On June 20, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) debuted a K-drama series, Doctors, which was considered the company’s most anticipated show of 2016. Also known as Doctor Crush, many K-drama fans looked forward to the medical drama because it would mark the return of Park Shin Hye, one of the most popular Hallyu actresses. Hye, who is known for her roles in Heirs and Pinocchio, has had considerable success since she graduated from Chung Ang University with a bachelor’s degree in theater and film. It also marked the return of Kim Rae Won, who made his last appearance as a dramatic actor in 2014 when he was featured in Punch.
Another reason why K-drama fans looked forward to Doctors is that it is a medical drama created by SBS. For those who do not remember, the most successful K-drama of 2015 was a medical drama by SBS, Yong Pal. It actually received more prestige and recognition than the highly advertised and promoted K-drama project by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Producer.
The final episodes of Doctors aired on Monday and Tuesday, August 22 and 23. On Monday, SBS actually aired episodes 18 and 19 and gave fans a special treat. Last week, the Olympics took precedence, and as a result, SBS only had time on the schedule for episode 17. Since the network aired two episodes back-to-back, the viewership ratings for both TNS Media Korea and Nielsen Korea teetered around a 17 percent average for the nation, and 19.5 percent for Seoul National Capital Area. There was definitely a spike the next day, and according to both ratings services, viewership ratings for the Seoul National Capital Region were over 20 percent. Nielsen Korea ratings for the nation were also over 20 percent.
Overall, however, the averages were 20.3 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area and 17 percent for the nation, which barely surpassed Yong Pal. This means SBS not only improved on their medical genre from last year, but the network produced a drama that did better than any drama from last year too. However, Yong Pal was surpassed by Reply 1988 (weighted viewership average) and Descendants of the Sun. As a matter of fact, both of those K-dramas did better than Doctors.
Still, Doctors is a successful K-drama, finishing with record numbers in its viewership percentage. It did a phenomenal job of reintroducing the K-drama fandom to Park Shin Hye and Kim Rae Won after extensive hiatuses for their own respective reasons. In addition, the K-drama helped further establish the acting careers of other Korean actors, including the up-and-coming Yoon Gyun Sang, who previously appeared in Pinocchio andSix Flying Dragons, and Lee Sung Kyung, who was featured in Flower of the Queen and Cheese in the Trap.
Now that Doctors has concluded, it is only available for viewing on streaming sites. The entire series can be seen for free with ads on both DramaFever and Viki, depending on the region. As for Doctors former time slot, it will be taken by the highly anticipated Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, starring Lee Joon Gi and IU, which begins airing this coming week starting on Monday, August 29.
[Image via SBS]