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'Descendants of the Sun' carries on strong viewership

All Headlines 15:34 March 03, 2016

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- KBS 2TV's new television series "Descendants of the Sun" hit the jackpot, collecting more than 20 percent of viewership nationwide, Nielsen Korea data showed Thursday.

In its third episode, the show starring actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo drew 23.4 percent of viewers nationwide, the data showed.

Higher percentage of viewers turned up in Seoul at 25.8 percent and around Seoul at 24.6 percent for the series produced by Lee Eung-bok and written by star screenwriter Kim Eun-sook.

This is by far the best record among all television series of the season. Before "Descendants of the Sun," the last television series to break the magical 20-percent level was SBS TV's "Remember: War of the Son," aired on Feb. 18 and "Yongpal," aired on Aug. 20 of last year.

"Descendants of the Sun" dwarfed its other two rivals in the same time slot, SBS' "Please Come Back, Mister" and MBC's "One More Happy Ending," to 5.2 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

Army lieutenant Yoo Si-jin (Song Joong-ki) and doctor Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo) reunite serendipitously in the fictional war-torn country of Uruk in "Descendants of the Sun," which is the first South Korean series to debut here and in China simultaneously.

To pass China's time-consuming and stringent censoring process, the entire show has been pre-recorded, producers said. Traditionally, Korean shows have been produced on an episode-by-episode basis to offer some wiggle room for adjustments.

In China, the show opened at 10 p.m., local time, on the video streaming website iQiyi.

A new episode airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 p.m.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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