‘Hwarang’ Korean Drama Flops? Star-Studded Cast Of K-Pop Idols Fails To Deliver Ratings

Hwarang, the Korean drama, whose cast is a who’s who of K-pop idols, is already being labeled as a flop in some circles. The Korea Times reports that the new series, which stars V from Bangtang Boys (BTS) has failed to deliver the ratings for KBS.

According to The Korea Times, the first episode, which aired on Monday, got about 7.4 percent of the audience, based on reporting from Nielsen Korea.

The second episode, which aired on Tuesday, dipped to 7.2 percent.

As they’re both period dramas with a cast featuring K-pop idols, Hwarang has been compared to Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. As The Korea Times reports Moon Lovers first episode got 6.9 percent of the audience share, so Hwarang did not do that much better.


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As the article in The Korea Times duly points out, although the ratings for the first two episodes have been tepid, to say the least, it’s still early.

Only time will tell whether Hwarang will continue to garner mediocre ratings like Moon Lovers, or whether it will rise to higher heights like another Korean period drama, Moonlight Drawn By The Clouds.

Moonlight became a hit, and by the end of its run it had garnered over 20 percent of the ratings for multiple episodes. The show turned Park Bo Gum into a superstar.

But even if the Hwarang drama fails, the network is still doing a lot to market and make money off of its star-studded cast. The Hwarang characters are set to appear in a video game based on the show, according to a release via their Twitter page.

According to the release, Hwarang: The Beginning is the first Korean video game that will be based on K-drama characters. The game will have two components, a mini-game and a character theme game where they will have the opportunity to dress and cheer up their hwarangs.

Eager fans will be able to download Hearing: The Beginning on the day after Christmas and it will be available on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.

Hwarang will also be turned into a musical. Asia One reports that the show will be adapted for the stage.

According to Asia One, the live musical performance will be a joint venture between two companies, Asia Bridge Contents and Oh Boy Project. All other details about the production, including the cast and premiere date, have not been revealed as yet.

“It is true that we, with Oh Boy Project, is going to produce a musical of drama Hwarang,” a rep from Asia Bridge Contents said, according to All Kpop. “However, we are still in talks over the length of time it’ll be put on and the casting, so nothing else is confirmed.”

Korean drama Hwarang follows the story of a group of hwarangs, young knights of the Silla Kingdom, as they pursue their training in armed combat and culture.

It stars Go A-ra and Park Seo-joon, alongside Choi Min-ho of boy band SHINee, Kim Tae-hyung of BTS, and Park Hyung-sik of ZE:A.

[Featured Image by Korean Broadcasting System]