Naver Ranks the Top 7 Ratings Champions for K-dramas Aired From 2010-2015

With K-drama ratings so woefully low these past two years, and probably starting the general downward spiral even earlier than that, it’s still worth taking a look at which actors and actresses are the current crop of ratings leaders. One can argue overseas popularity and dramas viewing numbers, but the K-advertisers still look to domestic set top ratings and for the years of 2010-2015 the crowning champion of K-drama ratings is none other than Kim Soo Hyun. Is anyone surprised after his one-two punch of The Moon Embraces the Sun and You From Another Star.

The latest article in Naver took all the dramas aired in the five years between 2010 and 2015 featuring leading actors and actresses and averaged out the average episode ratings. Kim Soo Hyun’s lead might’ve been overtaken by Joo Won, who came in second, but for Joo Won’s average getting dragged down in the end by the huge flop that was Tomorrow’s Cantabile. Third was my cutie pie Yoo Seung Ho followed by my other cutie pie Lee Jong Seok in 4th place. Prolific drama leading man Jang Hyuk was 5th, and after that the only two ladies made the cut with Su Ae in 6th place and Gong Hyo Jin rounding out the top 7.

Gong Hyo Jin: Pasta, Best Love, The Master’s Sun, It’s Okay, It’s Love, Producer

Su Ae: Athena: Goddess of War, Thousand Days Promise, Yawang, Mask

Jang Hyuk: Chuno, Midas, Tree with Deep Roots, IRIS 2, Fated to Love You, Shine or Go Crazy

Lee Jong Seok: Secret Garden, School 2015, I Hear Your Voice, Dr. Stranger, Pinocchio

Yoo Seung Ho: Flames of Ambition, God of Study, Warrior Baek Dong Soo, Missing You

Joo Won: Baker King, Kim Tak Gu, Ojakkyo Brothers, Gaksital, 7th Grade Civil Servant, Good Doctor, Tomorrow’s Cantabile

Kim Soo Hyun: Dream High, The Moon Embraces the Sun, You From Another Star, Producer


Naver Ranks the Top 7 Ratings Champions for K-dramas Aired From 2010-2015 — 59 Comments

  1. So what if you did not done or done many dramas??

    Kim Soo Hyun is really incredible bcoz’ he has only 4 dramas..And i thought Ha Ji Won would be here..

    • She should be. Her avg. is 19.5 for TK2H, Empress Ki and SeGa. Even if her new drama is flopping the avg will make her #2 anyway.

      I was thinking LSG should be here too, but Brilliant Legacy was in 2009 so he missed it

    • Sadly this list Just look like for lee jong suk media play. They put high rating for dr stranger with solid fact which never got 18 percent rating and put secret garden which obviously cannot be named his drama.. Joo won should not do cantabile tomorrow. It drag his rating so much

  2. Why ha ji won not here? Her secret garden, empress ki and etc all got high rating.. She could rank higher than gong hyo jin in rating as far as i knew

    • Since for Su Ae they are taking into account “Mask” which is still airing, maybe they are taking into account also currently airing “The Time We Were Not In Love” for Ha Ji Won, which probably drags her average down a bit.

  3. Doctor Stranger really got 18% average ratings?
    and LJS count for secret garden?

    maybe 3 dramas is not enough for hajiwon but she definitely should be ther

    • lol no. avg was 11.7%.

      Joo Won’s is also weird. Baker King, Kim Tak Gu and Ojakkyo Brothers were both huge with 30%+ avg, but they aren’t both listed there.

      A lot of things wrong here.

      • Baker King is listed, though Ojakkyo was a weekend drama and was thus excluded.

      • @Mayisoon

        Ah, okay. But why? SeGa was a weekend drama too, even if it was shorter. Not a weekend family drama, but still a weekend drama. Same with Producer. I don’t understand this list and it’s bugging me. lol Moon Chae Won should be on here too. Her avg is pretty high as well.

      • @mel

        That I can’t explain. Anyway I look at it, SG shouldn’t be included. And HJW should definitely be on this list: SG 24, EK 20-25, TK2H 12-14 = at least 18%.

        But Producer had that weird experimental time and format, so that’s a tricky one.

        SA’s currently airing Mask will also have much higher number as a final result than the 9.8 they listed, seems weird to include figures that are probably based off the first 4-6 episodes.

      • Plus looking over some of the numbers like DS’s 18, the methodology or the data used here is clearly skewed.

      • @mel

        Actually, it just occurred to me, the dramas included are based on length (probably no longer than 24 episodes?), so longer running weekenders (Ojakkyo Brothers) and sageuks (Empress Ki) are excluded.

      • @mayisoon

        Okay, I think I got. Basically exclude some actors on technicalities so other actors can be on a list. Media play in a nut shell tbh. But I can’t figure out a reason for MCW not being there. One of her hits Princess Man is a sageuk, but a short one like others on the list. Maybe we shouldn’t think too hard lol

      • @mel

        The list is definitely off. Just take Moon Chae-won ‘s for example

        The Princess’ Man (2011) = 23,8%
        Nice Guy (2012) = 18,6%
        Good Doctor (2013) = 19,5%

        Even if we don’t count TPM, the average should be around 19%

      • @keung

        You’re really off. This list counts the average so for MCW, it would be:

        IODG (2010) – 7.9%
        TPM (2011) – 17.2%
        NG (2012) – 15.3%
        GD (2013) – 18%

        So without leaving any drama out, she averages 14.6% which has her in the same range as the other top actresses and no where near the top actors.

      • @Mel This list is from 2010-2015 so IODG is included which dragged down MCW average ratings but if this from 2011-2013 then average ratings would be quite high..

      • I think (though I haven’t gone through the entire list to check), that they only take into account prime time dramas. Ojakgyo Brothers was on an earlier time slot.

    • I doubt it lol. Even the episode with highest ratings couldn’t reach 15%, how could the average ratings of the whole show was 18% lol. More, he wasn’t the male lead in Sega so it couldn’t be count with his credit in term of ratings. I just approve the Kim Soo Hyun’s effect in ratings on this top 7 list since he’s the only star on the list has the screen power to make it over 10% from the 1st episode despite of the bad plot. Also, the other name I can approve is Lee Seung Gi. He’s has the same screen power as Kim Soo Hyun’s which always could make the TV viewers stick their eyes on his dramas with over 10% from the 1st episode just with his name alone. If anything, Lee Seung Gi has the longer yet stable since he always could do it since his 1st drama till now and also with all of the variety shows he appeared despite of being a main cast or just a guest. The others on this Top7 mosly got high ratings thanked to the good plot, not for their brand name only from the first place with the 1st episode often got low ratings.

      • “he’s the only star on the list has the screen power to make it over 10 percent from the first episode despite the bad plot”

        Producer was not competing with any other dramas in its time slot though andit was a weekend slot which = higher ratings.

        LJS shouldn’t be there for SeGa because he was not a lead but he did keep the ratings of the worst drama in the last 2 years, above 10 % for most of its airing. Everyone, even knets said the writing was shit but he was the only reason people even kept watching.

      • And Gong Hyo Jin has an even longer record of her dramas doing well and she was a star of Producer too, which you implied to be a bad drama. Why no credit to her? Before the 2014 ratings slump her last four dramas all ended up getting a 20 percent rating before the end, all the way back to 2007.

      • LJS got people to sit through DS, which is an accomplishment. He’s a raising star for sure. But he shouldn’t be on this list since his avg is around 13.1% without padding of SeGa and the wrong DS numbers. Remove him and add Ha Jiwon tbh. Though I’m not sure how much of a lead Yoo Seung Ho was in all the dramas he has listed either, so…. anyway, it’s not that serious. But justice for Ha Jiwon.

      • @mel, YSH played 2nd lead in all of those dramas listed. Thus, his number is more credible than LJS

    • @xxx

      Ah, yes! thanks for reminding me of IODG. I totally forgot about that drama being 2010. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

      • Lol np! I had to look up MCW too since I didn’t realize she only does one drama per year. She picks good projects though!

      • @Xxx

        And you are correct abiut the average and highest ratings. I was in hurry and didn’t double check them on asianwiki. the % numbers they put at their ‘total average’ column were highest ratings and not the average.

  4. This list has bucket loads of fails. I don’t understand how Doctor Stranger is given 18% when it never even reached 15% throughout its entire run. Lol, yea heck it averaged that high. There are a lot of of other things they screwed up in too, but whatever. I just know Kim Soo Hyun is the one thats right with all four of his main lead dramas being counted and still averaging over 20%. If Giant was counted he would have even further up the pack (which it rightfully shouldn’t be since he wasn’t the lead, unlike what they did for SeGa and LJS).

    Joo Won is another ratings guarantee although not as influential. When he does romcoms, it doesn’t work out for him. But when he goes back to serious dramas, the ratings are always high.

  5. Doctor Stranger did reach highest 18% on TNS but TNS doesn’t count so yeah. SooAe’s drama 1000years also include highest rating not average. LJS definitely shouldn’t count Secret Garden. I don’t think second leads should be included either like Yoo Seung Ho and Joo won’s case. Wanna be ratings champion be the lead. The article said only for less than 24 episodes which is why I guess Empress Ki got lost but there is Baker King lol. It’s a messed up list. lots of people missing.
    BUT LJS is a relative newbie as a leading man and he’s done lots of drama in 2 1/2yr period and his real average is 13. Not bad I say.

    • DS never reached 18% on TNS even for Seoul so I don’t even get where they got that number from. Also, it’s not the highest rating, it’s the average.

      If it was the highest episode ratings, KSH kills them all considering even his “lowest rated” Producer reached almost 18%)

      • DS got 18% for ep5 TNS seoul it’s on wiki you can check it yourself. I was just correcting people saying it’s never even reached highest 18%. I know it should’t be included on this list because it’s not the average. I said the list is messed up.

        And I know KSH is Ratings King anyway people look at it so yeah yeah hurrah congrats?

    • My bad then. DS did reach 18% in one episode and still averaged around the 13-14 range in Seoul and much lower in Nationwide. I’m glad we can agree that apart from a few obvious names, this list is BS.

      And lol, why do you sound so bitter? I think Joo Won is a good guarantee in ratings too. I felt like I need to point that out since you sound so offended that I mentioned how brilliant KSH was when it comes to viewership. Good for them both because they’re great actors and deserves the success.

      • The problem is they use AGB Nationawide number for other drama, but use TMS Seoul number for only LJS and DS. Why is that?

      • Who knows? Maybe the writer is an LJS fan or maybe it’s media play by his agency. The person is surely embarassing themselves by writing with such inaccuracy. Either which way you look at it, he doesn’t belong to this list more than someone like LMH or MCW does.

  6. Corrupt Korean media to a highest degree, some of the rating, they use AGB Seoul, some TNS Seoul, no consistency at all. Wonder how much money the agencies paid to the reporters for bribery. There all lots of other actresses higher than Su Ae.

  7. Ljs company is not a big shot one, if you think they media play this ratings think again. They can not even handle scandals, rumors properly. If your bias is not there, then it is not his fault, only inetz creating huge fuzz about this.

  8. This article was written by Lee Jin Ho, a reporter of enews24. It has too many errors to be trusted in the first place. The reporter of the original article stated that his criteria for the included actors and their projects at first. The actors should have at least three miniseries consisting of 12-24 episodes from 2010 to 2015. All the avg ratings were calculated based on AGB Nielsen Korea.
    Therefore, the reporter himself mentioned that Ha Ji Won was excluded because she had only two miniseries(Secret Garden, and TK2H) during the period. Empress Ki was not a miniseries. He also mentioned Jeon Ji Hyun’s and Park Shin Hye’s cases were similar with HJW’s, but PSH had three miniseries(Heart Strings, Heirs, Pinocchio) during that period. So the reporter was wrong about her.
    Aside from them, there were some questionable drama series included also according to the article itself.
    First of all, Yoo Seung Ho’s case. Flames of Ambition had 50 episodes and Warrior BDS 29. Then, Yoo had only two miniseries so he should be out like HJW according to the reporter’s criteria.
    Second, Joo Won’s Baker King was not a miniseries either(31 episodes), so it also should be excluded. Bridal Mask was 28 episodes but I heard it was originally planned to be 24 only to be extended. So I think it’s ok for Bridal Mask.
    And I also think Secret Garden should not be counted for LJS. And like others mentioned above, Dr Stranger’s avg ratings was 11.7.
    Su Ae’s Thousand Days Promise had avg 16.6 not 19.8 and Athena:Goddess of War 16.1.
    I don’t know how many errors this article has besides what I mentioned above.
    Therefore, LJS’s avg ratings should be changed to 13.37 (School 2013 12.4/ I hear your voice 18.8/ Dr Stranger 11.7/ Pinocchio 10.6)
    JW’s avg ratings to 13.02 (Bridal Mask 16.9/ Level 7 Civil Servant 11.4 /Good Doctor 17.9 /Tomorrow’s Cantabile 5.9)
    According to the article, MCW’s avg ratings was 12.48%, PYC’s 11.46%, which I didn’t check their credibility.
    And there were two big names in K-dramaland excluded in the original article.
    Lee Seung Gi’s avg ratings was 13.22 (My Girlfriend is Gumiho 12.6/ The King Two Hearts 12.2/ Gu Family Book 16.1/ You’re All Surrounded 12).
    Lee Min Ho’s avg ratings was 13.62 (Personal Taste 11.7/ City Hunter 16/ Faith 10.1/ Heirs 16.7). I don’t know why the reporter omitted them.
    The reporter set the criteria for his report on his own in the first place and this article contradicted them.
    Consequently, you don’t have to take this article seriously. This article was published in Korea yesterday, and many drama viewers found its errors soon and disregarded it.

    • Thanks for the clarification. Not taking it seriously, but I wish I could have that person’s job. Just write whatever and get paid. Sounds good.

      • Lying is one of the best job in Korea. You can make lots of money by lying because many people love it, they don’t like reality.

    • Thanks for sharing the information. It seems like the writer just include/exclude and increase/decrease some of the numbers just to fit whatever results he wanted to see hehe.

    • Thank for the clarification and further analysis. While the methodology is obviously unsound in this case, it is an interesting concept: to see which stars help guarantee a viewing audience.

      • We all thank @Chris for his obvious deeper knowledge of Statistics than this so-called journalist. There is no methodology in this analysis nor a concept, just a pay cheque.
        Statistics have been butcherly and merciless slaughtered in a country that recently placed 3nd in the International Mathematical Olympiad. I hope that’s not how they’ve been taught to collect and analyse data facts in Korea 🙁

    • If the ratungs counted using AGB Nielsenthe average for MCW’s was wrong as well. It is should be higher (I think @Xxx’s above post is using Tmns).

      MCW’s according to AGB Nielsen (check wikipedia for references.. lol. Since I am curious)

      IODG: 8.8%, TPM: 18.9%, NG: 15.3% and GD: 18% = 15.25% and not 12.48% as written by the reporter.

      As for PYC, I couldn’t find the ratings for AGB Nielsen his SS: 10.1%, RP: 11.6%, MY: 10, TD: 11.8% and TGWSS: 7.8%. And unless the average rating for Miss Ripley was quite high.. then this total average should be lower than what’s writen in the article.

  9. I love pseudo-scientific approaches with sole purpose to prove what “I want to be proven”. Excellent! Looking forward for more essays from this particular journalist and this particular media.

    • Midas is not a flop drama. The lowest episode rating only 8.4% for episode 1. After that it score more than 10% per episode. The 30% is for Chuno.

      • Though, every one of his ratings is wrong and not the avg. Some too high, one too low.

  10. Surprise that Lee Min Ho is missing…I was not a fan of his last few dramas but I thought they had great numbers.

  11. the only names that really came up on my mind right now are Kim Soo Hyun and Gong Hyo Jin. other names are Ha Ji Won, Joowon, and Moon Chae Won. such a pity that ha ji won fails this time and joowon failed with his contabile (why oh why you took that drama, ught). i never thought of lee minho when it comes to rating. lee seung gi did better than him. i wish i saw woobin’s name here, hehe

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