‘Defendant’ holds onto No. 1 spot amid decision to extend show

February 22, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) — SBS TV’s crime thriller “Defendant” held steadfast to its lead in the Monday-Tuesday late night drama war, data showed Wednesday, with strong demand prompting the network to add two more episodes.

Tuesday night’s episode 10 recorded a 22.2 percent viewership, according to Nielsen Korea, tying with the show’s record high from last week.

MBC TV’s “Rebel: A Thief Who Stole The People” raked in 10.5 percent and the finale of KBS 2TV’s “Hwarang” stood at 7.9 percent.

Promotional image for SBS TV series "Defendant"

Promotional image for SBS TV series “Defendant”

In “Defendant,” Ji Sung takes on the role of Park Jung-woo, a former prosecutor who is framed for murdering his family and is now a death row prisoner.

The series, directed by Cho Young-kwang and penned by Choi Soo-jin, has mesmerized TV viewers from the start. The show kicked off with a whopping 14.5 percent viewership in its first episode and rose above the 20-percent mark from episode seven.

In the show, main protagonist Park suffers from memory loss and is unaware of how he ended up in prison. While in prison, he tries to unravel a conspiracy in the face of mounting odds.

Um Ki-joon plays the antagonist, the mastermind behind Park’s demise and a psychopath who kills his twin CEO brother and assumes his family and life, and Yuri of idol group Girls’ Generation plays a public defender who aids Park.

In the latest broadcast, Park regains his memory from the night of the terrible incident and escapes from prison to find his missing daughter, who was known to have been murdered by Park and abandoned at an undisclosed location.

SBS TV has decided to add two more episodes to the initially 16-part series due to strong demand.

“Viewers’ demands for an extension are flooding in and also we judged that its impossible to bring a proper conclusion to the show with 16 episodes,” the network said.

Thanks to Ji’s strong performance and a well-written, twist-filled plot, the show is expected to gain more viewers during its remaining run.