Hit vs. Flopped K-Dramas about people working in the entertainment industry 

K-dramas set against the backdrop of the entertainment industry don’t always succeed. 

Dramas that center on the lives of singers, actors, and people working behind the scenes of the entertainment industry used to be well-loved in Korea, but in recent years, they have continued to experience terribly low ratings. Their characters may have similar backgrounds, but among the following dramas, some are massive hits while some are unfortunately labeled flops



The 2014 fantasy rom-com My Love From The Star starring Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun is without doubt one of the most popular K-dramas of the 2010s with the highest rating of 28.1%. With its female lead being a famous actress, the drama brilliantly depicts the life of a top star in the entertainment industry. 


THE Producers, released in 2015, another drama about the entertainment industry, was also a major commercial success. Telling the story of broadcasting PDs and a pop star, despite mixed reviews to the plot, THE Producers achieved double-digit ratings from the start and wrapped up with a rating of 17.7%.


Other examples are Dream High (2011-2012) and You’re Beautiful (2009). Both are successful and well-known dramas about idol singers. What these dramas have in common is that they either achieve high ratings domestically or become widely popular overseas, or both. 


Since THE Producers, there has not been a drama about the entertainment industry that is engaging enough for the audience to tune in every week. An ongoing drama that is experiencing a crisis in ratings is Sh**ting Stars starring Lee Sung Kyung and Kim Young Dae.  Getting a favorable Friday – Saturday airtime, but Shooting Stars has yet to reach ratings of 2%. Beside the poor performance in terms of ratings, the drama also came under controversy over its writing, such as disrespectful portrayal of Africa or playing off sexual harassment as a joke. 


However, the performance of Shooting Stars is still at least better than Imitation and IDOL: The Coup. These two 2021 dramas about K-pop idols recorded average ratings of around 0%, the lowest in history. Another example is Entertainer, which premiered in 2016. Led by Ji Sung and Hyeri, the drama became a flop and received bad reviews for its storyline. 

The continuous failure of dramas about the entertainment industry in the last few years seems to be a warning for producers who want to explore this topic that the viewers are no longer interested. 

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