Male Lead Choi Jin Hyuk Unavailable to film 4-episode Extension for SBS Drama An Empress’s Dignity

The surprising early on success of SBS Wed-Thurs drama An Empress’s Dignity has let to the network ill-advisedly deciding on an extension, coming at a time when it’s ratings have dropped and now been eclipsed by KBS drama What’s Up Poong Sang (Liver or Die). Empress was a wacky over-the-top romp from the beginning starting with character actor Tae Hang Ho playing the male lead only to revenge exercise himself into Choi Jin Hyuk a few episodes in. Now the network may have to bring Tae Hang Ho back because Choi Jin Hyuk will NOT be available to film the additional 4-episode extension this week, as he’s already scheduled for an overseas work engagement long before this extension was decided. I don’t know how the script plans to work around Choi Jin Hyuk’s unavailability short of putting leads Jang Nara and Shin Sung Rok together in the end in some sort of cosmic reversal of drama romance laws. Viewers will get to see how it all shakes out next week as Empress airs the final episodes.


Male Lead Choi Jin Hyuk Unavailable to film 4-episode Extension for SBS Drama An Empress’s Dignity — 16 Comments

  1. The situation is just all kinds of weird… Choi Jin Hyuk already had very little screen time in the latest couple of episodes and now he will just be gone despite just getting assign the task to investigate in the drama? I have no Idea how they will work around the big elephant in the room so will be expecting an epic fail of an ending… They should have just kept with the original schedule, whatโ€™s the point of extension if the male lead is not available? Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

  2. LOL! I wondered why the last episode, 48, wasn’t ending!!! Shin Sung Rok is doing an excellent job also, they all are. So I’m not so opposed to having him move to the lead role in the last four episodes.

    • SSR is not “moving” to lead role. He is a lead too. They are both equal male leads. Jang Nara said so i think at the presscon and they were both nominated for Top Excellence award at the SBS. People seems to forget that the real main lead is Jang Nara. She’s the star and titular character. I know it sucks and non sensical for him to be out for the finale, but honestly they barely really used him. The little Ari had more airtime than him tbh. I truly feel he got wasted in this drama. I mostly stuck around those past episodes because of Jang Nara, my true MVP.

  3. That’s really a LOL kinda news. I don’t really believe CJH rejected the extension at so last minute, as the news of extension has been floating around for a couple of weeks. Sloppy work indeed to decide on an extension without a main lead.
    Anyway, the drama is already so ludicrous I guess they can just make up the plot as they go along.
    I am team Lee Hyuk, can I still hope for a fairy tale ending with his empress ?

  4. Lee Hyuk is a psychotic character who needs to be punished for his crimes. The best ending for him is jail time and deposition. Sunny will become Empress for real and raise Ari. Then there will be a time jump and the original fat Na Wang Shik reappears! Lol

    Poor Choi Jin Hyuk had the least screen time among the leads and it didn’t help that the viewers were rooting for Lee Hyuk and Sunny. I think at that point the writer decided to scrap the love line between Sunny and NWS. CJH is made to look like the second male lead in this drama through no fault of his own. No offense to Shin Sung Rok, the guy has amazing charisma on screen and his character is multi faceted unlike CJH’s character.

  5. The story takes place in a palace. Hyuk is the emperor. His mum is still alive. Sunny married him. An empress died in the palace. GED died in the palace. I think its inevitable that the story will focus on the imperial family and those directly related to them.

    I feel that NWS’s characterization is too small from the get go, whereas Hyuk’s characterization is too strectched out. Not the actors fault though. Both are just acting what is written for them. CJH acted so well for so little material he had, SSR acted so well with all the material he had.

    I can’t imagine where the writer is heading with Hyuk as much as I am not sure how the writer will wrap up NWS’s story.

  6. This drama was way too wacky. It started out interesting then flip flopped a lot with the love lines. Eventually gave up because each week was so bipolar because they made it that way. One thing is for sure SSR gained the most from this series for being a good nutcase. He is impressive and should get better roles in the future.

  7. To be honest, his character had little impact once Jang Nara’s character took control of the revenge scenario and became center stage. Doesn’t help that Shin Seung Rok is too good and makes you hate and love Hyuk at the same time and that Jang Nara really has electrifying chemistry with Hyuk’s character. I absolutely do not want Oh Sunny to end up with Hyuk but I will admit their scenes together set the screen on fire in terms of intensity. Let hope these to reunite again in a future project. As for Choi Jin Hyuk, I don’t know why his screen time is so small in the recent episodes. I had hoped they would give Na Wang Shik’s character a good arc, what is this abrupt ending? My hope is they have enough unaired footage of Na Wang Sik from the episodes up to 48 that they can somehow put in the last four episodes to complete his story line.

  8. The best thing about Koalaโ€™s playground is the feedback about dramas. I actually want to watch The last Empress after reading the posts here.

    • The pd of empress is same with return, he make actor or actress in the last part want to exit the drama,and ssr was also in return, so go figure.

  9. I’m not sure why they don’t just have him die since he’s supposed to be dying anyway with the bullet in his head. He was given 3 months to live if he didn’t get operation.

  10. Choi Jin Hyuk was not used properly lol. The writer is obsessed with villain characters. I think the developing love line between Jin Hyuk and Nara was smooth at the beginning but then it lost somewhere. Anyway, this drama was so good but then it turned ridiculously weird with twisted plot just for the sake making the emperor looks clean. I thought there’ll be a drama that can give a justice for the imperial family. But seems they make the real culprit is the nanny. Choi and Nara chemistry is so much better off screen. So I’m hoping they could collaborate again.

  11. I don’t get people shipping Lee Hyuk and Sunny. He’s a psychopath, adulterer and murderer. What the hell did Sunny do to deserve this pos? The romanticization of abusive men like Hyuk in popular media needs to be stopped.

  12. Choi Jin Hyuk should have been given one last scene with Jang Nara for the ending; the producers ought to have found a way round Jin Hyuk’s unavailability. Really disappointed that the character Na Wang Shik was not given the noble and peaceful ending he deserved! And–I suppose I have to wait and hope again for Choi Jin Hyuk and Jang Nara to end up happily together the next time.

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