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'Descendants of the Sun' smooth sailing, cable remains flat

All Headlines 10:18 April 04, 2016

By Park Sojung

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- "Descendants of the Sun," a domestic TV series about a special forces captain falling in love with a volunteer doctor, is on its way to overtake the 40-percent viewership mark that no other shows have been able to touch in four years, data showed Monday.

The KBS 2TV's Wednesday-Thursday night show was watched by 32.4 percent of viewers in South Korea, maintaining a viewership above 30 percent for the second straight week, data by Nielsen Korea showed.

The drama headlined by actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo premiered in South Korea and China on Feb. 24. In China, new episodes are uploaded on the video website iQiyi every Wednesday and Thursday.

With only four episodes to go, it remains to be seen whether "Descendants of the Sun" will succeed MBC's "Moon Embracing the Sun" in 2012 to go down as one of South Korea's rare shows to command a viewership greater than 40 percent.

Three new shows were launched on the Monday-Tuesday night time slot, with SBS's "The Royal Gambler" leading them with 12.0 percent. It stars actor Jang Keun-suk as a Joseon Dynasty man born to King Sukjong but raised by a commoner after his mother abandons him.

KBS 2TV's "My Lawyer, Mr. Jo," following a prosecutor-turned-lawyer fighting for the poor, was next with 10.7 percent. MBC's "Monster," about a man stripped of power seeking revenge, finished below 10 percent.

On weekday nights, "My Home's Honey Jar" on KBS 1TV remained on top with 26.8 percent, followed by MBC's "Beautiful You" at 12.6 percent.

KBS 2TV's "Five Children," in which a widower and a divorced woman give love a second chance, was the most-watched weekend show with 27.0 percent. MBC's "Happy Home" was a distant second with 14.3 percent.

tvN's "Produce 101," a reality girl group survival show, held a season finale watched by 4.4 percent of viewers. The show culminated in the formation of the 11-member group I.O.I.

No cable drama could hold a candle to terrestrial rivals last week, with the best-performing one, tvN's "Memory," gathering just 2.5 percent.

sojungpark@yna.co.kr
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