KBS Celebrates as Descendants of the Sun Breaks 30% Ratings Nationwide with Episode 9

The long wait is over as the Korean drama industry can finally let out a collective breath today – episode 9 of Descendants of the Sun broke the illusive 30% ratings mark and is the first prime time drama to do so in four years. Not since February of 2012 with The Moon Embraces the Sun has a prime time K-drama gotten over 30% ratings, and now the hurdle for DotS in the remaining 7 episodes left is to see if it can also do what MoonSun did which is break 40% in ratings.

To be specific, episode 9 of DotS brought in 30.4% AGB nationwide which is a 1.6% increase from episode 8. Sadly its competition dramas both dropped, which is hard to fathom since both had such low ratings already. Goodbye Mr. Black garnered 3.6% AGB nationwide as a 0.3% drop and Please Come Back Ahjusshi looked a tad worse with 3.5% AGB nationwide and a 0.5% decrease. DotS also continued to win the urban audiences even more as episode 9 got a 31% AGB rating for Seoul.

While I am thoroughly enjoying DotS, I’m happier about the high ratings for the industry as a whole because it’s been so depressing and downer to have year upon year of declining television viewership, which also decreases the fun of collective watch experiences. While it’s debatable whether Descendants of the Sun or You From Another Star has more buzz during its run, DotS is the winner ratings-wise now and KBS finally has something to smile about after years of being the bottom of the big three networks with prime time ratings. As for Ahjusshi and Mr. Black, I don’t know if the pain is lessened by being so thoroughly trounced in ratings over always losing by a smidge. This might even be seen less as an indictment on the lack of quality of the other two and more a reflection of how much DotS is hooking the viewers so that there is no interest left for anything else.


KBS Celebrates as Descendants of the Sun Breaks 30% Ratings Nationwide with Episode 9 — 21 Comments

    • I mean, yes, but SBS has been riding high for the past couple years, while KBS was flopping hard. Remember, that SBS had two hardcore hallyu hits, YWCFTS and Heirs, with KBS having nothing to bank on for like three years or so. Also, SBS has had more consistent high ratings dramas like 6fd and Son’s War, while KBS has DOTS mixed in with flops like OMHE, and MS.

      Anyways, SBS has Lee Young Ae’s comeback drama, Moon Lovers, and Lee Min Ho’s comeback drama (with the potential of JJH also starring) all slated for the second half of this year. I doubt they are shaking in their boots over the one off success of DOTS.

      • LYA’s comeback drama probably could make the older generation of Korean turn on their TV. LYA might not be that popular among the younger generation especially among international audiences and for those who dislike sageuk. Anyway looking forward to her comeback.

        But i am happy for Song Joong Ki especially because of the success of DOTS. Now we should ready to see him in everywhere and ofc it is not a bad thing. 😉

  1. Keep them kisses up and they’ll break 40%

    While this is good for KBS, I’m not sure it says much about the industry other than people really like DoTS. This kind of thing won’t be repeated anytime soon and the other dramas against it are being destroyed.

    • I wonder when the hallyu kdrama wave will dry out in China, it did in Japan, and it most likely will happen in China as well. This kind of interest will usually dry out or die down eventually, it started with Heirs/YCFTS and I think it’s peaking with DOTS.

      • I find that Cdrama is gaining momentum these days, I’ve been seeing Nirvana in fire a lot, then Battle of Changsa, Journey of flower (even if it really make my temperament raise), Boss & Me, even my sunshine, oh also the disguiser,
        I think Kdrama just hit Japan with Winter Sonata and it was 2002, many Jdrama is still more popular, half of it is because they are better and have overall different tone with Kdrama.

      • depends. I think some made for China will eventually fail. But there will still be those that happen naturally that will hit it bit.

      • News reported Japan just rekindled interest in K drama again thanks to DotS. DotS was sold to Japan in biggest deal in 3 years. Japan had gradually lost interest in K drama due to declining qualities and diplomatic disbutes between S Korea and Japan.

  2. I think the popularity is somehow related to how DoTS have many nice people and it restore the faith in humanity. All character we care is nice on their own way,
    Isn’t it kinda reassuring to see nice people had place and doing nice things and have a happy life?
    It’s like seeing people live their life with whatever happen to them and they understand what is right, idk how to phrase this better cause it feels good to see them on screen (and not because of their visual, that’s just the extra ingredient)
    The bad guy is bad because they did bad things as their life choice not because they somehow has this complex of torturing the main character life.

  3. Episode 9 literally kept me sitting on the edge of the couch, holding my breath throughout the 2nd half of the run. The romance blossoms but the evil looms large too. Where there’re no kisses like that in the real world? Oh my poor heart! LOL… Ms. Koala, thanks for keeping us posted for all the buzz around DotS. I’m waiting for your recap soon, anticipating…

  4. Move over Lee Minho and Kim So Hyun, there’s a new ratings King and Hallyu star that’s sweeping Asia: ladies and gentlemen, meet the charismatic, charming and handsome Song Jong Ki!

  5. This time is Song Joong Ki era. Everyone in Korea will choose him as the perfect boyfriend.In this situation, DotS could reach 40% ratings by end of episode while the competitors could be near to 0%.

    • to reach 40% seems like far from reality. It needs a huge miracles and strong storylines towards the 2nd half of the drama. Moon embracing the Sun is so strong to be beaten (different genre drama too, one is sageuk drama and DoTS is modern one).But, who knows right? Hopefully all production team managed to stay at this rate and keep soaring up the rating!

      • Have to see what it does tonight. Considering it slowed down and took awhile to read 30% I agree 40% seems unlikely. I see it doing about 35% in the end. MTETS was also longer and had more time to build up.

  6. I feel sorry for Please Come Back drama. Its actually quite good,I’m fact I enjoy it more than DotS. The leads are hilarous. Just too bad they are fighting against a very strong contender.

  7. You only used AGB Nielsen as your reference and not TNMS? since there are quite big difference in decrease and increase with tnms version

  8. it just a matter of time bfore DOTS reach 40%.CBM sux. bi drama never do well cuz of his acting. Goodbye mr black sux cuz of the lead male. MOON should never pick this drama up. she need to do drama with KSH they both would look hot together. also they both single.

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