Best Korean TV shows of 2017: index
Published : Jan 8, 2018 - 18:09
Updated : Jan 8, 2018 - 19:55
Fantasy romance series “Guardian: The Great and Lonely God” and medical drama “Dr. Romantic” were among the most popular TV dramas of 2017, according to statistics released by CJ E&M Monday.

The two shows nabbed first and second places respectively in content company CJ E&M’s year-end index, which measures popularity based on ratings, online searches and social media posts.

The third and fourth most popular drama series were “Defendant” and “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” respectively.

In variety shows, the most popular TV program was the second season of “Produce 101.”

The following is a list of 2017’s top five most popular dramas and variety shows according to CJ E&M’s index.


1. Guardian: The Great and Lonely God

Broadcast on tvN
Directed by Lee Eung-bok, written by Kim Eun-sook
Starring Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na 

A god-like immortal being begins cohabiting with a human girl, who claims to be his destined bride.

2. Dr. Romantic 

Broadcast on SBS
Directed by Yoo In-sik, Park Soo-jin, written by Kang Eun-kyung
Starring Han Suk-kyu, Yoo Yeon-seok, Seo Hyun-jin

A neurotic but genius doctor fights to save patients in a small rural hospital. 

3. Defendant

Broadcast on SBS
Directed by Jo Young-kwang, Jung Dong-yoon, written by Choi Soo-jin, Choi Chang-hwan
Starring Ji Sung, Uhm Ki-joon

A man framed for the murder of his wife and daughter attempts to recollect his memory of the forgotten past four months. 

4. The Legend of the Blue Sea

Broadcast on SBS
Directed by Jin Hyuk, written by Park Ji-eun
Starring Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Min-ho

A mermaid travels across the ocean and falls in love with a mesmerizing con-artist. 

5. Good Manager

Broadcast on KBS
Directed by Lee Jae-hoon, Choi Yoon-seok, written by Park Jae-beom
Starring Namgoong Min, Nam Sang-mi

A self-seeking employee turns advocate for his colleagues when faced with the injustices of the modern office. 

Variety shows

1. Produce 101, Season 2

Broadcast on Mnet
Directed by Ahn Joon-young

Out of 101 aspiring male singers, viewers vote for the top 11 who will debut as a K-pop group. 

2. Youn’s Kitchen

Broadcast on tvN
Directed by Na Young-seok, Lee Jin-joo

A handful of celebrities open a small eatery abroad, cooking food for locals and tourists. 

3. Wanna One Go

Broadcast on Mnet 

This reality show offers a peek into the lives of rookie K-pop group Wanna One’s members, who debuted through the audition program “Produce 101.” 

4. The Unit

Broadcast on KBS
Directed by Park Ji-young, Won Seung-yeon, Son Soo-hee, Shim Jae-hyun, Lee Sun-young, Kim Byung-il

Lesser-known K-pop idols take another stab at the spotlight by performing in this survival program.

5. Infinite Challenge 

Broadcast on MBC
Directed by Kim Sun-young, Jung Da-hee

A group of comedians face a new, seemingly unachievable challenge each week. 

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com