2024’s Must-Watch Korean TV and OTT Shows as Predicted by Industry Experts

upcoming korean drama 2024

With the dawn of 2024, TV Daily conducted a survey to forecast the year’s most anticipated productions. Eighty participants from 29 management agencies and broadcasting insiders voted for one TV drama and one OTT project.

TV Drama: Dominance of tvN & Kim Tae Ri’s ‘Jeong Nyeon’ Takes First Place

upcoming korean drama 2024
Credit: Management mmm, npioe Entertainment, tvN, Netflix, Awesome Ent, iMBC

tvN’s drama Jeong Nyeon (literal title) topped the list of most-anticipated TV dramas for 2024, securing 16 votes. Based on a webtoon, Jeong Nyeon is a period drama set in the post-Korean War 1950s, depicting the growth of a naturally talented artist, Jeong Nyeon, as she joins a female national drama troupe. The cast includes Kim Tae Ri, Shin Ye Eun, Ra Mi Ran, Moon So Ri, and Jung Eun Chae. Industry insiders expressed anticipation, saying, “Looking forward to Kim Tae Ri’s wide acting spectrum,” “Excited about the female-centric narrative,” and “Expecting Kim Tae Ri with impressive filmography to shine alongside veteran actors.”

tvN’s Captivating the King secured second place with 12 votes. Captivating the King is a fictional historical drama about a woman who becomes a spy to overthrow King Yi In, a man with a prestigious position but harboring a lowly heart. The drama stars Jo Jung Suk and Shin Se Kyung and is set to premiere on January 21st. Respondents commented, “Go-to actors Jo Jung Suk and Shin Se Kyung’s collaboration,” and “The story seems solid, and the casting is promising.”

Third place went to tvN’s Wedding Impossible with 9 votes. This light-hearted rom-com explores the clash of desires between a lesser-known actress who enters into a contractual marriage with a closeted chaebol heir and her newfound brother-in-law. Anticipated for the February 2024 premiere, the drama will feature Baeksang Arts Award winner Jeon Jong Seo and Moon Sang Min. “Looking forward to a light and sweet rom-com,” said an insider.

Fourth place (8 votes) was taken by tvN’s Someday Hospital Playlist (literal title), a spinoff of the popular Hospital Playlist series, depicting the realistic hospital life and friendship of professors and residents. Actors Go Youn Jung, Kang You Seok, and Shin Si A have joined the cast.

Fifth place (6 votes) went to the SBS drama Greetings (literal title). This romantic drama revolves around the story of Kang Ji Yoon (Han Ji Min), the successful CEO of a headhunting company who is incapable of anything outside of work, and Yoo Eun Ho (Lee Joon Hyuk), who becomes her secretary, equipped with perfection. The show has garnered much anticipation due to its stellar cast and has confirmed its release in 2024. “The chemistry between the actors will be key,” mentioned an industry insider.

In addition, MBN’s drama The Crown Prince Disappeared (literal title) earned 4 votes, intriguing respondents with its plot where the crown prince is kidnapped by his future crown princess. ENA’s Naughty Photo Studio (2 votes) is anticipated for its healing qualities during this tough time, while tvN’s Queen of Tears is noted for the collaboration of the impressive cast and writer Park Ji Eun. tvN’s Marry My Husband was also mentioned.

Receiving one vote each were: KBS2’s Goryeo-Khitan War, expected to continue its hit streak; JTBC’s Queen of Divorce, Doctor Slump, The Life of Mrs. Ock (literal title), Family by Choice, Although I Am Not a Hero (literal title); tvN’s Because I Want No Loss (literal title), Apartment404, Mom’s Friend’s Son; SBS’s Connection, FlexxCop; KBS’s Love Song For Illusion; and You Have Done Well (not programmed yet).

OTT Projects: Can ‘Squid Game 2’ Continue the Legend?

upcoming korean drama 2024
Credit: Netflix

Topping the OTT productions is Netflix’s Squid Game 2, with an overwhelming 21 votes. As a sequel to the globally successful Squid Game, season 2 will feature new cast members Yim Si Wan, Yang Dong Geun, Kang Ha Neul, Park Sung Hoon, alongside Lee Jung Jae, Lee Byung Hun, and Gong Yoo from season 1. Director Hwang Dong Hyuk stated, “We’ll come back with new games and astonishing stories.” Insiders remarked, “Wonder if it can match the success of the first season,” and “Curious about what the sequel will bring after such a big success.”

Second place is Netflix’s Gyeongseong Creature 2 (10 votes), starring Park Seo Joon and Han So Hee. Set in the darkest days of 1945, this creature thriller revolves around two youths confronting a monster born out of greed. Part 2 of the first season has confirmed release on the 5th. Though the second season’s specific date is yet to be announced, it’s aimed for a 2024 release. “Park Seo Joon is the reason,” and “Season 1 was fun, looking forward to Season 2” were some of the comments.

Third place went to Netflix’s All of Us Are Dead 2 (7 votes). Confirmed for production in 2022, the K-zombie series set in Hyosan High School, the epicenter of a zombie virus outbreak, will return for a second season. The series featured impressive performances by actors Park Ji Hu, Yoon Chan Young, Cho Yi Hyun, and Lomon. “The rookie actors in Season 1 were impressive,” and “Looking forward to more diversity,” said industry insiders.

Fourth place was taken by TVING’s EXchange 3 (5 votes), which premiered on December 29th, 2023, but still made it to the list of anticipated 2024 productions.

Fifth place is Netflix’s The Trauma Code: Heroes on Call (4 votes). Based on a web novel, the drama follows the journey of genius trauma surgeon Baek Kang Hyuk, who turns the struggling university hospital’s trauma team into the real one that saves lives. Ju Ji Hoon and Choo Young Woo are confirmed for the cast. “Excited about Netflix’s first medical drama,” added an insider.

Additionally, Netflix’s The Bequeathed and Disney Plus’ A Shop for Killers each garnered 3 votes, with the latter’s concept of a killer-targeted shopping mall capturing interest. Netflix’s The Trunk was noted for the fresh combination of Gong Yoo and Seo Hyun Jin.

Receiving two votes were TVING’s Crime Scene Returns, Long Time No Sex (for its groundbreaking theme), Good or Bad Dong Jae (literal title, raising expectations as a spinoff of the Stranger series), Netflix’s Parasyte: The Grey, A Killer Paradox (noted for its stellar cast), and Disney Plus’ Royalroader.

Finally, earning one vote each were: Netflix’s Alone in the Woods, Chicken Nugget, Officer Black Belt, Sweet Home 3, Hellbound 2, Physical: 100 2; Disney Plus’ Uncle Samsik (literal title); TVING’s High School Mystery Club 3, Death’s Game 2; and Perfect Family (not programmed yet).

>> New K-Dramas Coming to TVING in 2024

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