Korean drama

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Korean dramas (Korean: 한국드라마; RR: hanguk drama), more popularly known as K-dramas, are television series in the Korean language, made in South Korea. Korean drama_sentence_0

Korean dramas are popular worldwide, partially due to the spread of Korean popular culture (the "Korean Wave"), and their widespread availability via streaming services which often offer subtitles in multiple languages. Korean drama_sentence_1

Many K-dramas have been adapted throughout the world, and some have had great impact on other countries. Korean drama_sentence_2

Some of the most famous dramas have been broadcast via traditional television channels in other countries. Korean drama_sentence_3

For example, Dae Jang Geum (2003) was sold to 91 countries. Korean drama_sentence_4

K-dramas have attracted attention for their fashion, style and culture all over the world. Korean drama_sentence_5

The rise in popularity of Korean dramas had led to a great boost to fashion line. Korean drama_sentence_6

Format Korean drama_section_0

South Korea started to broadcast television series in the 1960s. Korean drama_sentence_7

In the 1990s, traditional historical series transformed into the present miniseries format, creating the notion of fusion sageuks. Korean drama_sentence_8

A single director usually leads Korean dramas, which are often written by a single screenwriter. Korean drama_sentence_9

This often leads to each drama having distinct directing and dialogue styles. Korean drama_sentence_10

This differs from American television series, which can rely on multiple directors and writers working together. Korean drama_sentence_11

Series set in contemporary times typically run for a single season and usually contain 12 to 24 episodes of 60 minutes each. Korean drama_sentence_12

Historical series may be longer, with up to 200 episodes, but they also generally run for only one season. Korean drama_sentence_13

This differs from American television series, where the first season does not have a definitive end as the plot is being setup to last for multiple seasons. Korean drama_sentence_14

The broadcast time for drama series has been 22:00 to 23:00, with episodes airing on two consecutive nights: Mondays and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, or weekends. Korean drama_sentence_15

Most of these drama series appear on each of the nationwide networks: Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and on the cable channels, including Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (jTBC), Channel A, Total Variety Network(TvN), and Orion Cinema Network (OCN). Korean drama_sentence_16

Some of drama series might turn into seasonal serials just like famous american weekday drama series. Korean drama_sentence_17

The 19:00 to 20:00 evening time slot usually have been reserved for daily dramas, which run every night from Monday through Friday. Korean drama_sentence_18

Dramas in these slots are in the telenovela format, rarely running over 200 episodes. Korean drama_sentence_19

Unlike American soap operas, these daily dramas are not broadcast during the daytime. Korean drama_sentence_20

Instead, the daytime schedule often includes reruns of the flagship dramas. Korean drama_sentence_21

The night time dailies can achieve very high ratings. Korean drama_sentence_22

During late 2000s, for example, not only the weekend series First Wives' Club recorded 41.3%, according to TNS Korea, and also the evening series Temptation of Wife peaked at 40.6%, according to TNS Korea. Korean drama_sentence_23

During early 2010s, as side footnote, KBS1 Weekend Household Opera serials for family like Please Marry Me, Ojakgyo Family, My Husband Got a Family, Wang's Family, and What Happens to My Family? Korean drama_sentence_24

gained such a popularity, reputation and influence. Korean drama_sentence_25

Many Korean dramas follow the live-shoot model and thus are usually shot within a very tight schedule, sometimes finishing just a few hours before actual broadcast. Korean drama_sentence_26

Screenplays are flexible and may change anytime during production, depending on viewers' feedback, which can be difficult for production teams. Korean drama_sentence_27

Plots and storylines Korean drama_section_1

K-dramas have a multitude of different genres such as action dramas, historical dramas, school dramas, medical dramas, legal dramas, or even horror comedies. Korean drama_sentence_28

While most dramas carry romantic elements and deep emotional themes there are different styles & tones. Korean drama_sentence_29

The main themes of Korean television dramas are friendship, family values, and love, blending traditional values of Confucianism with Western materialism and individualism. Korean drama_sentence_30

However, it is an emerging trend amongst Korean dramas to showcase ongoing societal issues of Korean society such as stigma of mental illness, gender inequality, suicide , classism, bullying, spy cameras, corruption, homophobia or racism. Korean drama_sentence_31

Historical Korean drama_section_2

Main article: Sageuk Korean drama_sentence_32

The term sageuk refers to any Korean television or film drama that is either based on historical figures, incorporates historical events, or uses a historical backdrop. Korean drama_sentence_33

While sageuk literally translates to "historical drama", the term is typically reserved for dramas taking place throughout the course of Korean history. Korean drama_sentence_34

Since the mid-2000s, some sageuks have achieved major success outside of Korea, such as Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Greater Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. Korean drama_sentence_35

Sageuks including Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace), Yi San and Jumong enjoyed strong ratings and high satisfaction ratings in countries such Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Fiji and Iran. Korean drama_sentence_36

Jumong, which aired on IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) in 2008, had 85% viewership. Korean drama_sentence_37

Romance Korean drama_section_3

Often centered around a love story, series set in contemporary times often focus on family ties and romantic relationships. Korean drama_sentence_38

Characters are mostly idealized, with Korean male protagonists described as handsome, intelligent, emotional, and in search of "one true love". Korean drama_sentence_39

This has also been a contributing factor to the popularity of Korean dramas among women, as the image of Korean men became differentiated from that of other Asian men. Korean drama_sentence_40

The romantic tension typically "is built up so expertly that it is more emotionally resonant when the main couple finally hold hands halfway through the series than when a full-blown bedroom scene happens in an American series". Korean drama_sentence_41

Also due to Korea's puritanical culture, "love scenes rarely progress past kissing" and "even seeing a Deep tongue kiss in a Korean drama is newsworthy". Korean drama_sentence_42

History Korean drama_section_4

Early years Korean drama_section_5

Radio broadcasting, including the broadcasting of radio dramas in Korea, began in 1927 under Japanese rule, with most programming in Japanese and around 30% in Korean. Korean drama_sentence_43

After the Korean War, radio dramas such as Cheongsilhongsil (1954) reflected the country's mood. Korean drama_sentence_44

Television broadcasting began in 1956 with the launch of an experimental station, HLKZ-TV, which was shut down a few years later due to a fire. Korean drama_sentence_45

The first national television channel was Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), which started up in 1961. Korean drama_sentence_46

The first Korean television film was a 15-minute piece titled The Gate of Heaven (천국의 문, Cheongugui mun), on HLKZ-TV. Korean drama_sentence_47

The first television series was aired by KBS in 1962. Korean drama_sentence_48

Their commercial competitor, Tongyang Broadcasting (TBC), had a more aggressive program policy and aired controversial dramas as well. Korean drama_sentence_49

The first historical TV series aired was Gukto manri (국토만리), directed by Kim Jae-hyeong (김재형), depicting the Goryeo era. Korean drama_sentence_50

In the 1960s, television sets were of limited availability, thus dramas could not reach a larger audience. Korean drama_sentence_51

In the 1970s, television sets started to spread among the general population, and dramas switched from portraying dramatic historical figures to introducing national heroes like Lee Sun-shin or Sejong the Great. Korean drama_sentence_52

Contemporary series dealt with personal sufferings, such as Kim Soo-hyun's influential Stepmother (새엄마, Saeeomma), aired by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in 1972 and 1973. Korean drama_sentence_53

As technology and funding was limited, Korean channels could not make series in resource-heavy genres like action and science fiction; American and other foreign series were imported instead. Korean drama_sentence_54

Since 1980s Korean drama_section_6

The 1980s saw a change in Korean television, as color TV became available. Korean drama_sentence_55

Modern dramas tried to evoke nostalgia from urban dwellers by depicting rural life. Korean drama_sentence_56

Kim Soo-hyun's first real commercial success, Love and Ambition (사랑과 야망, Saranggwa yamang), aired on MBC in 1987 and is regarded as a milestone of Korean television, having recorded a 78% viewership. Korean drama_sentence_57

"Streets became quiet at around the airing time of the drama as 'practically everyone in the country' was at home in front of the TV", according to The Korea Times. Korean drama_sentence_58

The most outstanding classical historical series of the era is considered to be 500 Years of Joseon (조선왕조500년, Joseonwangjo 500 nyeon), a serial that ran for eight years, consisting of 11 separate series. Korean drama_sentence_59

The serial was produced by Lee Byung-hoon, who later directed one of the biggest international successes of Korean drama, Dae Jang Geum.The 1990s brought another important milestone for Korean television. Korean drama_sentence_60

As technology developed, new opportunities arose, and the beginning of the decade marked the launch of a new commercial channel; Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), which facilitated and re-initiated a race for catching viewers' attention. Korean drama_sentence_61

The first real commercial success among Korean television series was Eyes of Dawn (여명의 눈동자, Yeomyeongui nundongja), aired in 1991 by MBC, starring Chae Shi-ra and Choi Jae-sung. Korean drama_sentence_62

The series led the viewers through turbulent times from the Japanese rule to the Korean War. Korean drama_sentence_63

New channel SBS also produced successful series, one of them being Sandglass in 1995. Korean drama_sentence_64

Sandglass was a "trendy drama", which the Korean Culture and Information Service considers an important milestone, having changed the way Korean dramas are made by introducing a new format. Korean drama_sentence_65

In this decade, the new miniseries format became widespread, with 12 to 24 episodes. Korean drama_sentence_66

This era marked the start of export for Korean dramas, setting off the Korean Wave. Korean drama_sentence_67

The beginning years of the 2000s gave birth to a new genre, called "fusion sageuk", essentially changing the ways to produce historical series, with successful pieces such as Hur Jun, Damo and Dae Jang Geum. Korean drama_sentence_68

Since the 2010s, "web dramas" has become a popular genre. Korean drama_sentence_69

It is a short form of drama mostly shoot through non-conventional broadcasting platforms, such as search engine (e.g. Naver) or video channels (e.g.YouTube). Korean drama_sentence_70

It started to take over the popularity of conventional dramas among 10s and 20s because they are shorter, hence easier to watch, and often feature trendy contents which teenagers are easy to sympathize with. Korean drama_sentence_71

Some of well-known web dramas includes Idol Drama Operation Team and Pongdang Pongdang Love. Korean drama_sentence_72

Production Korean drama_section_7

Korean series were originally produced in house by the television channels themselves, but have been outsourced to independent production companies since the 2000s. Korean drama_sentence_73

In 2012, as much as 75% of all K-dramas were produced this way. Korean drama_sentence_74

Competition is fierce among these companies; out of 156 registered firms, only 34 produced dramas were actually aired in 2012. Korean drama_sentence_75

The budget of the production is shared between the producing company and the broadcaster, with the broadcasting channel covering around 50% of expenses usually. Korean drama_sentence_76

If top stars and famous scriptwriters are employed, they may cover even more. Korean drama_sentence_77

The rest of the budget has to be brought in by the production company with the help of sponsors. Korean drama_sentence_78

In the case of product placements, income is shared by the producer and the channel. Korean drama_sentence_79

The channel keeps 100% of the advertisement income during airtime; this could amount to 300-400 million. Korean drama_sentence_80

A typical Korean drama may cost as much as ₩250 million per episode, and historical dramas cost more than that. Korean drama_sentence_81

For example, Gu Family Book cost ₩500 million per episode. Korean drama_sentence_82

In Korea, much of the budget is spent on the appearance fees of top stars since they are heavily dependent on celebrities' popularity. Korean drama_sentence_83

In some cases, the actors may take up as much as 55-65% of the whole budget, while it is 20–30% in Japan, and roughly 10% in the United States as dramas there tend to avoid casting famous actors when starting off. Korean drama_sentence_84

Everything else, including salaries of lesser-known actors, extras, and technical staff, location rent and other expenses, have to be covered from the remaining amount. Korean drama_sentence_85

Often, production companies overrun their budgets and cannot pay salaries. Korean drama_sentence_86

In 2012, actors held a demonstration in front of the headquarters of KBS, expressing their concerns. Korean drama_sentence_87

Actors are usually paid after the last episode is aired at the end of the month. Korean drama_sentence_88

In series made by smaller production companies for cable channels, there have been cases where the companies went bankrupt and could not pay their actors and crew, while the channel denied all responsibility, claiming all liability was with the bankrupt production firm. Korean drama_sentence_89

Producer Kim Jong-hak spent as much as ₩10 billion on Faith, which was considered a commercial failure, resulting in the inability of Kim to pay crew salaries and other overheads. Korean drama_sentence_90

Kim, who had produced successful dramas such as Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass, committed suicide after he was accused of embezzlement. Korean drama_sentence_91

The biggest stars may earn as much as ₩100 million per episode. Korean drama_sentence_92

Bae Yong-joon, the star of Winter Sonata reportedly received ₩250 million per episode for The Legend in 2007. Korean drama_sentence_93

Filmmaking process Korean drama_section_8

As producing a series involves high expenses, production companies seek to shoot the episodes in the shortest time possible. Korean drama_sentence_94

In contrast to practices elsewhere, the first four episodes of Korean series are usually shot in advance, but the rest are shot continuously as the series is being aired. Korean drama_sentence_95

Scripts are not finished in advance, and may change according to viewer feedback and viewership ratings, where popular characters receive increased screen time and plotlines are changed to match audience expectations. Korean drama_sentence_96

These changes may occur a few hours before daily shooting, and the crew might receive only a few ready pages. Korean drama_sentence_97

The production usually works with three camera crews, who work in a rotating manner to speed up filming. Korean drama_sentence_98

Because of unregulated script changes and tight shooting schedules, actors are almost continuously on standby, and have no time to leave the set or sleep properly. Korean drama_sentence_99

The Korean media have a separate word to describe irregular, short sleeps that actors resort to, in often uncomfortable positions, or within the set: jjok-jam (쪽잠), or "side-sleeping". Korean drama_sentence_100

Dramas usually air two episodes a week, one after the other, with the following episodes having to be shot within the intervening five days. Korean drama_sentence_101

Some Korean actors have admitted to receiving IV therapy during filming, due to extreme schedules and exhaustion. Korean drama_sentence_102

Nonetheless the live-shoot model remains widely used since the production team can react to real time audience feedback. Korean drama_sentence_103

Production teams originally sent two tapes to the channels; a primary copy and a backup copy. Korean drama_sentence_104

However, due to the tight filming schedules, a 70-minute episode might arrive at the broadcasting station on seven separate tapes in ten-minute installments. Korean drama_sentence_105

It happens that while the episode is being broadcast, the crew would be still shooting the last minutes or cutting the rest of the episode. Korean drama_sentence_106

During the airing of the nineteenth episode of Man from the Equator, screens countrywide went black for 10 minutes. Korean drama_sentence_107

Actor Kwon Sang-woo was openly complaining that he was still shooting Queen of Ambition 30 minutes before the last episode began airing. Korean drama_sentence_108

In South Korea, some production teams still do planning and scheduling manually, instead of using dedicated software. Korean drama_sentence_109

From late 2014 onwards due to the popularity of Korean dramas abroad, especially the success of My Love from the Star in China, producers have increasingly been pitching and pre-selling the overseas broadcast and streaming rights of their dramas. Korean drama_sentence_110

This has given production teams the budget to move away from the live shoot basis to one in which the drama is completed before broadcast. Korean drama_sentence_111

In 2016, dramas such as Descendants of the Sun, Uncontrollably Fond, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo and Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth were all pre-produced before airing. Korean drama_sentence_112

Nonetheless, some pre-produced episodes are often re-edited or even reshot the day of airing, due to audience feedback. Korean drama_sentence_113

The larger broadcasting companies have their own dedicated shooting locations for historical dramas, with extensive and elaborate sets. Korean drama_sentence_114

MBC's series are shot at MBC Drama in Gyeonggi, while KBS dramas utilize the Mungyeongsaejae Studio (문경새재 KBS촬영장) in North Gyeongsang and their studio in Suwon. Korean drama_sentence_115

Production companies Korean drama_section_9

See also: :Category:Television production companies of South Korea Korean drama_sentence_116

Independent production companies are classified into: Korean drama_sentence_117

Korean drama_unordered_list_0

Crew Korean drama_section_10

Actors and Actresses Korean drama_section_11

Further information: List of South Korean actresses and List of South Korean male actors Korean drama_sentence_118

The leading actors of Korean dramas have become popular outside of South Korea, due to the Korean Wave. Korean drama_sentence_119

In the 2000s, it became customary to cast popular K-pop idols in dramas. Korean drama_sentence_120

Initially, this generated mixed reactions. Korean drama_sentence_121

Their appearance had provoked predominantly negative reactions outside their fandom because singers and dancers acting outside of their musical circle was regarded as unprofessional. Korean drama_sentence_122

Also, some idols were criticized for poor acting. Korean drama_sentence_123

Nowadays, this has become much more common feature in Korean dramas, as the public has been getting more used to the concept of "idol actors" and some idols have become known for their excellent acting skills. Korean drama_sentence_124

Their critical reception is still mixed, however, some of them became successful as actors. Korean drama_sentence_125

Scriptwriters and directors Korean drama_section_12

Scriptwriters and directors of Korean dramas are often as well known as actors are. Korean drama_sentence_126

An overwhelming majority of scriptwriters (90% according to the Beijing Metro Reader) are women, who not only write love stories but action series as well. Korean drama_sentence_127

Compared to Korean cinema, television is more appealing for scriptwriters as contract conditions are better, acknowledgment is greater, and the salary is higher. Korean drama_sentence_128

Famous scriptwriters tend to have a say in their field. Korean drama_sentence_129

The most well-known scriptwriters include the Hong sisters, who wrote popular series such as My Girl, You're Beautiful and My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox; Kim Eun-sook, the screenwriter of Lovers in Paris, Secret Garden, The Heirs, Descendants of the Sun and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God; Lee Kyung-hee, famous for I'm Sorry, I Love You and The Innocent Man; male writer of Midas and Triangle; Noh Hee-kyung, the author of That Winter, the Wind Blows; and It's Okay, That's Love; and Park Ji-eun, who wrote My Husband Got a Family, My Love from the Star, The Producers, Legend of the Blue Sea and Crash Landing on You. Korean drama_sentence_130

Acknowledged TV directors include Lee Byung-hoon, who directed Hur-Jun, Dae Jang Geum and Yi San; Kim Jong-hak, the director of Eyes of Dawn, Sandglass, The Legend and The Great Doctor; and Pyo Min-soo [], the director of Full House, Worlds Within and Iris II. Korean drama_sentence_131

While scriptwriters are mostly women, directors are usually men. Korean drama_sentence_132

Some female directors have risen to prominence, such as Lee Na-jeong (이나정), who directed The Innocent Man, and Lee Yun-jeong (이윤정), whose most famous works are The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince and Heart to Heart. Korean drama_sentence_133

The latter director is also the first female television producer employed by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). Korean drama_sentence_134

Music Korean drama_section_13

Music plays an important role in Korean dramas. Korean drama_sentence_135

Original soundtracks, abbreviated OST, are explicitly made for each series, and in contrast to American series, fans have a need to buy the soundtrack album of dramas. Korean drama_sentence_136

This trend started in the 1990s, when producers swapped purely instrumental soundtracks for songs performed by popular K-pop singers. Korean drama_sentence_137

Tom Larsen, director of YA Entertainment, a distributor of Korean TV series, thinks that Korean soundtracks are polished enough musically to be considered standalone hits. Korean drama_sentence_138

During the 2000s, it became customary for lead actors to participate in original soundtracks, also partially due to the employment of K-pop stars as actors. Korean drama_sentence_139

Actor Lee Min-ho, and leader of boy band SS501, Kim Hyun-joong both recorded songs for Boys Over Flowers, while the actors of You're Beautiful formed a fictional band and held concerts, where they perform the soundtracks live. Korean drama_sentence_140

OST songs of popular K-dramas can also become hits on regular music charts, with good sales of both physical and digital albums. Korean drama_sentence_141

The chart performance of the OST songs usually co-relate to the popularity of the drama. Korean drama_sentence_142

Songs from the OST of Secret Garden for example, had high digital sales and high rankings on music charts. Korean drama_sentence_143

My Destiny, performed by Lyn for My Love from the Star, led music charts in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and other Asian countries. Korean drama_sentence_144

It also won the Best OST award at the 2014 Baeksang Arts Awards. Korean drama_sentence_145

The soundtrack album of You're Beautiful sold 57,000 physical copies. Korean drama_sentence_146

Performers of OST songs for action series Iris held two concerts in Japan in front of an audience of 60,000 people. Korean drama_sentence_147

Although the songs in Korean dramas may have only a selective few or are repetitive, the choosing of the songs are not that easy of a process. Korean drama_sentence_148

An example of this can be found in the OST for the Korean drama: Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. Korean drama_sentence_149

Songs usually are made to convey emotions or scenes especially in dramas and the emotion was assigned to be conveyed by Rocoberry was suffering and beauty. Korean drama_sentence_150

Rocoberry is a Korean indie pop duo with the members of Roco and conan and they are famous for composing songs in Korean dramas. Korean drama_sentence_151

Even though they had quite the experience with composing songs, for Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, they had to create 12 different compositions for this drama until finally one of their most famous songs I Will Go to You Like the First Snow was chosen. Korean drama_sentence_152

Not only did it take 12 compositions for this song to be chosen but after the approval of this songs, there had to be 7 rewrites until it was finally complete and met the satisfaction standards of the production team. Korean drama_sentence_153

link The song was used in only two episodes despite the hard process. Korean drama_sentence_154

The song was placed in two scenes that later on were shown to be connected to each other and also became some of the most important scenes in the drama. Korean drama_sentence_155

This is only the beginning of understanding how much time and effort goes into the choosing of songs for these types of dramas and how they can enhance a scene in many different ways. Korean drama_sentence_156

OST composers usually look for singers who have previously had success in the genre. Korean drama_sentence_157

Songs are written to reflect the mood of the series and their structure. Korean drama_sentence_158

Sometimes performers give their own songs for a series. Korean drama_sentence_159

For example, Baek Ji-young thought her song That Man, originally written for her own album, would fit Secret Garden. Korean drama_sentence_160

There are popular OST singers who are often employed, like Baek Ji-young, Lyn, and Lee Seung-cheol. Korean drama_sentence_161

Sometimes, foreign singers are invited to perform songs for Korean OST. Korean drama_sentence_162

For instance, Swedish artist Lasse Lindh sang several songs for series like Angel Eyes, Soul Mate, I Need Romance, and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. Korean drama_sentence_163

Rating system Korean drama_section_14

Further information: Television content rating systems § South Korea Korean drama_sentence_164

The television rating system is regulated by the Korea Communications Commission, and was implemented in 2000. Korean drama_sentence_165

According to the system, programs, including Korean dramas, are rated according to the following principles (ratings irrelevant to dramas are omitted): Korean drama_sentence_166

Korean drama_unordered_list_1

  • : programs that may be inappropriate for children under 12, such as mild violence, themes or language.Korean drama_item_1_5
  • : programs that may be inappropriate for children under 15. Most dramas and talk shows are rated this way. These programs may include moderate or strong adult themes, language, sexual inference, and violence.Korean drama_item_1_6
  • : programs intended for adults only. These programs might include adult themes, sexual situations, frequent use of strong language and disturbing scenes of violence.Korean drama_item_1_7

Reception Korean drama_section_15

According to a researcher at the University of Vienna, popularity of Korean dramas have their foundation in Confucian values they transmit, which Asian viewers can easily identify with. Korean drama_sentence_167

Respect for elders, filial piety, family-orientedness, and the display of perceived "Asian moral values" play an important role in Korean series. Korean drama_sentence_168

YA Entertainment, the American distributor of Korean dramas, believes that part of the attractiveness of these series come from the quality of camera work, scenic locations, and spectacular costumes, which make the "final product very stylish and attractive, with arguably some of the highest TV production values in the world." Korean drama_sentence_169

Korean series follow their own formula, are innovative and don't conform to Western television productions. Korean drama_sentence_170

Stephan Lee from Entertainment Weekly called Korean dramas "fascinating and weirdly comforting". Korean drama_sentence_171

Exports of Korean series yielded US$37.5 million in 2003, which was three times higher than the amount reached in 1999. Korean drama_sentence_172

According to data from Korea Creative Content Agency, in 2013 K-dramas constituted 82% of the culture content export of South Korea, with an income of $167 million, which is four times more than a decade before. Korean drama_sentence_173

A driving force behind the rising popularity is the intense involvement of fans. Korean drama_sentence_174

Because of the live-shooting production of K-dramas, Korean-speaking fans have the opportunity to participate in their creation —a unique phenomenon in the mass media world. Korean drama_sentence_175

They can influence the content of later shows in the series through complaints and suggestions, which are frequently adopted by the production teams. Korean drama_sentence_176

The global community of non-Korean-speaking fans, on the other hand, is more involved in the consumption aspects: Fans share their opinions through tweets and comments on newsgroups (for example, the Soompi discussion forum) as well as reviews and recaps on websites and blogs. Korean drama_sentence_177

However, the impact of their social media activity goes beyond the fan community. Korean drama_sentence_178

It spreads the word about the K-drama genre to social connections like acquaintances, friends and family (e.g. Facebook friends or followers on Twitter) and thereby generally raises its popularity. Korean drama_sentence_179

But it also has an effect on the creation of new dramas. Korean drama_sentence_180

It influences the popularity of certain dramas, leading to higher demand for those videos from streaming sites and additional income for broadcasters. Korean drama_sentence_181

When a substantial profit results, it raises not only the prestige of people involved in the production but also provides feedback for production teams and indirectly influences future productions. Korean drama_sentence_182

International reception Korean drama_section_16

Asia-Pacific Countries Korean drama_section_17

Korean dramas have gained popularity in Bangladesh in recent years. Korean drama_sentence_183

Their rising popularity in the country has led to the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE), an organisation which aims to distribute Korean dramas for free to countries, cooperating with broadcasters to distribute Korean dramas for free in the country. Korean drama_sentence_184

In the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Korean dramas and entertainment have gained popularity particularly amongst youth. Korean drama_sentence_185

Prior to interest in Korean entertainment, Bollywood had largely been the most popular form of entertainment in the country. Korean drama_sentence_186

When the Bhutanese film industry launched in the mid-1990s, Bollywood was the only form of influence on the industry. Korean drama_sentence_187

However, in recent years Korean entertainment has made significant inroads in the country and influence the entertainment industry alongside Bollywood. Korean drama_sentence_188

Korean entertainment has managed to influence fashion, and many video shops now sell Korean dramas and movies alongside Bollywood films. Korean drama_sentence_189

The interest in Korean entertainment has also led to controversy with older generations voicing their concern that Korean entertainment will deteriorate Bhutanese culture and traditions. Korean drama_sentence_190

In recent times Korean dramas have experienced growing popularity in Brunei. Korean drama_sentence_191

The growing impact of Korean culture in Brunei led to the hosting of the ninth Korea Forum in the country at Universiti Brunei Darussalam in 2010. Korean drama_sentence_192

Korean television dramas, movies, music, and clothing have had a great impact on the people of Brunei. Korean drama_sentence_193

The first Korean drama to be broadcast in Cambodia was Winter Sonata; it was, however, Full House that launched the interest in Korean dramas and entertainment in the country. Korean drama_sentence_194

Following the success of Full House, more Korean dramas have been dubbed into the Khmer language. Korean drama_sentence_195

Korean dramas have become popular particularly amongst youth in Cambodia. Korean drama_sentence_196

In China, South Korean programs on Chinese government TV networks accounted for more than all other foreign programs combined in 2006. Korean drama_sentence_197

Hong Kong has its own channel for airing Korean dramas, TVB J2, but ATV also airs Korean series in prime-time slots. Korean drama_sentence_198

My Love from the Star received enthusiastic feedback from China. Korean drama_sentence_199

It was viewed 40 billion times on numerous Chinese video sites. Korean drama_sentence_200

The drama also spurred interest about Korea, shown by China's increased consumption of Korean products such as Chi Maek (chicken and beer) and Korean cosmetics. Korean drama_sentence_201

Due to the success of Korean dramas in China, some dramas have been compiled to create feature-length films by combining all episodes into one film. Korean drama_sentence_202

The prodigious popularity of Korean dramas in the country has, on some occasions, been caught in the crossfire over diplomatic issues between China and South Korea. Korean drama_sentence_203

Most notable being the THAAD deployment in South Korea which resulted in the blocking of Korean dramas on streaming services across the country in late February 2017. Korean drama_sentence_204

Following the block, Chinese TV shows showcasing Chinese culture and other similar content replaced Korean content on TV networks' prime time schedules in the country. Korean drama_sentence_205

In November 2017, the ban was uplifted unannounced following the appearance of Kpop groups on national TV and the move to resume importation of Korean dramas by Chinese streaming services. Korean drama_sentence_206

In India, after the late 1990s and around 2000 Korean dramas started becoming popular through piracy particularly in north-eastern states such as Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland as well as parts of eastern state like West Bengal and more recently in southern state Tamil Nadu. Korean drama_sentence_207

Hindi films and TV serials were banned in Manipur in 2000, as a result local television stations began broadcasting subtitled Korean dramas instead from Arirang TV and KBS World. Korean drama_sentence_208

Many young people in north-eastern, eastern and southern parts of India mimic the hairstyles, clothes of Korean actors while Korean fashion became very popular in the region. Korean drama_sentence_209

As part of cultural exchange, public broadcaster Doordarshan telecasted Emperor of the Sea and Dae Jang Geum. Korean drama_sentence_210

Korean dramas are dubbed in Tamil on Puthuyugam TV such as 'Boys over flowers', 'My love from another star','Playful Kiss' and many more. Korean drama_sentence_211

Full House and Hwang Jini started airing on Firangi channel in 2008. Korean drama_sentence_212

Reliance Big TV offered KBS World to its subscribers from 2009 on satellite television. Korean drama_sentence_213

Local fan clubs got help from Consul-General of the Republic of Korea while Korean Cultural Centre in India (KCCI) under South Korean embassy started mapping popularity of K-dramas. Korean drama_sentence_214

As per KCCI, the motivation to understand Korean drama properly without subtitles is driving the uptake of Korean language classes among the youth with females outnumbering males. Korean drama_sentence_215

Public broadcaster DD Bharati telecasted period drama Hur Jun in 2014 that received highest viewer ratings of 34 million from January to October 2014. Korean drama_sentence_216

Online streaming platform ZEE5 launched Descendants of the Sun to test the Indian market from 8 February to 1 March 2017 and found overwhelming positive response for Korean content with viewer-ship ran close to 56 million. Korean drama_sentence_217

The telecast of Korean drama on Cable TV in 2017 stopped as Korean Broadcasting System Network wanted to raise syndication charges due to accumulation of large viewer-ship base in India that included pockets of Bihar, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh due to short 16 to 20 episodes format that are easier for binge-watching. Korean drama_sentence_218

With increasing interest in Korean content among younger generation from tier-1 cities, Samsung through its My Galaxy mobile application is partnering with Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) in 2019 to bring exclusive content for 20 million Indian users. Korean drama_sentence_219

With COVID-19 pandemic, Dish TV started premium K-dramas dubbed in Hindi. Korean drama_sentence_220

Korean dramas are also driving highest viewer-ship on Netflix with second season of TV series Kingdom attained the Top 10 series row as of March 2020. Korean drama_sentence_221

It's Okay to Not Be Okay is on Netflix Top 10 list in India for several weeks in August 2020 which has jumped to number 3 position. Korean drama_sentence_222

Netflix is increasing investment on Korean content to capture the Indian market. Korean drama_sentence_223

Over-the-top media service (OTT) MX Player confirmed rising popularity and demand of Korean dramas among millennial population especially the women audience and is now making deals with South Korean television and radio network company Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) to bring more content in India. Korean drama_sentence_224

Korean dramas and films became most visited category for ShortsTV in India. Korean drama_sentence_225

As per media experts, the relatable themes in Korean content is fast catching the imagination of general public of almost every age group that is going mainstream and driving highest viewing especially after 92nd Academy Awards winning movie Parasite due to the shared Asian cultural heritage and societal values. Korean drama_sentence_226

As per Parrot Analytics report, k-drama series 'Crash Landing on You', is on demand 1.2 times than an average TV series that is 89.8% more than all drama titles shown in India forcing broadcasters to make extra slots as women are at the forefront of consumer demand in Korean content category. Korean drama_sentence_227

In Indonesia, Korean dramas have gained popularity and the popular Korean dramas Winter Sonata and Endless Love were aired on Surya Citra Media in 2002. Korean drama_sentence_228

Some Korean dramas have also been remade into Indonesian versions such as Demi Cinta in 2005 which was a remake of the popular drama Autumn in My Heart and Cinta Sejati, a remake of Stairway to Heaven. Korean drama_sentence_229

RCTI and Indosiar are examples of Indonesian television networks that air Korean dramas in the early times, but later Trans TV airing some of popular Korean dramas until today. Korean drama_sentence_230

The first Korean drama to gain widespread popularity in Japan was Winter Sonata, which was broadcast on the NHK satellite channel NHK BS2 in 2003. Korean drama_sentence_231

The program was aired twice in the same year due to high demand from viewers. Korean drama_sentence_232

NHK also hosted a classical concert featuring Winter Sonata's tunes performed by Korean musicians. Korean drama_sentence_233

Korean dramas boost tourism between Korea and Japan, and is considered a possible way of improving strained relationships between the two countries, as series have become increasingly popular with Japanese viewers. Korean drama_sentence_234

Conversely, the series Iris had several pivotal scenes shot in Akita, Japan, which led to an increase of Korean tourists in that part of Japan. Korean drama_sentence_235

The popularity of Korean dramas and pop culture in Laos has led to many Laotian tourists travelling to South Korea. Korean drama_sentence_236

Korean pop culture has gained popularity in Laos through the Thai TV channels broadcasting Korean dramas and K-pop bands in the country. Korean drama_sentence_237

In Malaysia, Winter Sonata began airing on TV3 in 2003, which started an interest in Korean pop culture in the country. Korean drama_sentence_238

Dae Jang Geum and Autumn In My Heart were also aired in Malaysia. Korean drama_sentence_239

The popularity of Korean dramas have resulted in a positive reception of Korean expatriates in Malaysia. Korean drama_sentence_240

In Mongolia, Korean dramas have become popular and are broadcast at prime time. Korean drama_sentence_241

Dae Jang Geum achieved success in the country and was broadcast five times due to this. Korean drama_sentence_242

Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata and Stairway to Heaven were other popular dramas. Korean drama_sentence_243

Popularity in Korean dramas has resulted in interest in the learning of the Korean language as well as Mongolians travelling to South Korea. Korean drama_sentence_244

It has also led to increased mutually cooperative relations between Mongolia and South Korea. Korean drama_sentence_245

In Myanmar, the K-drama Autumn in My Heart was broadcast in the country in 2001, which led to interest in Korean entertainment. Korean drama_sentence_246

When Dae Jang Geum was on air, the drama sparked an interest in Korean cuisine in the country. Korean drama_sentence_247

The rising popularity of Korean dramas and music in Myanmar has led to the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) distributing Korean dramas in the country for free. Korean drama_sentence_248

Interest for Korean dramas in the Nepal began when Winter Sonata aired on Kantipur Television Network in the mid-2000s. Korean drama_sentence_249

This led to the popularity of other K-dramas such as Boys Over Flowers, Autumn In My Heart, You Are Beautiful and Full House to name a few. Korean drama_sentence_250

Popularity of Korean media products has also led to interest of learning the Korean language and has resulted in the emergence of Korean language tutorials that air on ABC Television in the country. Korean drama_sentence_251

Korean dramas have become popular among Nepali youth and markets are often frequented by teenagers looking to buy the latest dramas. Korean drama_sentence_252

The hairstyles and fashion of Korean actors have influenced the fashion sense of Nepali youth. Korean drama_sentence_253

Fascinated by the lifestyle and food of Korea, restaurants serving Korean cuisine have also been established in the country. Korean drama_sentence_254

Watching films or TV dramas from South Korea is a serious offence in North Korea, punishable by execution, but people still manage to acquire them on CDs and DVDs. Korean drama_sentence_255

In the Philippines, Korean dramas are politically popular on free-to-air television since the 2000s, and continues to succeed in captivating audiences. Korean drama_sentence_256

GMA Network, ABS-CBN, and TV5 are regularly airing Korean dramas dubbed in Filipino language. Korean drama_sentence_257

In Singapore, Prime 12 (now known as Suria) originally aired the Korean drama Sandglass on a weekly basis in 1996 and aired Asphalt Man in 1997. Korean drama_sentence_258

Since 2001, they are shown on Chinese language channel MediaCorp Channel U daily. Korean drama_sentence_259

The launch of KBS World, ONE TV ASIA, Oh!K, Channel M and streaming app, Viu in Singapore allows viewers to watch Korean dramas with a variety of subtitles in a matter of hours after the original South Korean telecast. Korean drama_sentence_260

In Sri Lanka, the Independent Television Network aired Full House in 2009 and it proved popular. Korean drama_sentence_261

Dae Jang Geum aired on Rupavahini in 2012 and was dubbed in Sinhala under the title Sujatha Diyani (සුජාත දියණී), meaning "The Pure, Valuable Daughter" and received a viewer rate of over 90%. Korean drama_sentence_262

The Independent Television Network, Rupavahini, TV Derana, Sirasa TV, Swarnavahini and TV1 air Korean dramas dubbed in the Sinhalese language. Korean drama_sentence_263

Streaming service, Iflix also streams many Korean dramas with English and Sinhalese subtitles in the country, some as early as 24 hours after their original Korean broadcast. Korean drama_sentence_264

Additionally, the popularity of Korean pop culture in the country has led to an increasingly warm reception towards Korean people. Korean drama_sentence_265

In Taiwan, interest in Korean dramas began when Star in My Heart aired in 1999. Korean drama_sentence_266

Since then Korean dramas have become very popular and according to the South Korean mission 120 K-dramas had been broadcast in Taiwan in the first half of 2011. Korean drama_sentence_267

When Dae Jang Geum was on air in Thailand, Korean food started gaining wide popularity. Korean drama_sentence_268

Due to the lop-sided nature of entertainment exports favoring South Korea, the Thai government requested increased introduction of popular Thai films to South Korean media outlets. Korean drama_sentence_269

This led to the signing of an Agreement of Cultural Cooperation between the two countries in August 2004. Korean drama_sentence_270

Korean dramas have also gained popularity in Vietnam, particularly among women and young people. Korean drama_sentence_271

The fashion and hairstyles presented in Korean dramas have become very popular among the youth of the country. Korean drama_sentence_272

Europe, the Middle East and Africa Korean drama_section_18

Since the mid-2000s, Israel, Iran, Morocco and Egypt have become major consumers of Korean culture. Korean drama_sentence_273

Following the success of Korean dramas in the Middle East & North Africa, the Korean Overseas Information Service made Winter Sonata available with Arabic subtitles on several state-run Egyptian television networks. Korean drama_sentence_274

According to Youna Kim (2007), "The broadcast was part of the government's efforts to improve the image of South Korea in the Middle East, where there is little understanding and exposure towards Korean culture" (p. 31). Korean drama_sentence_275

The New York Times reported that the intent behind this was to contribute towards positive relations between Arab & Berber audiences and South Korean soldiers stationed in northern Iraq. Korean drama_sentence_276

MBC4 (Middle East Broadcasting Channel) played a major role in increasing the Korean wave's popularity in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Korean drama_sentence_277

This broadcasting channel hosted a series of Korean drama starting 2013 such as "Boys Over Flowers" (أيام الزهور), "You're Beautiful" (أنت جميلة), "Dream High" (حلم الشباب ), "Coffee Prince" ( مقهى الأمير). Korean drama_sentence_278

Some Arab countries opposed Korean shows (dramas and reality TV shows) because of the fear they would lead to Islam youth to abandon their traditions wholesale in order to adopt Western modernity wholesale. Korean drama_sentence_279

However, this did not stop the Korean industries from exporting more Korean Dramas to the Arab world in the following years such as "The Heirs" ( الورثة). Korean drama_sentence_280

The popularity of Korean dramas in the MENA region-and its continuous growth- originates from the content of these dramas. Korean drama_sentence_281

As the majority of the plots of Korean dramas focus on social issues (love between different social classes or family problems for instance), the Arab audiences fit themselves and could relate to the Korean socio-cultural values as they seem appealing to them. Korean drama_sentence_282

So Korean dramas play the role of an equilibrium point where two, somehow, different cultures could create a new cultural space where these two different cultures could meet. Korean drama_sentence_283

In the early 2000s, Korean dramas were aired for South Korean troops stationed in northern Iraq as part of coalition forces led by the United States during the Iraq War. Korean drama_sentence_284

With the end of the war and the subsequent withdrawal of South Korean military personnel from the country, efforts were made to expand availability of K-dramas to the ordinary citizens of Iraq. Korean drama_sentence_285

In 2012, the Korean drama Hur Jun reportedly attained a viewership of over 90% in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Korean drama_sentence_286

Its lead actor Jun Kwang-ryul was invited by the federal government of Iraq to visit the city of Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, at the special request of the country's First Lady, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed. Korean drama_sentence_287

Autumn in My Heart, one of the earliest Korean dramas brought over to the Middle East, was made available for viewing after five months of "persistent negotiations" between the South Korean embassy and an Egyptian state-run broadcasting company. Korean drama_sentence_288

Shortly after the series ended, the embassy reported that it had received over 400 phone calls and love letters from fans from all over the country. Korean drama_sentence_289

According to the secretary of the South Korean embassy in Cairo Lee Ki-seok, Korea's involvement in the Iraq War had significantly undermined its reputation among Egyptians, but the screening of Autumn in My Heart proved "extremely effective" in reversing negative attitudes. Korean drama_sentence_290

Iran's state broadcaster, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), aired several Korean dramas during prime time slots in recent years, with this decision attributed by some to their Confucian values of respect for others, which are "closely aligned to Islamic culture", while in contrast, Western productions often fail to satisfy the criteria set by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Korean drama_sentence_291

In October 2012, the Tehran Times reported that IRIB representatives visited South Korea to visit filming locations in an effort to strengthen "cultural affinities" between the two countries and to seek avenues for further cooperation between KBS and IRIB. Korean drama_sentence_292

According to Reuters, until recently audiences in Iran have had little choice in broadcast material and thus programs that are aired by IRIB often attain higher viewership ratings in Iran than in South Korea; for example, the most popular episodes of Jumong attracted over 90% of Iranian audience (compared to 40% in South Korea), propelling its lead actor Song Il-gook to superstar status in Iran. Korean drama_sentence_293

The first Korean drama in Romania was aired on TVR in August 2009 with Dae Jang Geum, and in the following month it became the third most popular television program in the country. Korean drama_sentence_294

Since then, Korean dramas have seen high ratings and further success. Korean drama_sentence_295

North America and Latin America Korean drama_section_19

Korean drama_description_list_2

Between 2001 and 2002, South America began to absorb everything that came from Korea and the original 1997 series Star in My Heart, began to be broadcast successfully in Chile, Peru and other countries in the area, but these last two were where More had repercussions, including an Ahn Jae-wook fan club founded. Korean drama_sentence_296

In 2002, Winter Sonata, produced by KBS 2TV, became the first series in the region to match the success of Meteor Garden, attracting a cult following in Asia. Korean drama_sentence_297

Marketing sales, including DVD sets and novels, exceeded $3.5 million in Japan. Korean drama_sentence_298

In 2004, then-Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi noted that the series' male lead was "more popular than I am in Japan." Korean drama_sentence_299

Other Korean dramas released in later years such as Jewel in the Palace (2003) and Full House (2004) had comparable levels of success. Korean drama_sentence_300

In Chile, which was one of the first countries on a global level, the phenomenon of Korean wave, which is also known as hallyu, began with the first drama aired that was the original 1997 MBC series My Wish on the Stars in 2001 by Chilevisión past midnight and later years later in 2003 it was retransmitted by Canal 21 (Chillán) [] in Chillán, but it was not until 2006, when Stairway to Heaven was broadcast at 1:00 pm on the public television channel Televisión Nacional de Chile, which achieved notoriety of this genre being compared to La madrastra - an old very successful Chilean soap opera— due to the high audience figures in its schedule competing directly with other channels, it was also broadcast by TV Chile to other continents dubbed into Spanish. Korean drama_sentence_301

Korean drama_description_list_3

The Asian American-targeted cable TV channels AZN Television and ImaginAsian aired Korean dramas alongside content from China, Japan, India, Thailand and other parts of Asia. Korean drama_sentence_302

The dramas were aimed at the Asian American community before the channels dissolved in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Korean drama_sentence_303

In November 2008, Netflix began offering several Korean dramas as part of its video selection. Korean drama_sentence_304

In August 2009, DramaFever began offering free subtitled video streaming service, with video advertisements, in the United States. Korean drama_sentence_305

Singapore-based Viki streams popular Korean dramas across the world including North America, with subtitles in 70 languages. Korean drama_sentence_306

Companies in Asia have also designed streaming services available online and as mobile apps targeted towards overseas Asian communities. Korean drama_sentence_307

"MobiTV" created by the Sri Lankan company, Bhasha is a streaming service and mobile app aimed at the Sri Lankan community and streams Korean dramas dubbed in the Sinhalese language alongside other content aired in Sri Lanka. Korean drama_sentence_308

"Roopa", created by the same company, is another service available as a mobile app also aimed at the Sri Lankan community, it too streams Korean dramas dubbed in the Sinhalese language. Korean drama_sentence_309

Chinese company PPTV is another example, a mobile app, "PPTV网络电视HD" streams Korean dramas aimed at the Chinese community alongside content that is primarily available in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean but also increasingly in English. Korean drama_sentence_310

Additionally, Korean dramas are available at online DVD retailers. Korean drama_sentence_311

Some Korean dramas, however, are not available for region 1 (North America) encoding and NTSC video format. Korean drama_sentence_312

Amazon offers streaming of Winter Sonata for a fee. Korean drama_sentence_313

KBFD-DT in Honolulu, Hawaii broadcasts a majority of Korean dramas on its daily schedule, as well as offering the programs on sale at its website and on demand through its K-Life channel on Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Korean drama_sentence_314

Another Honolulu outlet, KHII-TV devotes three hours of its Sunday afternoon schedule to Korean dramas. Korean drama_sentence_315

KTSF, a channel aimed at the Asian American community in San Francisco, California airs Korean dramas as part of its schedule alongside content in Mandarin, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Cantonese. Korean drama_sentence_316

Viewership ratings Korean drama_section_20

Viewership ratings are provided by two companies in South Korea, AGB Nielsen Media Research and TNmS. Korean drama_sentence_317

Originally Media Service Korea was the only company providing such information, and it was later acquired by Nielsen Media Research. Korean drama_sentence_318

In 1999, TNS Media Korea also began such service, and later changed its name to TNmS. Korean drama_sentence_319

AGB collects viewership data based on 2050 households, while TNmS has 2000 households with measuring devices. Korean drama_sentence_320

The series average ratings usually vary between the two companies by 2-3%. Korean drama_sentence_321

Since late 2018, TNmS stopped providing data to the public through their websites, and instead occasionally releases the ratings through news agencies. Korean drama_sentence_322

List of highest-rated Korean dramas in public broadcast Korean drama_section_21

See also: List of South Korean dramas Korean drama_sentence_323

The list was compiled from data by AGB Nielsen Media Research, based on the episode of the highest viewership since 1992, when AGB Nielsen entered the Korean market. Korean drama_sentence_324

List of highest-rated Korean dramas in cable television Korean drama_section_22

Korean drama_unordered_list_4

  • The following dramas air on a cable channel/pay TV which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS).Korean drama_item_4_8

See also Korean drama_section_23

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean drama.