Highest Rating Korean Dramas of All Time (Public Broadcast and Cable Television)

Highest-Rated Korean Dramas of All Time on Cable Television


Let’s move on to the dramas with highest ratings that have been aired on some cable television networks. The dramas which are released on cable television also have fewer viewers because people have to pay for cable television, such as tvN, JTBC, and OCN.

Here are some of the highest-rated Korean dramas on cable television!

Sky Castle (2019) – Highest Rating 23.779%


General Information

  • Title: Sky Castle
  • Genre: Drama, Satire
  • Episodes: 20
  • Network: JTBC


  • Yum Jung-ah as Han Seo-jin
  • Jung Joon-ho as Kang Joon-sang
  • Kim Hye-yoon as Kang Ye-seo
  • Lee Ji-won as Kang Ye-bin
  • Lee Tae-ran as Lee Soo-im
  • Choi Won-young as Hwang Chi-young
  • Kang Chan-hee as Hwang Woo-joo

Sky Castle was one of the most highly-rated Korean dramas on cable television, ever! At first, the early episodes only gained low ratings, but over the following episodes, the rating gradually increased until Sky Castle reached the highest ranking, having a viewership of 24.6%.

No wonder, there were a lot of people who were in love with the drama because Sky Castle presented viewers with an unusual storyline. If we commonly watch a drama with a romance story, Sky Castle was totally different. The series told us about several family stories, each with different occupations, but mostly they were doctors and law lecturers. Sky also has its own meaning, it refers to Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. Sky Castle was also the name of one of the neighborhoods there.

The three universities are the biggest and most popular universities in South Korea. In the drama Sky Castle, all of the occupants in Sky Castle were competing to get an exclusive education for their child, so that the child could enter one of the three famous universities. The storyline in Sky Castle is also related to real-life in South Korea, where there are a lot of students and parents who are struggling to receive education in privileged universities.

Reply 1988 (2016) – Highest Rating 18.803%

reply 1988 highest rating kdrama

General Information

  • Title: Reply 1988
  • Genre: Family, Comedy, Romance
  • Episodes: 20
  • Network: tvN


  • Lee Hye-ri
  • Park Bo-gum
  • Go Kyung-po
  • Ryu Jun-yeol
  • Lee Dong-hwi

Reply 1988 was aired in 2016 and is another of the highest-rated dramas from cable television! The show gained a lot of attention from viewers and received the highest ratings. On average, Reply 1988 received a rating of 12.314% on each of its episodes, and also Reply 1988 had some ratings as high as 18.803%. It was a new achievement since Reply 1988 was aired on cable television which usually only received a lower rating.

What made this drama stand out so much from other cable dramas? Basically, Reply 1988 was a story about life in 1988, where it was the first time the Olympics were held in South Korea. At the time, education and sports became huge and were very much in the spotlight. Not only that, but 1988 was also the year that K-pop first started to really develop.

In Reply 1988, teenagers really cared about togetherness and friendship, such as Choi Taek (played by Park Bo-gum), Kim Jung-hwan (played by Ryu Joon-yeol), Sun Woo (played by Go Kyung-po), Sung Daek-sun (played by Lee Hye-ri), and Ryu Dong-ryong (Lee Dong-hwi). They were best friends even though each of them had a very different personality.

With an attractive storyline and a lot of multi-talented artists, it’s no wonder that Reply 1988 was one of the highest-rated Korean dramas. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should think about trying it out.

Goblin (2017) – Highest Rating 18.680%


General Information

  • Title: The Lonely and Great God – Goblin
  • Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Network: tvN


  • Gong Yoo
  • Kim Go-eun
  • Lee Dong-wook
  • Yoo In-na
  • Yook Sung-jae

Who doesn’t know the phenomenal Korean drama Goblin? Since its first time airing, Goblin gained a lot of viewers! Moreover, Goblin got the highest ratings of a cable television drama! Goblin was one of tvN’s dramas, and scored the network significant ratings. In each of the episodes, Goblin rated at about 12% viewership. Goblin also became the first TV cable drama to surpass 20% viewership!

Goblin told the story of Kim Shin (played by Gong Yoo). He was a good warlord, but he was slandered until he was killed by the king’s order with his own swords. God gave him a second chance to live again, but with one punishment, the sword that was stuck in his body would continue to stick in him until he found someone who could throw the sword.

One day, there’s a girl named Ji Eun-tak. Since her childhood, Ji Eun-tak already could see ghosts. On her 18th birthday, she hoped that she could have a spouse and a job, and it turned out her wishes were heard by Goblin. After that, they met each other often, until they fell in love.

The appearances of Lee Dong-wook and Gong Yoo became one of the reasons why people loved the drama, and the story about a Goblin and a human who fell in love was also a major attraction.

Mr. Sunshine (2018) – 18.129%


General Information

  • Title: Mr. Sunshine
  • Genre: Historical, Romance, Melodrama
  • Episodes: 24
  • Network: tvN


  • Lee Byung-hun
  • Kim Tae-ri
  • Yoo Yeon-seok
  • Kim Min-jung
  • Byun Yo-han

Next on the list of highest-rated dramas from cable television, we have Mr. Sunshine! Usually, a drama’s first episodes have lower ratings, but not Mr. Sunshine! Since the first episodes, Mr. Sunshine already had 10%, and by the last episode, the series had gained 18.129% as the highest rating.

Mr. Sunshine was a story about South Korea in the 1900s, the era when South Korea had fallen to Japan’s colonialism. Eugene Choi played by Lee Byung-hun went to America, and then he came back to South Korea and knew about colonialism in his country. And also, there’s Ko Ae-shin (played by Kim Tae-ri). She was an aristocrat princess, but in the night, she changed into a masked insurgent. She killed all of the people who betrayed South Korea and defended against Japan.

People loved this drama for various reasons, such as the huge stars who were involved in the drama and the fact that it was written by Kim Eun-sook, a famous scriptwriter who also wrote for Descendants of The Sun, Goblin, and Secret Garden, and also directed by Lee Eung-bok!

100 Days My Prince (2018) – Highest Rating 15.1%


General Information

  • Title: 100 Days My Prince
  • Genre: Historical, Romantic, Comedy
  • Episodes: 16
  • Network: tvN


  • Do Kyung-soo
  • Nam Ji-hyun
  • Jo Sung-ha
  • Jo Han-chul
  • Kim Seon-ho
  • Han So-hee

100 Days My Prince also gained unusually high ratings, proven from the first episodes until the last episodes, on average it received 15.1%! 100 Days My Prince was the 4th drama from tvN to become one of the highest-rated of all time!

The drama related the story of Lee Yool/Won Deuk (played by Do Kyung-soo) and his childhood friend, Yoon Yi-seo/Hong Shim (Nam Ji-hyun). Lee Yool had already fallen in love with her, but because of the political problems in their kingdom, Lee Yool’s father ordered his subordinate to kill Yoon Yi-seo’s father, and Yoon Yi-seo’s family went into hiding and changed Yoon Yi-seo’s name into Hong Shim.

When he became an adult, Lee Yool got involved in an accident and it gave him amnesia. Lee Yool continued his life outside the kingdom, and as his destiny, he met again with his childhood friend, Hong Shim.

There are also several reasons why 100 Days My Prince got popular, such as the fact that it was an unusual twist on historical drama, and also the attractive storyline between Won Deuk and Hong Shim! Viewers also thought that their story was quite different from the others, which made them fall in love with the drama!

The World of the Married (2020) – Highest Rating 28.4%

The World Of The Married” Sees Significant Jump In Ratings With Latest Episodes | Soompi

General Information

  • Title: The World of the Married
  • Genre: Romantic Melodrama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Network: JTBC


When it became JTBC’s highest-rated drama opener, The World of the Married began its broadcast with a bang. The second episode saw a 10 percent spike in ratings, making it the first-ever JTBC series to reach the second episode with double-digit ratings. The household life of Ji Sun Woo (Kim Hee Ae) and Lee Tae Oh (Park Hae Joon) with the presence of the actor Yeo Da Kyung (Han So Hee) has successfully made the audience emotional. The World of the Married is the Korean drama with the highest rating with 28.4 percent. The World of the Married was also named the cable TV drama with the highest rating of all time. This drama managed to shift the previous position held by SKY Castle (2018).

Crash Landing on You (2019–2020) – Highest Rating 21.7%

Crash Landing On You” Main Cast Bids Farewell To Drama And Picks Favorite Scenes | Soompi

General Information

  • Title: Crash Landing on You
  • Genre: Romance
  • Episodes: 16
  • Network: tvN


Crash Landing On You will not only bring a new wave to Korean drama viewers in 2020, but it has also earned amazing ratings. When Crash Landing on You was first revealed, people couldn’t help but comment on its apparently silly storyline. But in the first two months of 2020, it turned out to be the most-watched drama, with many viewers who went crazy over its lead stars, Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin.

The drama starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin scored a personal rating record of 21.7 percent. The drama Crash Landing on You itself tells of the forbidden love between a North Korean soldier named Ri Jung Hyuk (Hyun Bin) and the daughter of a South Korean conglomerate, Yoon Se Ri (Son Ye Jin).

Itaewon Class (2020) – Highest Rating 16.5%

Drama 2020] Itaewon Class, 이태원 클라쓰 - k-dramas & movies - Soompi Forums

General Information

  • Title: Itaewon Class
  • Genre: Coming-of-age, Youth Drama
  • Episodes: 16
  • Network: JTBC


As the best-rated webtoon-based drama, Itaewon Class currently holds the honor. Thanks to its relatable characters and plot, it was one of the most successful series in the first quarter of 2020, penned by none other than the creator of the webtoon. Itaewon Class is one of the cable TV dramas with the highest ratings of all time.

Park Seo Joon’s drama recorded the highest rating of 16.5 percent nationally. Park Seo Joon takes on the role of Park Sae Ro Yi, a businessman full of ambition who always upholds justice and is against corruption. Armed with anger at the death of his father, he tries to conquer the Itaewon area and fight against food industry conglomerate Jang Ga.

Other than all of the dramas that have been discussed above, there are some other highly-rated dramas from cable television! Let’s check them out:

  • Signal (12.5%)
  • The Lady in Dignity (12%)
  • Reply 1994 (11.5%)
  • Prison Playbook (11.1%)
  • The Crowded Clown (10.8%)

Well, that was all for the drama rating information! Channel-Korea has introduced you to all the famous dramas that have gained a lot of attention and have become highly rated, whether it was from cable television or from public broadcasts!

All of the dramas have their own kind of attractiveness, and also, the actors and actresses and the crew who were involved in them were great and already did well for their job! Since there’s a lot of great dramas, you could pick one as your favorite, and you can kindly share your thoughts in the comment section down below!