Lowest Rated Public Channel Kdramas Of All Time

Published Categorized as Kdrama Buzz

Having explored the highest-rated tvN and JTBC dramas recently, it is now time to delve into the list of the biggest box office flops in the world of Korean dramas, particularly those aired on public broadcasting stations.

Here is the list of the top lowest-rated public channel kdramas ever made.

Note: this list does not include cable channel dramas which often have lower ratings in comparison due to being a paid option. This means no tvN, OCN, JTBC, ENA or Channel A dramas are on this list.

Note: this will be updated when needed

Number eight: The Great Seducer/ aka Tempted – MBC

The 2018 MBC drama starring Joy (Red Velvet), Woo Do Hwan, Kim Min Jae and Moon Ga Young struggled a lot with ratings throughout its run. While it began with promising ratings, the drama slowly lost audiences interest and recorded some of the lowest ratings for an MBC drama production ever.

Tempted lowest rated episode: 1.5% (the 29th episode)

  Number seven: Manhole – KBS2

The 2017 KBS drama initially gained attention for being Kim Jaejoong’s first project following his military discharge at the time. The drama also stars Uee, Jung Hye Sung, Baro and more.

Manhole” struggled to pull viewers in and at the time of its airing, was the lowest ever recorded for a drama airing in a regular time slot on broadcast television. This record was held until “Lovely Horribly” aired in 2018 but it remained the primetime drama with the lowest average rating until another KBS drama which aired at the same time slot broke that record in 2020, the drama was “Welcome.”

Manhole lowest rated episode: 1.4%

Number six: Lovely Horribly – KBS2

Having mentioned the drama already, “Lovely Horribly” is considered one of the top 5 lowest rated KBS dramas ever made. The drama interestingly began its run with very promising ratings in the 4% range before rising to a high of ratings in the 6% range before plunging and recording some of the worst ratings for the broadcasting station KBS.

The drama starring Song Ji Hyo and Park Shi Hoo faced difficulties attracting and retaining viewers, experiencing inconsistent low ratings throughout its entire duration.

“Lovely Horribly” lowest rated episode: 1.0% [episode 25]

Number five: Love All Play- KBS

Starring Park Ju Hyun, Chae Jong Hyeop, Park Ji Hyun, and many up and rising actors, the 2022 sports drama struggled massively with ratings and is considered the drama that drew the lowest-ever peak and average ratings for a Korean drama airing on free television during prime time.

Love All Play” currently holds the record for the 3rd lowest rated KBS drama of all time. Interestingly, its ratings never broke the 2% mark either.

“Love All Play” lowest rated episode: 0.9% [episode 15]

Number four: Oh My Ladylord- MBC

Oh My Ladylord” is a rom-com about screenwriter Han Bi Soo (Lee Min Ki) and top actress Oh Joo In (Nana), whose seemingly unromantic lives truly unfold once they become roommates. Despite the star-studded cast included in the project, k-netizens and critics criticized the drama for its typical plot.

“Oh My Ladylord” ratings suffered for the majority of its run time as viewers lost interest with each episode. The drama’s average rating of 1.6% is the second lowest ever recorded for a Korean drama airing on a prime time slot on a free-to-air television network.

On top of that, “Oh My Ladylord” was the first full-length prime time drama on free TV to never have rated above 3%. The drama is often credited as one of the moments that solidified the downfall of MBC as a broadcasting station which used to be called a drama kingdom back in the 90s.  

“Oh My Ladylord” lowest rated episode: 0.9% [episode 12]

Number three: Meow: The Secret Boy – KBS2 

Starring Kim Myung Soo (Infinite’s L) and Shin Ye Eun, “Meow: The Secret Boy” is the 2nd lowest rated KBS drama ever made by the broadcasting station. It is considered the lowest rated drama which aired in a primetime slot on a free-to-air network in history as well.

Its average rating of 1.7% was considered the worst at the time until “Oh My Ladylord” beat its record with 1.6% a year later.

“Meow: The Secret Boy” lowest rated episode: 0.8% (last episode)

Number two: Dae Jang Geum Is Watching – MBC

While not often mentioned in the discussion of the lowest rated Korean dramas ever made, “Dae Jang Geum Is Watching” is considered the lowest rated MBC drama ever made. The drama also interestingly never crossed the 2% throughout its entire run either.

“Dae Jang Geum Is Watching” lowest rated episode: 0.6% (episode 16)

Number one: Imitation – KBS2

KBS’s “Imitation” was led by some of the biggest up and rising kpop idols such as Jiyeon (T-ara), Hwi Young and Chani (SF9), Lim Na Young (IOI), Lee Jun Young and Jongho (U-KISS), Yunho (ATEEZ).

It told the story of a group of young idols who strive to achieve success in the K-pop industry. While the drama was initially highly anticipated among fans of the various groups involved in the project, it had a difficult job drawing in Korean audiences and had immensely low ratings throughout its entire run.

The drama couldn’t even surpass 1.5% in ratings in its entire run and is considered the lowest rated KBS drama of all time. Its also the 2nd lowest rated drama for free TV in average ratings bestest by MBC’s Dae Jang Geum Is Watching

Imitation lowest rated episode: 0.4% (episode 6)

Which one of these dramas did you watch? Are you surprised they’re on this list?

Whats your reaction to this article?

1 comment

  1. I’ve watched Imitation about 3 times . I thought it was very cute. I found the female lead a little hard to accept at the beginning, but that was the direction she was given I’m sure not her ability. I found it an endearing show. It showed the hard life of those trying to make it in a difficult world. Obviously it was heartbreaking to see those who took their lives and maybe this could have been felt with a little more sympathetically. A sweet realstionship snd the male lead reacted well to his directions.

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