broadcast networks, but with the advent of cable television, both public broadcast and cable television networks were competing to present us with great stories. No matter what sort of network, the dramas being produced are all great.

Korean dramas from public broadcasts used to have more viewers than those produced by cable networks, largely because public broadcasts were free for everybody, whereas cable television was only for the people who had paid subscriptions. Publicly broadcast dramas also tended to have a lot of episodes, which made the viewers more excited!

Not only that, but Korean dramas from public broadcasts also presented us with the usual conflict that typically occurred in real life, such as with Boys Before Flowers, The Heirs, Full House, etc!

Here are some of the highest-rated Korean dramas from the public broadcasts!

You and I (1998)

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General Information

  • Title: You and I
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Melodrama
  • Episodes: 58
  • Network: MBC

Cast

First of all, we’re going to talk about You and I, one of the highest-rated Korean dramas from the public broadcasts! Perhaps some of you haven’t watched the drama, since the drama was released in 1997, but don’t worry, we will explain the synopsis and the rating here for you!

You and I became one of the highest-rated dramas of all time from a public broadcast right from the first episodes.

Basically, You and I was a story about Park Jae-chu’s family, he was a sailor and also the father of four children. The children were Dong Kyu, Young Kyu, Sang Ok, and Min Kyu. The drama also told us about the children’s lives, such as about Dong Kyu as a working man who had taken the responsibility to protect his siblings, about Young Kyu, who wants to marry a rich girl someday, about Min Kyu, who was an introvert son, and Sang Ok, the only daughter in Park Jae-chu’s family. The drama told us about each of the children’s love story, their struggles, and how they overcome them.

The usual conflict in the drama became one of the attractions for You and I, since people related to the conflict, moreover, the conflict also occurred in their real life. No wonder You and I became everyone’s favorite drama at that time!

First Love (1997)

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General Information

  • Title: First Love
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Episodes: 66
  • Network: KBS2

Cast

Next, we have First Love as the second-highest-rated drama from a public broadcast! From the first time it aired, First Love gained 65.8% on its final episodes! Even the average rating of its episodes was around 52.6%. Such a big achievement, right?

Basically, First Love told us a story about Hyo Kyeong, who was the only daughter in her rich family, but she was forced to marry Suk Jin. Suk Jin was a rich man who was also Hyo Kyeong’s tutor. But actually, Hyo Kyeong had fallen in love with Chan Hyuk, an ordinary man. Unfortunately, Chan Hyuk died, and it caused Hyo Kyeong to eventually marry Suk Jin.

The slight conflict and relatable story-line were some of the various reasons why First Love became popular and gained a lot of viewers.

What Is Love (1992)

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General Information

  • Title: What Is Love
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Episodes: 55
  • Network: MBC

Cast

Last, but not least, we have What Is Love! What Is Love was the third highest-rated drama from public broadcast since from the first episodes they gained more and more viewers until their last episodes hit a market share of 59.6%!

What Is Love told us a story about two families with different issues. One family was kind of a conservative and patriarchal family, meanwhile, the other one was more of a modern and pragmatic family. The conflict came when they became quarrelsome in-laws, due to their different backgrounds.

The plot from What Is Love was unusual, which is why What Is Love became popular and received a lot of viewers! The drama also told us about how important it is to balance our differences, no matter what, where, or who we are.

And here are some of the other highest-rated dramas from the public broadcast:

  • Sandglass (64.5%)
  • Hur Jun (63.5%)
  • A Sunny Place of the Young (62.7%)
  • Sons and Daughters (61.1%)

Highest-Rated Korean Dramas in the 2010s in Public Broadcast

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And here are some of the highest-rated dramas from public broadcast in the 2010s!

My Only One (2019)

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General Information

  • Title: My Only One
  • Genre: Family, Drama
  • Episodes: 106
  • Network: KBS2

Cast

My Only One was the highest-rated, it hit 48,9% viewership! With a lot of episodes, My Only One still successfully gained the highest rating of all time! The series told a story about Kim Do-ran (played by Uee). She was a cheerful woman, but, unfortunately, her fate wasn’t as cheerful as her personality. She was involved in financial problems and had to work harder to reach her dream to be a politician.

Not only that, but Kim Do-ran also had to accept the truth that her parents weren’t her real parents, and she lived in an environment where the people within it were killers. The struggle in Kim Do-ran’s life drew attention from the viewers, which is why it was so highly rated.

Bread, Love, and Dreams (2010)

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General Information

  • Title: Bread, Love, and Dreams
  • Genre: Romance, Melodrama
  • Episodes: 30
  • Network: KBS2

Cast

Bread, Love, and Dreams was released in 2010, and became one of the highest-rated dramas from public broadcast in the 2010s! Since the first episodes, the drama’s viewership increased until it reached 50.8% at its peak! Its average rating was still a very respectable 38.6%!

Bread, Love, and Dreams was about Kim Tak-goo (played by Yoon Shi-yoon), he was the illegitimate child of Samhwa Entertainment’s president and an ordinary woman. Luckily, he became one of his father’s heirs due to his good ability in making bread. The conflict came when his stepbrother and his stepmother wanted to seize Kim Tak-goo’s right as an heir.

Kim Tak-goo didn’t give up, he was struggling to build up his career and dreamed of being the number 1 bread king, going from being a zero to being a hero. Not only that, but Kim Tak-goo was also involved in a love conflict between his first love and a woman who was always on his side and supported him.

The struggle of Kim Tak-goo’s life was the most compelling thing about the drama, but the betrayal and family relationships were very relatable and pulled viewers in. No wonder Bread, Love, and Dreams also received such high ratings.

Wang’s Family (2014)

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General Information

  • Title: Wang’s Family
  • Genre: Romance, Family, Comedy
  • Episodes: 50
  • Network: KBS2

Cast

Wang’s Family had a substantial viewership, since the drama received the highest rating overall, averaging 34.3% on any given episode! Ratings for some of the episodes rated as high as 50,3%!

Wang’s Family was a story about… Wang’s Family, all the members of which were struggling with their own problems. The oldest child was married into a rich family but ended up being poor. The second child had her own financial problems because her husband was jobless, and the third child had an obsession to be a writer.

The story-line was related to the values of Korean society, which is why so many people loved the show.  It was full of situations that were highly relatable.

Moon Embracing the Sun (2012)

Drama 2012] The Moon that Embraces the Sun 해를 품은 달 - k-dramas & movies - Soompi Forums
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General Information

  • Title: Moon Embracing the Sun
  • Genre: Romance & Historical
  • Episodes: 20
  • Network: MBC

Cast

The Moon that Embraces the Sun received a rating of 18.0 percent on its premiere episode. The rating continued to increase until it reached 31.7 percent in the eighth episode. Historical drama is indeed one of the drama genres idolized by Korean society, especially because this drama has a unique storyline. The Moon that Embraces the Sun finally ended on episode 20 with a rating of 42.2 percent.

This drama tells the story of a secret love between Lee Hwon (Kim Soo Hyun) and a daughter from the noble family Heo Yeon Woo (Han Ga In). As a child, Queen Mother Yeon Woo plans to kill her to replace Yeon Woo as queen. But thanks to the power of magic, she was able to escape that evil intention even though she had to lose her memory. Eight years later Yeon Woo returns to her homeland under the name Wol, and everyone still remembers her. She was also involved in an affair with a king named Lee Hwon (Kim Soo Hyun).

Descendants of the Sun (2016)

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General Information

  • Title: Descendants of the Sun
  • Genre: Action, Melodrama, Romance
  • Episodes: 16
  • Network: KBS2

Cast

  • Song Joong-ki
  • Song Hye-kyo

Descendants of the Sun is the first drama since 2012 to reach 30 percent ratings. In the first episode, this drama aired with a rating of 14.3 percent by AGB Nielsen’s version. In the third episode, the drama’s rating immediately soared to 23.4 percent. In episode nine, the drama’s rating went through to 30.4 percent and 31.6 percent in episode 10. It obtained a peak rating of 38.8 percent.

Descendants of the Sun is a melodrama genre drama that tells the love story of Captain Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki), a soldier in the UN peacekeeping force and a doctor named Kang Moo Yeon (Song Hye Gyo). Yoo Shi Jin seems to harbor feelings of love for Kang Moo Yeon but his duty as a soldier, makes him obliged to serve in the military in a war zone on the Balkan Peninsula.

The Slave Hunters (2010)

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General Information

  • Title: The Slave Hunters
  • Genre: Action, Historical
  • Episodes: 24
  • Network: KBS2

Cast

  • Jang Hyuk
  • Lee Da-hae
  • Oh Ji-ho
  • Lee Jong-hyeok

The Slave Hunter tells the story of a young noble, played by Jang Hyuk, whose love for his family’s slave sister turns his life into a tragedy. He then lived on the streets for 10 years while carving his name as a slave hunter and looking for the woman he loved. Then finally, he is hired to track down a runaway general, played by Oh Ji-ho, who is wrongly accused and framed. The hunt begins, and he finally finds the general, who happens to be romantically involved with the woman he has been looking for. The drama was very successful in the market, having consistent peak ratings for seven weeks, with an average rating of 31.7%, and peaking at 35.9%. The drama’s success led to lead actor Jang Hyuk being nominated for Best Actor at the 2011 International Emmy Awards for his performance.

Below are some of the other highest-rated dramas from public broadcast in the 2010s:

  • How Is Your Husband? (48.2%)
  • Cinderella (48%)
  • All In (47.7%)
  • Seoyoung, My Daughter (47.6%)