This is the worst crisis in the history of KBS dramas.
KBS 2TV’s weekday dramas are struggling. The Monday-Tuesday drama Born Again and the Wednesday-Thursday drama Fix You are both recording 1 to 2 percent viewership. Thes figures are even lower than those recorded in most non-terrestrial TV dramas. Fix You was hampered by the trot craze, whereas Born Again failed to attract viewers early on.
Born Again, starring Jang Ki Yong, Jin Se Yeon, and Lee Soo Hyuk, started relatively well on April 20 with 3.7 percent and 4.1 percent viewership nationwide (based on Nielsen Korea), but unfortunately, these became the highest viewership of the drama. The drama portrayed a mystery between the two lives, past and present, using serial murder as the topic. But, it was shunned by viewers from the beginning with its complicated story.
The situation is no different for Shin Ha Kyun’s medical drama Fix You. Starting with 4.7 percent and 5.2 percent viewership on May 6, it emerged as a savior to revive KBS’s slump, but this also became the highest viewership of Fix You. The 15th episode, which aired on May 28, reached 1.8 percent viewership, hitting the all-time low.
At least, Fix You has an excuse. Despite viewers’ evaluations as “drama with comfort and empathy” and “calm, healing drama,” it failed to rise above the trot craze. Even Shin Ha Kyun, who is called “Ha Kyun God,” could not overcome the trot. The damage was even more significant because the main viewers overlapped. With the popularity of SBS’s Trot God, TV Chosun’s Mulberry School, and Call Center of Love, Fix You failed to maintain the 3 percent mark and fell to 1 to 2 percent viewership.
Due to the continued downtrend of weekdays dramas, KBS is facing the worst and brutal spring season. Five months after The Tale of Nokdu, KBS resumed the Monday-Tuesday drama with 4-episode drama How to Buy a Friend. But it also revolved around 1 to 2 percent viewership, making no significant impact. The Wednesday-Thursday dramas have also been sluggish. After recording a 1 percent viewership from March to April, Meow, the Secret Boy was finally humiliated with its all-time low viewership of 0.9 percent. The figure is not only the lowest of the drama, but also in the history of terrestrial TV. Previously, KBS’s Manhole (2017) held the lowest viewership of 1.4 percent.
When will KBS weekday dramas be able to break away from 1 percent viewership, which has been continued for three months? It’s time for them to present a turning point.