New period drama attracts 300 mln views in China in first week

August 31, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) — A South Korean period drama has been watched nearly 300 million times in China in its first week on air, data showed Wednesday, reflecting Chinese viewers’ special interest toward the Chinese novel-based series.

“Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo,” starring hallyu stars Lee Joon-gi and IU, premiered simultaneously in South Korea and China on Monday. Hallyu refers to the popularity of Korean pop culture worldwide.

In its first episode, the drama received more than 100 million views on the video platform Youku, and following its third episode Tuesday, the accumulated number of views has so far surpassed 270 million, according to the site.

The drama’s broadcaster SBS aired the first two episodes on Monday due to programming issues, but the series will from now on air in the Monday-Tuesday 10 p.m. timeslot.

Based on the Chinese million seller Bu Bu Jing Xin, the drama stars Lee as the resentful 10th century prince Wang So and IU as the 21st century office worker Go Ha-jin, who one day time slips to the early years of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392).

The drama is a fusion of genres, including fantasy and romantic comedy, and revolves around the love triangle among Wang, Go and one of Wang’s brothers, 8th prince Wook (Kang Ha-neul).

The Chinese novel was made into a 35-part TV series in China in 2011.

A promotional poster for "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo"

A promotional poster for “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo”