Kim Eun Sook’s New Drama Mr. Sunshine Gets Highest tvN Premiere Ratings with Over 8% in First Episode

The magic ratings touch of screenwriter Kim Eun Sook strikes red hot yet again. Her latest drama the 2018 cable network tvN period offering Mr. Sunshine premiered this Saturday with 8.852% ratings, and for comparison her last drama Goblin premiered also on tvN with 6.322% and went on to shatter tvN ratings records during its run. I’m really impressed with Kim Eun Sook and for the love of Korean dramas and a genuine awe and respect for Korean history and its myriad struggles I do want this drama chronicling a really messy and chaotic transition period between dynastic Joseon and the modern Korean Republic to really do it justice. Just the screencaps alone for the first episode give me chills and I’m purposely waiting to watch it when I have some alone time to savor the effort and care that went into making this drama. Only time will tell if the ratings will go up as the run continues.


Kim Eun Sook’s New Drama Mr. Sunshine Gets Highest tvN Premiere Ratings with Over 8% in First Episode — 48 Comments

    • It’s boring if you prefer Romantic dramas that KES is normally known for.

      The first episodes focuses on the people of Korea rather than on the two leads alone. It was more of an introduction of each characters background.

      It’s more feeling envoking than it is thrilling. I think based on the trailer and Goblin most people excepted a faced paced adrenaline rushing episode. It definitely is not that.

      • i watched the first episode i really liked it, especially showing the transition of each character past and romantic drama’s are little too cringe for me.

  1. ******spoiler

    There is a scene when you Eugine stops running and looks back at his parents both dead and the scene stays on him fo such a long time with him just standing there an orphan in just 5 minutes.

    It’s such an effed up scene and they focus on him long enough to make your feel uncomfortable watching it. A 7-9 year old looking at his dead fathers body and drowned mother.

    That’s one of the reasons I loved watching the first episode. The uncomfortable pauses. They remind you of the pain and the humanity sacrificed in Joseon.

    Another scene I loved was when the slave lost land her rents to farm because the owners sold it so he can buy a watch. That begging scene is brilliant!
    The pauses, the focus on the grandson who is about to receive a watch that costs a family’s livelihood. His discomfort.

    It allows you time to take it all in and savour the moment before the story moves on. It also allows you to see the talent of the cast.

    The difference between this story and Goblin (which I completely adored) is that Goblin wore me down by like the 10th episode because it was on full speed and barely allowed me time to breath and appreciate the small details.

  2. Let see if it will be able to maintain the high ratings I remember lotbs then premiered with a higher ratings than dots and so many people thought it would break their over all rating but look what happened

    • This is a cable network. 8% for a cable network might be equivalent to 18-20% in public free view tv network. DOTS premiered only at 12% while LOTBS at 15% but the latter remained around that % all through out the series which unlike DOTS to 35%.

      • 8% on cable these days is closer to 15%-16% actually but its an extremely spectacular debut. It deserves the high ratings frankly.

  3. Wow 8% for a premiere! That is impressive.

    However, I read this drama cost US$38.5 M or US$1.6m per episode. Well it shows in their high profile supporting & cameo cast.

    But they only sold it to Netflix so far. But Netflix is a bit cheapy as I read they are even hesitant to pay $200k per episode. That is why there are very few current US TV series available there except those produced by them.

    • Netflix is cheap when it come to paying people they are not sure can bring in the ratings. LBH always brings in a large audience for all of his dramas and movies so he likely gave them the confidence in viewership.

      Since they were paid by both TVN and Netflix I’m sure they already broke even in sales. I’m curious how much they earned in China and Japan or if the show is airing via Netflix in both countries.

      I read somewhere that LBH made bank with this show.

      • Regarding Netflix… I want to reiterate they are even hesitant to pay US$200k per episode for any dramas unless it’s their own production. That is why you hardly see any American series available for viewing in Netflix.

      • Btw, I didn’t say that Netflix only pay $200K for this drama. Since it’s anbig production & Netflix get to broadcast about the same time as TvN, they probably paid more than $200K but comparing to the costs to produce the drama, I doubt if they can even recoup 30% of the production from their revenue in Nexflix.

    • I am not sure this is true about Netflix they and Amazon have the most original shows. By the end of the 2018 Netflix will have bout 700 original shows and movies; This includes the deal with both Marvel and DC to stream their shows.

      Netflix’s deal with Marvel being the most lucrative since all of Marvel with television shows are Netflix originals for $40 million.

      Netflix has major deal with people like Shonda Rhimes, and 5 year $300 million deals with Ryan Murphy.

      Chris Rock had a $40 million dollar deal with Netflix for only 2 stand up shows and Dave Chappelle earned $60 million, Jerry Seinfeld $100 million and something I might compare Mr.Sunshine to is sense8 which was recently cancelled by netflix but cost $108 million to produce.

      Most likely the new about monique being offered like $500K and Tiffany Haddish $800K might be the reason people might see netflix as stingy but this is a pattern of paying women less.

      Netflix is pretty generous to its Original productions especially with Veteran actors, producers, creators and comedians that have already proved themselves.

      • You are talking about their own production. For Mr Sunshine, they pay per episode to the producers of the drama.

      • *own production or Netflix being the main broadcaster. Not with Mr Sunshine, TvN is the main broadcaster of the drama & then their MNet for the international Market.

    • Thats not true, Netflix doesn’t work like that. They buy content from production houses and sign a deal to own rights to the content. Notice how in every country aside from Korea the show is being streamed by Netflix (Im not sure by China). They don’t buy the show by episodes but by full complete season as a package before they slap the Netflix original series label on it.

      • Mr.Sunshine is owned by both TVN and Netflix internationally. Mnet is not listed as a distributor.

      • lol I am just breaking down the monetary value for better understanding. Of course, it’s common sense that they get the full package price in the contract. Netflix can label it they want in accordance the to contract just like Live which they paid at a contract price of US$3.2M.

      • TvN & Netflix don’t own the drama but have to right to broadcast. Studio Dragon & the the production company Hwa&Dam Pictures, both are subsidiaries of CJ E& M along with TvN.

      • @MistyEyes This is from a Korean business website, a legit source. You should stop being so stubborn when you don’t know anything about business. Do you really think huge companies like CJ E&M would invest so much if they don’t have any guarantee? That’s not how work this kind of production. You should use the time you spent here saying nonsense to read more about this topic.

    • I don’t want to be that person but if you had taken your time to read articles about it:

      “It has signed a sales contract with Netflix for the drama “Mr. Sunshine” and the profits are estimated to be the largest amount ever for television dramas. (…) The total profits from the Netflix deal amounts to 57 billion won, and gross profit margin will top 40 percent, said analyst Hong Se-jong” – The investor (

      Do you think a big production company and TV station will invest their money if they aren’t sure they will get it back? They wouldn’t

      • If you think every business is a sure deal, then why business liquidation,administration or receivership, job losses, retrenhment is still happening everywhere.

      • @MistEyes This is from a Korean business website, a legit source. You should stop being so stubborn when you don’t know anything about business. Do you really think huge companies like CJ E&M would invest so much if they don’t have any guarantee? That’s not how work this kind of production. Use the time you spent saying nonsense here to read more about this topic.

        ps: I commented in the wrong place so i’m reposting here as well

  4. Historical drama always bring high rating just look in first ep,but why so many dots cast in this drama lol. Trust kim eun sook she never fail bring high rating

    • It’s proven KES can bring in the ratings but would it translate to $?

      But like BYJ in the Legend, yes they got the rating but I doubt if they even made money from it. For such big production like, it’s already a hit if they get 50% of the production costs. However, you have to bear in mind, as much as the production company has to profit from it, the broadcaster or tv station has to make money too.

      • Lol Im sure she’s already sleeping on cash even before the drama air. With her reputation, the drama will air everywhere in asia, plus netflix. I read somewhere netflix pay quite lots each episode. This is the first kdrama that netflix air the same time as korea air.

      • I don’t care about the personal money of the writer and anyone involved in the drama. Why would anyone care btw? What will you get by knowing their personal affairs may it be financial or other things?

        I am talking about the performance of the production in general.

        With your post, sound like KES has more followers than the actors. I hope this drama will elevate her as a writer with substance from a cheesy rom-com writer.

      • You think they wont even make profit? They are already did. TVN will make money from CF, the production company will sell the right to all asia countries plus netflix. Thats why they go all in with the production, not because they hope to make money, but because they know how much much they can earn.

  5. I wonder why didn’t produce a movie instead. With such big budget, they can make an epic movie & a blockbuster hit.

    • Because lee santa want clean his image in korea? If song hye kyo who is getting more hate because her tax scandal and after being casted in kim eun sook drama people forget about her scandal and love her so much. And kim eun sook think she is god writer she think can write drama what ever she wants and viewer still watching it no matter who will be casted in this project

  6. The drama is breathtaking. Somehow I fell Kim Ji Won shine more than Taeri.

    If you watch this drama you shouldnt apply the standard of other drama to this. Im still confuse with the timeline and character but the director polish every second make it worth a watch.

      • Movie and drama are different. Because one is good in one field mean it will translate the same to another.

      • Kim Tae Ri debuted in Park Chan-wook’s movie. She is allright in her movies but not something special. Needs polishing. Unfortunately she still looks juvenile.

  7. The cinematography was beautiful as expected from this production team. The first episode wasn’t ground breaking in terms of storyline and some of the american-English dialogue was very cringe worthy. Also, the childhood part was very rushed and a little confusing. Can’t comment on the acting yet because Kim Taeri only came out for 5 minutes. However, I still stick to my original belief and that is LBH looks too old for his role. All the other casts looks much younger than him.

    • Agree. The english dialogue was spoken by the non-Korean actors in a manner as if english isn’t their first language. LBH does appear a generation older than the rest of the actors. The pacing is indeed slow but as always with tvN dramas, the duration is wayyy too long which made viewers easily feel bored.

      • Based on the timeline, looks like LBH & KTR character have more or less 15 years age gap.

        1871 when the young Yu-jin escapes & left for America at around 8-10yrs old … after few year he already spoke good English approx 1875. Then around the sam time shift to a scene when Joseon man sold the country to Japan & KTR character was born. Feel free to correct me if I wrote the wrong years.

      • @MistyEyes, even if LBH’s character is 42 now, he still looks older then that, and because KTR looks much younger then 28 years old. I wouldn’t say she looks juvenile but the age gap is too obvious.

      • I totally understand the casting of LBH (putting aside his personal life) since he can speaks decent English and the age match up the character, except I do agree that he does look older than 42 years old. The fact is KTR looks younger than her own age and probably is suitable for the character that she played. Also, not helping is that LBH looks wayyyy older than YYS and BYH’s characters, since the age gap between BYH and LBH in the drama was only around 7-8 years but LBH looked more like an uncle instead of an older brother. Conclusion is LBH looks too old for his character and he has the same stern expression plastered on his face for these first two episodes.

  8. I watched the first episode and I like it so far. Yes, it does feel trying too hard to be fantastic but it wasn’t bad at all. LBH has not appeared much so i dont know how i would feel once his character taking center stage. For now, I am in only for the story and thank goodness, no cheese yet.

  9. I feel like KES is attempting to do something different than her usual stuff I watched Episode 2 and it was more focused on KTR’s character (who is incredible btw) and it was a good episode this feels more serious and less fluffy than DOTS and Goblin but let’s see if KES can keep up her pace lmao

    • I just watched ep 2 too and you are right, It is more focused on politics than romance. Its also starting off pretty slow. KES is crafty with words “The American gun does not discriminate between noble and peasant, its called democracy”.

    • I agree, KES has written a strong female character but KTR looks a bit wooden at times. I hope she improves as the episodes increases.

    • KTR looks extremely young in hanbok I’ve never felt she was young in her movies but in traditional clothing be it male or female she looks young. Still she’s got amazing presence to match that of LBH who I found extremely charismatic in all his scenes. However it was the scene between YYS and KMJ in the hotel that became my hook for this drama. I’ll be rooting for all the love pairs in this drama because I’m enjoying them all.

  10. Now that you mentioned about being wooden, I’ve comments about Lee Byun Hyun as a good actor but how come he has one expression. I only watch one of his dramas but he does not display other facial expressions. Even when he is not on character now, he has the same expression.

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