I don’t know anyone personally who watched recently wrapped SBS Wed-Thurs drama Saimdang: Light’s Diary, and judging from the sad sack ratings in Korea that’s the case as well. The drama was super high profile from the casting stage when it was announced as famed K-actress Lee Young Ae‘s comeback drama after thirteen years since record breaking hit Dae Jang Geum. The drama was fully pre-produced and easily sold overseas airing rights just on her name alone, alas the end product failed to ignite the interest on arrival and only puttered around from there on out based on the reviews and commentary.
It ended with only 28 episodes aired from the scheduled 30 filmed, leaving with so little fanfare compared to how it premiered. It’s too early to tell if this will dim Lee Young Ae’s aura but her name power got this drama sold to so many overseas countries for airing that the production has revealed that it’s made its budget back on that alone. Speaking of which, reportedly the Chinese rights buyer has to pay the full licensing fee even if it never gets approval to air in China thanks to recent THAAD and ongoing SARFT restrictions.