SBS Drama Defendant Highest Rated Prime Time K-drama of 2017 with Manhole the Lowest Average Ratings of the Year

The year end for 2017 brings yet another sobering confirmation that the depressed K-drama ratings has continued for yet another year. I think it’s been 5 years and counting since ratings noticeably were low and stayed that way, and this year only one big three network prime time drama averaged over 20% and it was the SBS Mon-Tues drama Defendant, which barely inched over that mark on average. The next highest averaged drama was the KBS Wed-Thurs drama Chief Kim which averaged just over 15%, and coming in third is another SBS Mon-Tues drama with Whisper.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the three lowest averaged ratings drama are in descending order KBS Fri-Sat drama The Best Hit, MBC Mon-Tues drama 20th Century Boy and Girl, and I doubt anyone didn’t already know this but the lowest average ratings drama of the year goes to Manhole: Wonderland’s Feels (Feels So Good).  Only 10 dramas averaged over 10% and as expected from the ratings the majority of the dramas were stuck in the 4-6% average zone. Check out the full list below and please let 2018 be better!

Big three network drama average ratings for 2017:

1. Defendant
2. Chief Kim
3. Whisper
4. Ruler: Master of the Mask
5. Rebel: The Thief Who Stole the People
6. Falsify
7. Third Rate My Way
8. Witch’s Court
9. The Man Who Died to Live
10. Saimdang: Light’s Diary
11. Mystery Queen
12. Hospital Ship
13. My Sassy Girl
14. While You Were Sleeping
15. Suspicious Partner
16. Temperature of Love
17. Lookout
18. The King Loves
19. Mad Dog
20. Reunited Worlds
21. Seven Days Queen
22. Radiant Office
23. Strongest Deliveryman
24. Go Back Spouses
25. The Perfect Wife
26. Missing 9
27. School 2017
28. Lingerie Generation
29. The Best Hit
30. 20th Century Boy and Girl
31. Manhole


SBS Drama Defendant Highest Rated Prime Time K-drama of 2017 with Manhole the Lowest Average Ratings of the Year — 19 Comments

  1. This years dramas were pretty bad aside from a few gems. Highly promoted dramas ended up being not-so-great and the unexpected sleeper hits were better than expected. Fight My Way that was comparatively less promoted and had ’new stars’ (as in this was Kim Ji Won’s first lead role, and both KJW and PSJ have less popularity/’star power’ than, say, Lee Jong Suk ) and still beat wyws. Seven Days Queen was kinda underrated. Saimdang, although relatively high on that list, didn’t exceed the expectations.

    • I feel like the good dramas of this year have actually been extra good though. Stuff like Rebel (it deserved all those MBC drama awards wins, shame Yoon Kyun Sang didn’t get anything since he couldn’t attend), Because This is My First Life, Age of Youth, and I hear very high praise for Forest of Secrets… it’s definitely good. Even Fight My Way, which like you said came with no hype and ended up dominating the CPI for online buzz.

      • Totally agree. The good ones were very good. Maybe it’s because the ones that were bad were so disinteresting and k-drama slump inducing that even a little ray of sunshine felt so bright? But Rebel was really good. The las time I rooted for couple chemistry was around when Suspicious partner and Fight My Way were airing. I definitely liked AoY season 1 better but season 2 wasn’t bad either.

  2. Wow looking back I gave most of these dramas 6/7 out 10, and I skipped a lot of them also. This was not a good drama year in my opinion =/

  3. I placed Defendant and Chief Kim third and fourth on my best list, with cable dramas Woman of Dignity and Forest of Secrets in first and second. I’d like to see a list of the ratings winners for the cable stations.

  4. Yeah this year was horrible for kdrama.I hope this coming year will give us better quality productions.Somehow, even end years (2010,2012,2014,2016) tend to have hits and more variety of dramas than odd number end years(2011,2013,2015,2017).So here ia to hoping that the pendulum swings back to the good stuff in 2018.

    I am rooting for Ji Sung tomorrow.Lets go collect your Daesang. I swear am gonna flip some tables, if Lee Jong Suk wins top excellence actor over Uhm Ki Joon if they are nominated in the same category.This year LJS did not deliver like in W, Pinnochio or “I hear your voice”.

    • I thought that he didn’t deliver in W but at least he delivered in his monologue scene with Kim Ui Sung. If we compare his performance in wyws, it lacked that ’oomph’, that passion and ’kick’. You are rights, Uhm Ki Joon should get that top excellence award.

    • 2013 was actually a better year than 2014. You have 4 hit dramas one after the other with I Can Hear Your Voice, Master’s Sun, The Heirs and My Love From the Star. But yeah I agree about the other years.

      • @Anon, Oh yeah thats true.For some reason I always counted “My love from the Star as 2014 drama.I cancelled “Heirs” 10 mins into the first episode, after that horrible acting in the American bit.I desperately try to erase the memories of the clips where PSH was being dragged around+being directed to cry endlessly on youtube..not forgeting the horrible kiss scene.Thats why I forget it was a 2013 hit too.

  5. This year’s dramas were plagued with bad casting – too many idols with mediocre acting that never improves, yet companies are are still trying to force them down viewers throats. I really feel sorry for those talented actors/actresses and writers that aren’t able to work with the best and have to “dumb” down their skills in order to accommodate idols. I think audiences are getting more critical, especially with so many choices for entertainment these days, that If the Kdrama market doesn’t reevaluate their industry, many viewers will move on. It is so sad because there were so many great and epic dramas being produced in the past.

  6. Good drama this year was
    Because this is my first life
    Black night
    Too early to say but Hwayugi

    That’s it I think

  7. I usually use ratings to decide which drama to watch unless a drama is highly recommended by commenters like seven days queen and go back spouse etc.

    I was only able to watch 17 dramas on the list and congratulations to MBC in awarding rebel as the best drama,totally deserve it.suspicious partner and third rate my love have the best chemistry between the leads for me,in all I have to concur with many that it has been an average year quality wise.

  8. More and more people records their favorite drama instead of watching it real time due to multiple reasons. It’s a pity recorded series is not taken into consideration when it comes to rating average.

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