10 Highest-Rated South Korean Drama on tvN Cable TV History

Highest rated K-Drama on tvN

Updated: April 17, 2024. Queen of Tears beats Crash Landing on You to become the highest-rated series on tvN's history with a viewership rating of 23.072%! 

TVN (style as tvN) is a South Korean nationwide pay television network owned by CJ E&M. Their shows consist of variety shows and television series. Over the years, tvN has so many television drama hits that also became popular overseas. 

Here are the 10 South Korean Series aired on the TVN cable television with the highest viewership rating, based on data from Nielsen, a media research company that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre, films (via the AMC Theatres MAP program), and newspapers.

As of April 2014, the following are the hit series of the TVN cable channel with the highest viewership ratings:

1. Queen of Tears - 23.072%
  • Premiered on March 9, 2024
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Main leads: Kim Ji-won and Kim Soo-hyun
Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Queen of Tears

A story of another South Korean chaebol heiress who fell in love and married a man who came from a humble beginning. Their marriage went through a dizzying crisis of stress-related work, tension, and the issue of social class background. 

2. Crash Landing on You - 22.677%
  • Premiered on December 14, 2019
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Main leads: Hyun-bin and Son Ye-jin
Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Hyun-bin and Son Ye-jin

One of the most popular Korean dramas of all time, Crash Landing On You became a pop culture sensation and fans were even "wilder" when it was revealed Hyun-bin and Son Ye-jin were dating in real life. The couple tied the knot on March 31, 2022, and now have a son together. 

Crash Landing on You follows Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin), a South Korean chaebol heiress who was blown off by a tornado while paragliding. She landed in the North Korean territory. 

Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin), a member of the North Korean elite force, who was patrolling the area, discovered Se-ri. Due to the danger of being discovered by the North Korean government, Captain Ri hides her. Right then, a beautiful story of romance was born. 

3. Goblin - 21.575%
  • Premiered on December 2, 2016
  • Number of episodes: 16 plus 3 special episodes
  • Main leads: Go Yoo and Ki Go-eun
Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Go Yoo and Kim Go-eun

Also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Goblin is a fantasy drama and follows Kim Shin (Go Yoo), an immortal Goblin who is looking for his bride to remove the sword lodged in his chest for centuries so that he can finally rest and go to the afterlife. 

But this intention changed when he met Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun), a bubbly 19-year-old high school student who is destined to be his bride and who he fell in love with.

4. Reply 1988 - 18.8%
  • Premiered on November 6, 2015
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Main leads: Lee Hye-ri, Ryu Jun-yeol, Go Kyung-pyo, Park Bo-gum, and Lee Dong-hwi
Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Cast of Reply 1988

The story revolves around the lives of five childhood friends: Sung Deok Sun (Hyeri), Sung Sun Woo (Go Kyung Pyo), Kim Jung-Hwan (Ryun Jun-yeol), Choi Taek (Park Bo-gum), and Ryu Dong-ryong (Lee Dong-hwi). 

They all live in the same neighborhood in Seoul and lean on each other to survive their challenging teenage years while setting a path for their future. 

5. Mr. Sunshine - 18.1%
  • Premiered on July 7, 2018
  • Number of episodes: 24
  • Main leads: Lee Byung-hun and Kim Tae-ri
Eugene Choi (Lee Byung-hun) is a captain of the United States Marine Corps. He was a former Joseon slave who managed to escape to the United States after the death of his parents. There, he becomes an officer in the Marine Corps. 

Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Mr Sunshine

He later returns to Korea on a diplomatic mission and falls in love with Go Ae-shin (Kim Tae-ri), an orphaned Korean noblewoman who is a member of the Righteous Army. Her parents were betrayed by their colleagues and died in Japan. 

Go Ae-shin is raised by her grandfather who helps her train as a sniper. Eugene has to choose between helping Ae-shin in her fight for independence or maintaining his neutral position as a US military officer.

6. Mr. Queen - 17.4%
  • Premiered on December 12, 2020
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Main leads: Shin Hye-sun and Kim Jung-hyun
Mr. Queen is a costume fantasy/body-swapping-themed comedy drama adapted from the Chinese web series, Go Princess Go (2015). It became a hit domestically and internationally as the audience became instantly drawn to the hilarious scene of a man trapped inside the body of a woman, the Queen, in the Joseon dynasty.

Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Shin Hye-sun as Mr. Queen

It follows Jang Bong-hwan (played by Choi Jin-hyuk), a 21st-century head chef assigned to the Blue House, the residence of the President of South Korea. 

He is a womanizer with a carefree spirit. One day, he gets in trouble when a Chinese delegate takes out a fish hook after biting into their food cooked by him. 

In his bid to escape, he falls off into a swimming pool and suffered a head injury. To his shock, he wakes up in the body of a woman (Shin Hye-sun), and worse, in a different century.

7. Crash Course in Romance - 17.0%
  • January 14, 2023
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Main leads: Jeon Do-yeon and Jung Kyung-ho
Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Crash Course in Romance

The series follows the bittersweet relationship between a food shop owner whose daughter enters the war of Korea's college entrance exams and a top hagwon instructor.

Nam Haeng-seon (Jeon Do-yeon) is a former national handball player who now runs a banchan shop. After her mother's death, she gave up her sports career to take care of her young niece and disabled younger brother.

Choi Chi-yeo (Jung Kyung-ho) is a celebrity math instructor at The Pride Academy, a popular private education institute, who has an eating disorder and regularly visits Haeng-seon's shop.

8. Under The Queen's Umbrella - 16.85%
  • Premiered on October 15, 2022
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Main leads: Kim Hye-soo, Kim Hae-sook, and Choi Won-young
The story is set in the Joseon dynasty and follows Queen Hwa-ryeong (Kim Hye-soo) who is expected to embody grace and dignity in her royal role. However, her sons prove to be mischievous and troublemakers. 

Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Under The Queen's Umbrella

Faced with this challenge, the queen abandons strict protocols and embarks on a journey to transform her sons into deserving princes through education and personal growth.

9. Vincenzo - 14.6%
  • Premiered on February 20, 2021
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Main leads: Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been, Ok Taec-yeon, and Kim Yeo-jin
It follows Park Joo-hyung (Song Joong-ki) who is adopted by an Italian family, but the family later dies tragically in an accident. Joo-hyung joins the mafia and is adopted by Don Fabio, the head of the Cassano Family who treats him like a son.

Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Vincenzo cast

Park Joo-hyung later changed his name to “Vincenzo Cassano” and became a lawyer and Don Fabio's right-hand man. After Fabio dies, Paolo, Fabio's biological son and the new leader of the Cassano Family attempts to kill his adoptive brother out of jealousy.

Vincenzo flees to Seoul and sets out to recover tons of gold in the form of Buddha statues that he helped his business partner (a recently-dead Chinese tycoon) secretly stash within the basement of Geumga Plaza.

10. Our Blues - 14.6%
  • Premiered on April 9, 2022
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Main Leads: Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-a, Cha Seung-won, Lee Jung-eun, Uhm Jung-hwa, Han Ji-min, and Kim Woo-bin
Highest rated K-Drama on cable
Our Blues

The series revolves around people's lives in the beautiful Jeju island in South Korea. Each of them has a story to tell, both inspiring and uplifting. The viewers love the format of this drama and the inspirational message and wisdom it imparts. 

Top 10 Highest-Rated Korean Series in Cable Television History in South Korea:
  1. The World of the Married (JTBC): 28.4%
  2. Reborn Rich (JTBC): 23.8%
  3. Sky Castle (JTBC) 23.8%
  4. Queen of Tears (tvN): 23.072%
  5. Crash Landing on You (tvN): 22.677%
  6. Goblin (tvN): 21.575%
  7. Reply 1988 (tvN): 18.8%
  8. Dr. Cha (JTBC): 18.129%
  9. Mr. Sunshine (tvN): 18.129%
  10. Extraordinary Attorney Woo (ENA): 17.53%
Did your favorite K-Drama make it to the list? Take note that the above listing is only for Korean series aired on cable television in South Korea which means dramas that are aired on free TV such as in KBS or SBS, are not included. 

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