Two Korean remakes of foreign hit dramas sweep weekly TV chart

May 9, 2018
is poster for "Suits" was provided by KBS 2TV. (Yonhap)

is poster for “Suits” was provided by KBS 2TV. (Yonhap)

This poster for OCN's new series "Mistress" was provided by the cable network. (Yonhap)

This poster for OCN’s new series “Mistress” was provided by the cable network. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) — Two Korean adaptations of American and British TV series dominated the weekly TV chart, data showed Wednesday.

“Suits” and “Mistress,” which premiered on April 25 on KBS 2TV and April 28 on OCN, respectively, received scores of 265.8 and 232.5 on the weekly Content Power Index (CPI) for April 23-29.

“Suits” is the remake of a popular American legal drama of the same name about an unlikely legal duo of a hotshot lawyer and his personal associate.

“Mistress” is the Korean adaptation of the popular British thriller “Mistresses” and revolves around four close female friends embroiled in a mysterious murder case.

The two series have received special interest from viewers because of the small-screen comebacks of two popular South Korean actors, Jang Dong-gun and Han Ga-in, each after six-year a hiatus.

In “Suits,” Jang Dong-gun plays Choi Kang-seok, the Korean version of Harvey Specter, the legendary, charismatic hotshot lawyer who works at the country’s top law firm. Park takes the role of Choi’s partner, Koh Yeon-woo, the Korean Mike Ross, who is hired by Choi as his personal associate for his photographic memory and high intelligence, even though he has no license to practice law.

Han Ga-in plays Jang Se-yeon in “Mistress,” a widow who runs a cafe and raises her daughter alone after the death of her husband. She believes her husband is still alive and feels increasingly anxious when she keeps getting anonymous phone calls.

Although the two dramas gave strong performances on the chart on the back of extensive media coverage and high popularity on social media sites, “Suits” has far outperformed “Mistress” in terms of viewership ratings.

For their latest episodes, the former received 9.7 percent while the latter achieved 0.8 percent, according to Nielson Korea — a large gap even considering that “Suits” airs on a major terrestrial network and “Mistress” on a minor cable channel.

Audiences point out that “Mistress,” which tells the stories of four different female characters, does not yet have a good flow to its storytelling. Some also say there are too many instances of foreshadowing that are confusing and make it hard to follow the plot.

A remake is a challenging task since it should add fresh elements and local color to the original series to offer something new. That there weren’t many successful Korean remakes before “Suits” and “Mistress” speaks volumes.

The CPI, created by CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, measures the level of popularity, social media trending and influence on consumer behavior of entertainment TV programs aired on three major terrestrial networks — MBC, SBS and KBS — and seven cable channels owned by CJ E&M, including tvN, Mnet and OCN, during prime time. JTBC, another cable network that airs some highly popular entertainment shows and dramas, was not included in the survey.

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