Chief Kim Remains Top of Wed-Thurs Ratings and Widens Lead Over Saimdang

The reversal of fortune is here to stay and the gap got a whole lot wider this week. KBS is now the undisputed top dog of Wed-Thurs K-drama ratings, with its surprise hit Chief Kim remaining top of the competition with this week’s episodes 5 and 6. Episode 5 rose 1.7% to hit 15.5% AGB nationwide, and episode 6 continued the rise adding another 1.2% to end with 16.7% ratings. Hitting the high teens is a feat nowadays and this one has turned into a disappointing result for SBS to lose both the ratings dominance with Saimdang: Light’s Diary dropping down to 10.7% in episode 5, nearly losing it’s double digits, before rebounding back to 12% in episode 6. MBC‘s Missing 9 remains mired in the 4% digits and stranded by itself in the deserted island of small ratings.

SBS has announced that it will be re-editing Saimdang so it’s not clear if the changes are noticeable to viewers or have been shown already in this week’s episodes. The criticism seems to be around the lackluster and rather old fashioned story line so re-cutting already filmed scenes may not do much to bolster the flagging ratings. With that said, if Lee Young Ae‘s popularity in China and elsewhere overseas remains high then Saimdang has a chance to recoup its costs despite failing to be a hit in Korea.


Chief Kim Remains Top of Wed-Thurs Ratings and Widens Lead Over Saimdang — 28 Comments

    • Yeah chief Kim is good
      I can’t quite pin down a similar kdrama that carries something offbeat and sinister at the same time.
      Maybe it’s something like Misaeng with a lot more darker tone and goofiness…

      • I’m getting strong History of a Salaryman vibes from watching Chief Kim! Was this the drama you were thinking of too?

      • Okay, I looooove History of a Salaryman so I might have to check out Chief Kim. I actually want to check out Saimdang and Missing 9 as well but am waiting for them to complete their run and make sure they don’t go off the rails.

    • I couldn’t understand what people loved about it when I was watching the first two episode. But after the fifth episode, I’m IN LOVE. It makes me laugh out loud, and I like all the characters. It’s interestingly amusing!

  1. i thought any drama ratings above 10% is a success.that why dramas like kill me heal me,pinocchio, w and doctor stranger which had average ratings of 10 and 11% are considered hit dramas.saimdang still has a chance to be a success if ratings will maintain more than 10%. it just that like lobts it couldnt measure to its hype.anyway congrats chief is a nice drama.

    • Mind you, Pinocchio, KMHM and Doctor Stranger were 2014 dramas and that year it was a near miracle to get >10% ratings. That year was bad for every drama, Yong Pal was an exception to this. Saimdang was high budget and pre-produced and highly anticipated and promoted and this is the come back project for Lee Young Ae after over a decade so expectations were higher. Not to mention that Saimdang’s ratings are dropping from the high teens to the low ones. This is comparable to Uncontrollably Fond, which started with 12% and dropped from there, averaging just over 9%. 9% isn’t bad for a lot of dramas but considering the fact that it was pre-produced and high budget, highly promoted, it fell flat and lost it’s ’ranking’ in weekly performance.

    • KMHM, Pinocchio and Doctor Stranger were aired in 2014 when a lot of dramas did bad rating wise and it was a near miracle to get >10% ratings, only exception was Yong Pal. Saimdang started with high teens and its ratings dropped, despite pre-production, high budget and extensive promotions. And this was also a comeback drama for Lee Young Ae after over a decade so expectations were higher too.

    • Yeah, it is all about expectations, and it probably didn’t help that Saimdang got delayed because of trying to air in China simultaneously. I think double digits is respectable, and it is a longer drama and has time to grow its audience. I guess the question is what dramas are starting after Missing 9 and Chief Kim complete their runs?

    • @Rumi – Yongpal was a 2015 drama! Still doesn’t take away from your point that 2014 saw a massive ratings slump, any drama clocking even double digits that year was very lucky, and Pinocchio/KMHM are remembered even today.

      • I recall 2015 being a slump year as well with Yong Pal and maybe Mask being two that did well. But I was busy so maybe I missed a hit or two in the mix.

  2. There were three big productions about reincarnation. Saimdang is the third after Goblin and The Blue Sea Legend, I think people need something new, it seems a timing issue more than a quality issue.

  3. They always said Lee Young Ae, but this is the proof that her power alone is not enough. Even in the interview, Japanese reporter said “Even in Japan, SSH is known to guarantee good show rating”. Hongkong reporter said “With the coming korean wave, the first Korean actor Hongkong people came to like Song Seung Heon”.
    I’m not sure if JJH is the lead male actor, this drama could survive overseas.

  4. i think Saimdong isn’t that bad but also I recall Koreans don’t like their history being butchered. That maybe has something to do with it?

    I have seen ep 1-4 and I thought it was all right. Not as boring as I expected at all probably because my expectations were pretty low. I will keep following it loosely. SSH is rather entertaining even if he’s not a good actor.

  5. Saimdang has a lot of art-house movie vibe and is not your regular Kdrama. Rather restrained in tone and nuanced and even poetic in its rendering, it conveys the plot and character development through poetry, painting, symbolic imagery, parallels and contrasts and a lot of eye/facial expressions. Even the conversations are restrained, suggestive and not that frequent. This might not appeal to a lot of viewers but it does fit the subject of the drama. I find that scene especially touching, where the male lead plays with the dogs, is reminded of Saimdang’s love for her kids, suddenly awakens to the realization that one should go forward and embrace life with all its energies, happiness as well as disappointments, rather than sulk in past injuries, and eventually finds his long-lost inspiration and artistic talent. The subsequent aerial shot has also an epic feel. SSH is surprising good in this highly charged scene without uttering one word. K netizens also have a lot of good words to say about his acting, though surprisingly not so much of LYA’s acting.

  6. After ep 4, chief kim is the leader in this slot. Hey, his name is started with chief tho hehe.

    Chief kim is good with good lesson. We can learn one or two things therr.

    Probably i am not a korean, thatd why i found it boring. But well, even im not korean, i found empress ki good. Hmm… I enjoy watching rebel more…

  7. NGM is the reason chief kim is fun to watch. saimdang better get it together before it fall below 10%. one reason viewer leave for saimdang is they trying to do romance between the lead female and with a younger guy. when they should just do the past with the 2 lead. SSH hardy appear in the drama.

  8. Koreans are tuning in to Chief Kim because of the plot, with all the corruptions happening in SK right now, this show is tackling the said topic in a subtle and hilarious way. It might be funny but the truth is still being shown in a not so obvious way. I watched this first because of NGM, I liked him in BGS before and yeah, once again, he doesn’t fail me.

  9. NSM attracted me to this drama, she is not only beautiful but I think her acting which appears subtle is actually captivating. She is like poetry in motion.

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