Korean dramas have gained international popularity with platforms including Netflix streaming the latest dramas. From Song Joong Ki to Lee Min Ho, and from Park Min Young to Bae Suzy have become internationally acclaimed stars. Despite the presence of international streaming platforms, Cable TV has a strong presence in South Korea.
The nationwide TV ratings are considered very important for the drama to be declared a hit. Here are top 10 highest rated Korean dramas aired on Cable TV. The list is based on the statistics by Nielsen Korea.
10. Hotel del Luna (2019) — 8.9 percent
Hotel Del Luna was broadcast on tvN. It is a 16-episode fantasy drama directed by Oh Choong Hwan. Hong Jung-Eun and Hong Mi-Ran popularly known as Hong Sisters wrote the screenplay. The drama starred IU and Yeo Jin Goo.
Jin Goo starred as a hotel manager with an impressive educational background. His work at a hotel that caters only to ghost guests gets him closer to IU. She is fated to be the owner of the hotel till she atones the death of hundreds of people caused by her. The horror romance story was a great hit among the youth.
9. 100 Days My Prince (2018) — 9.0 percent
The 16-episode drama was aired on tvN. Historical drama 100 Days My Prince was directed by Lee Jong Jae and written by No Ji Sul. Singer-turned-actor D.O. played the lead role of the Joseon prince in the drama. It is the story of D.O and Nam Ji Hyun falling in love with each other in strange circumstances.
D.O. loses his memory and lives as a pauper, whereas Nam Ji Hyun is disguised as a maiden despite being from a royal family, to save her life. Fate brings them together, but a series of incidents keep them away from each other. This drama is about fighting for the right. The drama had even reached the highest national ratings of 14.4 percent in the final episode.
8. Hospital Playlist (2020) — 11 percent
The drama Hospital Playlist was also aired on tvN. The 12-episode medical drama was directed by Shin Won Ho and story was written by Lee Woo Jung. Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jung Kyung Ho, Kim Dae Myung, and Jeon Mi Do played the main roles in the drama. It is a story of five best friends from medical college working together in one hospital. The drama is about the work pressure, keeping up with friendship and complicated love life.
7. Itaewon Class (2020) — 11.8 percent
Itaewon Class is a JTBC drama. The 16-episode youth revenge drama is directed by Kim Sung Yoon and written by Jo Gwang Jin. It is also the highest rated webtoon-based drama. Park Seo Joon played the lead role f an ex-convict who works hard to make a big name n the restaurant industry. He successfully takes revenge against the people who killed his father and sent him to prison, ruining his future options. Kim Da Mi plays a ferocious supporter of Seo Joon, helping him not only to take revenge but also become successful in life.
6. Crash Landing on You (2019-2020) — 12.2 percent
Crash Landing On You is one of the most talked about tvN romance dramas. The 16-episode drama was directed by Lee Jung Hyo and written by Park Ji Eun. Starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin, Crash Landing On You is about a successful businesswoman from South Korea who crash lands in North Korea and is saved by captain played by Hyun Bin. Though forbidden, both fall in love and how they succeed in getting back together forms the main crux of the drama.
5. Reply 1988 (2015-2016) — 12.4 percent
A 20-episode tvN drama Reply 1988 directed by Shin Won Ho and written by Lee Woo Jung is considered the most popular family, romance drama. Reply is a story of ordinary people living in the same neighborhood. There is friendship, love, and family issues making it a wholesome entertainment. This drama even set a new benchmark for cable drama ratings. Lee Hye Ri and Park Bo Gum played the lead roles in the drama.
4. Sky Castle (2018-2019) — 12.5 percent
This JTBC drama is considered one of the finely made dramas that became the talk of entire nation. The 20-episode satire drama was directed by Jo Hyun Tak and written by Yoo Hyun Mi. This drama reveals the dark secrets of education system and ways and means used by the elite society to send their kids to the best medical school in the country. It talks about wealthy parents' obsession and pressures on the children to perform well.
3. Goblin (2016-2017) — 12.9 percent
The tvN fantasy romance drama is one of the favorite dramas of all time among the youth. The tvN drama of 16 episodes was directed by Lee Eung Bok and written by Kim Eun Sook of The King Eternal Monarch fame. Goblin starring Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun is a story of a goblin who meets his bride who can make him a mortal. The story of life and death, romance and parting even recorded a peak rating of 18.7 percent.
2. Mr. Sunshine (2018) — 13.0 percent
The tvN drama Mr. Sunshine aired 24 episodes. The historical, romance drama was directed by Lee Eung Bok and written by Kim Eun Sook. This is a period drama of love and fight for freedom starring Lee Byung Hyun and Kim Tae Ri, a noble woman who becomes a rebel. Lee Byung Hyun plays American Marine Corps officer who returns to Korea in a bid to colonize the land. But how he ends up helping the people of the land fight for their freedom and loses his life while saving the love of the his life is the plot of the story.
1. The World of the Married (2020) — 18.8 percent
The number 1 position is held by the romantic melodrama The World of The Married. The 16-episode JTBC drama was directed by Mo Wan il and written by Joo Hyun. Starring Kim Hee Ae and Park Hae Joon, the drama depicts the pain of separation and effects of divorce on teenage children. The story of love and betrayal, the drama is an intense display of emotions.