A K-Drama’s success is measured in a number of ways, but one tell-tale sign of popularity is the peak viewership rating. According to data collected by AGB Nielsen Media Research, only seven shows have surpassed the 15% peak viewership mark in Seoul and nationwide so far this year. Can you guess which ones?
7. Hospital Playlist 2
Although it’s rare for K-Dramas to produce sequels, the popularity of Hospital Playlist practically demanded it. Season 2 of this star-studded show continues following the lives of five doctors who have been friends since medical school.
A peak rating of 15.785% was reached in Seoul on July 22 for episode 6. Its highest nationwide rating was 13.151%.
Song Joong Ki stars as the titular character in Vincenzo, the story of a Mafia consigliere-turned-lawyer who exacts vigilante justice on those who deserve it.
On May 2, Vincenzo reached a peak viewership rating of 16.564% in Seoul and 14.636% nationwide for episode 20, the finale.
5. Taxi Driver
This K-Drama is based on The Deluxe Taxi webtoon by Carlos and Lee Jae Jin. In it, the Rainbow Taxi, a secret organization, avenges victims of violence that the law failed to protect. Want justice? Ring the “revenge-call” service, and you’ll get it.
In Seoul, Taxi Driver reached a peak viewership rating of 17.0% on May 8 for part 2 of episode 10. It reached 16.0% nationwide on April 24 for part 2 of episode 6.
4. Penthouse 3
Given the success of Penthouse: War in Life, it’s no surprise that the sequels have racked up some of the highest viewership ratings this year. Penthouse 3 begins after a horrific car bombing, with the villainous Joo Dan Tae (Uhm Ki Joon) out of prison. Shim Su Ryeon (Lee Ji Ah) forms alliances, old and new, to take him down once and for all.
Penthouse 3 peaked at 21.0% in Seoul and 19.5% nationwide for episode 1 part 2 on June 4.
3. Penthouse 2
Penthouse 2 continues to follow the lives of the rich and corrupt Hera Palace residents in the wake of Shim Su Ryeon’s shocking death.
On March 27, Penthouse 2 scored a jaw-dropping peak viewership rating of 30.6% in Seoul and 29.2% nationwide for part 2 of episode 12.
2. Revolutionary Sisters
The second-highest rated K-Drama of 2021 so far is Revolutionary Sisters, a comedy with 60 episodes and counting. The show follows the Lee family, whose members are suspected of murder.
Revolutionary Sisters brought in an incredible peak viewership rating of 32.5% nationwide on June 27 for episode 60. On July 4, it peaked at 31.6% in Seoul for episode 62.
1. Homemade Love Story
Homemade Love Story is the highest-rated K-Drama of 2021 so far, and its rating won’t easily be surpassed. This show follows the lives of the people who live at Samgwang Villa, including an architect and an interior designer.
On January 21, Homemade Love Story achieved a nationwide viewership rating of 33.7% for episode 80. It achieved a whopping 32.3% peak viewership rating three different times in Seoul! The first was on January 3 for episode 64.