While 2021 was the year of the sageuk (historical drama), legal/crime-themed dramas ruled over Korea's primetime airwaves in 2022. Find out which k-dramas were most popular among the domestic audience last year.
Free TV (Miniseries)
Seoul Broadcasting Station (SBS) is the clear winner in the 2022 free TV ratings game, with six of its series making it to the top ten, led by Namgoong Min’s legal comedy One Dollar Lawyer. In second place is Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) with three dramas led by the Lee Jong-suk/Im Yoon-ah crime thriller Big Mouth. National broadcaster Korean Broadcasting Station (KBS) has seen better days, managing only to produce one big ratings hit this year — the historical romance drama Bloody Heart starring Jang Hyuk, Kang Han-na, and Lee Joon.
One Dollar Lawyer (SBS) 15.2%
Big Mouth (MBC) 13.7%
Again My Life (SBS) 12.0%
Business Proposal (SBS) 11.6%
Why Her? (SBS) 10.7%
The First Responders (SBS) 9.7%
Tracer (MBC) 9.0%
Bloody Heart (KBS) 8.9%
Through the Darkness (SBS) 8.3%
The Golden Spoon (MBC) 7.8%
After struggling to produce a megahit drama since early 2020’s World of the Married, JTBC returned with a vengeance through the Song Joong-ki/Lee Sung-min led fantasy chaebol-centric series Reborn Rich. JTBC now occupies the top three spots of the all-time highest-rated cable dramas, with Reborn Rich coming in at second place, and SKY Castle (2018) in third.
Rebranded as ENA from its previous entity Sky Drama in April 2022, the relatively small and new cable channel got off to a strong start, with only its second drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo, featuring Park Eun-bin in the titular role, becoming a worldwide sensation.
tvN has always been the most consistent at producing high-quality k-drama offerings, paying off with seven of its dramas from a diversity of genres making it to 2022's top ten, led by Kim Hye-soo's historical drama Under the Queen's Umbrella.
Reborn Rich (JTBC) 26.9%
Extraordinary Attorney Woo (ENA) 17.5%
Under the Queen’s Umbrella (tvN) 16.9%
Our Blues (tvN) 14.6%
Twenty Five, Twenty One (tvN) 11.5%
Little Women (tvN) 11.1%
Military Prosecutor Doberman (tvN) 10.1%
Alchemy of Souls (tvN) 9.3%
Thirty-Nine (JTBC) 8.1%
Ghost Doctor (tvN) 8.0%