Korean dramas are not only famous in South Korea, but also in various continents. So, if you are an overseas viewer, have you ever got to know about what would be the favorite dramas in Korea?

If you have no idea, then this article helps you!

The interesting fact is, the drama we loved, might be a box office disaster in South Korea. Anyways, it is to be noted that Drama ratings are measured by the AGB Nielsen, a market research firm that specializes in broadcast media.

The below rankings are based on the nationwide ratings from the AGB Nielsen and subject to change whenever a new drama received Good Audience Share.

These are the Top 20 highest-rated Korean dramas in cable television As of May 2020.

20. Familiar Wife 

Main Leads: Ji Sung & Han Ji-min
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Drama
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 8.2% (Episode 10)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 6.8%

The story revolves around a married couple Cha Joo-hyuk (works at a bank) and Seo Woo-jin who is been married for five years. When their marriage life is on the verge of decline, a strange incident happened that makes them realize the value of their relationship! In the meantime, his first love enters into his life making it even more complicated!

The drama was well received in South Korea as it focuses on the normal life of a married couple. The Episode 10 received a peak rating of 8.2%

19. Another Oh Hae-young 

Main Leads: Eric Mun, Seo Hyun-jin & Jeon Hye-bin
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
No of Episodes: 18 + 2 (special)
Released On: 2016
Highest Episode Rating: 9.9% (Episode 18)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 6.9%

 The story depicts the twist and turns due to  name confusion that lead Park Do-kyung (Eric Mun) to ruin the marriage of Oh Hae-young (soil) (Seo Hyun-jin) because of a erroneous mistake. The story gets even more intricate when both of them starts having feeling for each other.

 18. Reply 1994

Main Leads: Go Ara, Jung Woo ,Yoo Yeon-seok ,Kim Sung-kyun,Son Ho-jun,Baro ,Min Do-hee
Genre: Romance,Comedy
No of Episodes:21
Released On: 2013
Highest Episode Rating: 11.5% (Episode 21)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 7.4%

 This second season of the Reply Series, tells the love and friendship of the six university students from various cities who live together at a boarding house in Seoul which is owned and maintained by a couple. The couple has a daughter named Sung Na-jung (Go Ara) and the story makes the viewers to predict who would be the possible future husband of Na-jung!

17. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim  

Main Leads: Park Seo-joon and Park Min-young.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 8.66% (Episode 11)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 7.45%

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim is the love story between Lee Young-joon, the President &Vice Chairman of Yumyeong Group along and Mi-so/ Secretary Kim (of the vice-chairman, Lee Young-joon). Secretary Kim, though worked under Lee Young-joon for over 9 years, still finds it difficult to work with him, and when she told her plans of resignation, shocked Young-joon, realized his feelings for her and wanted her to be with him at all cost. But still,mi-so never knows that the person she desperately looking for years, is with her. Meanwhile, Young-joon’s brother’s friendship with secretary Kim makes Young-joon extremely jealous and eventually adding fuel to his Narcissistic personality.

16. Prison Playbook  

Main Leads: Park Hae-soo and Jung Kyung-ho.
Genre: Black Comedy
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2017
Highest Episode Rating: 11.19% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 7.56%

Prison Playbook is a “Black comedy” drama that revolves around the lives of convicts behind bars, their respective families, and duty officers working in the correctional amenities. A Top baseball pitcher, Kim Je-hyuk, is pronounced guilty and sentenced after he saves his sister from a sexual assault.

15. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon  

Main Leads: Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik, Ji Soo
Genre: Fantasy, Thriller, Action, Romantic Comedy
No of Episodes:16+1 Special
Released On: 2017
Highest Episode Rating: 9.67% (Episode 10)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 7.65%

Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young), a girl with superhuman strength whose ultimate dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. Due to her incredible strength, she is offered a bodyguard job to a rich heir Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik), the CEO of a gaming company, Ainsoft. Despite having a crush on In Guk-doo (Ji Soo), a police officer, a series of kidnapping cases make Bong-soon and Min-hyuk work together which brings them closer and falls for each other.

14. The Crowned Clown  

Main Leads: Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, and Lee Se-young
Genre: Historical, Romance, Melodrama
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2017
Highest Episode Rating: 10.85% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 8.41%

Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, and Lee Se-young starrer, The Crowned Clown is the drama version of the 2012 Lee Byung-hun starrer, Masquerade.

The crowned clown depicts the story of a Joseon King Yi Heon and his doppelganger, a clown, who has to impersonate and fill the king’s place under a situation where the king is being treated for severe illness. The clown has to manage the Royal court and the Queen by not revealing his original identity. The ending storyline is changed and differs from Masquerade, the original story!

13. Memories of the Alhambra 

Main Leads: Hyun Bin, Park Shin-hye
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Action thriller
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 10% (Episode 14)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 8.43% 

The CEO of an investment company that specializes in optical devices, Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) receives an email regarding an augmented reality game inspired by the Alhambra Palace, Spain! He travels to Granada to meet the owner of the Game but instead could meet only his sister Jung Hee-Joo (Park Shin-Hye), owner of the old and not well-maintained hostel. Things become mysterious as both of them entrapped between the real world and the AR Game World.

12. Encounter 

Main Leads: Song Hye-Kyo, Park Bo-gum
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 10.3% (Episode 2)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 8.47%

A  woman named  Cha Soo Hyeon, a divorced daughter of a politician who seems to have everything and a young man Kim Jin Hyeok, A free-spirited guy who seems to have nothing brought together by fate and decided to live with each Other. 

11. Signal  

Main Leads: Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo, Cho Jin-woong
Genre: Drama, Thriller
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2016
Highest Episode Rating: 12.54% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 8.82%

A strange walkie talkie allows a detective in the year 1989 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015; with the power of fore and hindsight the two not only solve mysterious crime cases but at times prevent them beforehand.

10. Hotel del Luna 

Main Leads: Lee Ji-eun and Yeo Jin-goo
Genre: Fantasy, Romantic Comedy
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2019
Highest Episode Rating: 12% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 8.86%

The story revolves around a hotel, Guest House of the Moon. The Hotel is not for living human, It’s an Exclusive hotel for souls/ghosts. This Supernatural hotel is not visible (in its form) during the Day time. Everybody working here and the customers are ghosts/souls. Humans are invited upon only special circumstances if suppose any ghost wants to have a word with its living relatives or during the lunar eclipse. The existence of such a supernatural hotel is to let the ghosts finish up their unfinished business. Only a few ghosts have the power to appear before the humans with several restrictions, and if broken, the soul will be destroyed and cannot be reincarnated! So What would the remaining ghost do, and how will they interact with the normal people without power? For that, a human must be hired as Manager, who can see the Ghost.

Jang Man-wol ,a ghost(Lee Ji-eun) is the owner of this hotel, currently known as the “Hotel del Luna”.And because of his father’s agreement with Man-wol, Gu Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-goo) happens to become the Manager of the ‘Hotel del Luna’, and everything has been tracked and controlled by the deity Mago (Yi-suk Seo).

9. 100 Days My Prince 

Main Leads: Do Kyung-soo and Nam Ji-hyun.
Genre: Historical, Romantic Comedy
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 14.4% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 9%

This Do Kyung-soo and Nam Ji-hyun starrer historical Korean drama is an entangled story that touches love, Betrayal and Marriage.

100 Days My Prince portrays the childhood love between Lee Yul(Do Kyung-soo) and Yoon Yi-seo(Nam Ji-hyun). And, later, it highlights how they get separated because of family disputes but end up meeting each other without knowing their deep rooted relationship.

8. Hospital Playlist

Main Leads: Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok,Jung Kyung-ho,Kim Dae-myung,Jeon Mi-do
Genre: Medical Drama, Romantic Comedy
No of Episodes:12
Released On: 2020
Highest Episode Rating: 14.1% (Episode 12)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 10.96% 

Hospital Playlist tells a fantastic friendship between five doctors who works at Yulje Medical Center. The story focuses on their individual story, love, and Friendship between these friends of the same medical school who later becomes colleagues!

7. Itaewon Class 

Main Leads: Park Seo-joon , Kim Da-mi , Yoo Jae-myung, Kwon Nara
Genre: Drama
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2020
Highest Episode Rating: 16.54% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 11.8% 

Itaewon Class, a webtoon adapted series, portrays the realistic struggles of an ex-con whose life changed upside down after standing against bullying that leads to his father’s death. 

Park Sae-Ro-Yi (Park Seo-Joon) who got expelled from school on his first day after punching his classmate Jang Geun-won who bullied a fellow student. The bully boy is the son of CEO Jang Dae-Hee under whom Park Sae-Ro-Yi’s father works. After refusing to plead on behalf of his son’s action, Sae-Ro-Yi’s father was forced to resign his job. Later Sae-Ro-yi’s father was killed in the accident caused by Jang Geun-won. Furious Sae-Ro-Yi, violently beats him and ended up in prison. Once he released from prison, he vows to take revenge on the Jangga group, he plans to open a restaurant and he opened it after 7 Years! He meets Jo Yi-seo (Kim Da-Mi), a schoolgirl who is popular in social media and known as a sociopath. Yi-seo, at all cost, wanted and helped Sae-ro-yi to chase up his dreams of ruining the Jangga Group owned by CEO Jang Dae-Hee. Meanwhile, Yi-Seo falls in love with Park Sae-Ro-Yi. Jang Dae-Hee, CEO of the Jangga group and father of Jang Geun-Won tries to stop Sae-ro-yi from growing his DanBam(bar-restaurant) into a franchise.

6. Crash Landing on You

Main Leads: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun, and Seo Ji-hye
Genre: Romance
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2019
Highest Episode Rating: 21.68% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 12.1% 

The series portrays the secret and sweet romance between Yoon Se-Ri, heiress of a conglomerate in South Korea and Ri Jung-hyuk, a high-ranking Officer Of North Korea. When she was about to take over the chairman position of her father’s company, a sudden and unexpected accident leads Yoon Se-ri to make an emergency landing in North Korea. There, she was spotted by Ri Jung-hyuk (Hyun Bin), a North Korean army officer. Initially, He hides her and Later he wants to protect her by all means. Soon, Ri Jung-hyuk and Yoon Se-Ri fall in love with each other.

5. Reply 1988

Main Leads: Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum,Go Kyung-pyo,Ryu Jun-yeol,Lee Dong-hwi
Genre: Romance, Family, Comedy
No of Episodes:20
Released On: 2016
Highest Episode Rating: 18.8% (Episode 20)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 12.4%

Set in the year 1988, The Story revolves around five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood. Reply 1988 is the third season of the Reply Series. 

4. Sky Castle 

Main Leads: Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Seo-hyung
Genre: Satire, Drama, Black Comedy
No of Episodes:20
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 23.78% (Episode 20)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 12.5%

A family drama that portrays the desires of the rich and affluent parents in Korea and how they are contemptuous of other’s lives! The story unfolds how their callous behaviors towards their families’ success, destroy someone’s life! 

3. Goblin  

Main Leads: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, and Yook Sung-jae
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2016
Highest Episode Rating: 18.68% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 12.9%

The story depicts the life of Kim Shin, a Goblin (Gong Yoo) who was a military general from the Goryeo Dynasty. Being framed for treason and at the end leading to his family’s death including his sister who is the royal consort of the Young King! To protect his country he had already killed thousands of warriors and thus he is cursed to stay immortal to mourn his loved ones’ death for Years. He becomes an immortal goblin with a sword pierced in his chest at all times!

In 2016, He lives with a Super Cool Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-wook) as his nephew Yoo Deok-Hwa (Yook Sung-jae). Though they tease each other and the grim reaper wanted him to be dead, bromance groom in between! Meanwhile, to become mortal, the goblin’s bride must take over his sword pierced in his chest and he is in search of her. Finally, Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-eun) appears!!

On the other end, Sunny (Yoo In-na), a young lady who runs a chicken shop meets Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-wook) and these four people come to a single picture when Goblin wanted Eun-tak to work as a part-timer at Sunny’s Chicken Shop which most of the times runs without customers. Gradually, they came to know their connections in their previous life.

2. Mr. Sunshine 

Main Leads: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri
Genre: Historical, Romance, Melodrama
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2018
Highest Episode Rating: 18.12% (Episode 24)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 12.95%

Mr.Sunshine is a political drama where the hero fights for his country’s sovereignty.

Eugene Choi(Lee Byung-hun), a United States Marine Corps officer has to fight for his home country’s sovereignty and for his love, Go Ae-shin(Kim Tae-ri). Mr.Sunshine has a deep Story that created awareness on social class system.

1.   The World of the Married 

Main Leads: Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon, and Han So-hee
Genre: Family, Melodrama, Thriller, Romance
No of Episodes:16
Released On: 2020
Highest Episode Rating: 28.37% (Episode 16)
Average Nationwide Ratings: 18.82%

Ji Sun-woo (Kim Hee-ae) , a family medicine doctor leads a contented life along with her husband Lee Tae-oh (Park Hae-joon) and a teenage son, Lee Joon-young (Jeon Jin-seo). Her world shatters when she comes to know about her husband’s illegal affair. Sun-woo vows to retaliate in her own way!

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