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Encounter debut: tvN K-Drama premiers with high viewership because of powerhouse duo Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum

Encounter K-drama
Encounter, the new K-drama starring Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum, recently made its debut. Image Credit: Total Variety Network (tvN)

Encounter, the newest K-drama by Total Variety Network (tvN), just aired its premier episodes. The first episode aired with high viewership with the second being significantly higher than the previous. It is believed the powerhouse main leads of Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum are the primary reason why.

According to AGB Nielsen Korea, the premier episode of Encounter earned 11.4 percent viewership rating for Seoul and 8.6 percent nationwide across Korea. The second episode saw a ratings spike in which it earned 12.8 percent viewership rating for Seoul and 10.3 percent nationwide across Korea. That means by the second episode, Encounter has already surpassed the double-digit threshold in viewership in general.

Historically, Encounter has earned the highest viewership ratings for a Wednesday and Thursday K-drama airing on tvN. Across all of tvN’s K-dramas though, it is second in premier ratings right behind Mr. Sunshine which holds the record at a rounded 8.9 percent viewership. Internationally, it is in the top 40 most-watched K-dramas on Rakuten Viki.

Encounter may be second historically with tvN, but when it comes to its competition in the same time slot presently, it is way ahead even against Korean public (free-to-watch) channels. The Last Empress recorded 5.7 percent, Children of Nobody recorded 3.8 percent, Feel Good to Die recorded a low 2.4 percent, and Fluttering Love recorded a meager 1.7 percent.

What is Encounter about and why is it so popular even before debut?

Encounter, also known as Boyfriend, is the newest tvN K-drama airing during the 2018 to 2019 swing season. It stars Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum.

Cha Soo-hyun (Hye-kyo) is the daughter of a powerful, political family. She recently divorced her wealthy husband from an arranged  marriage. Tired of living life guided by others, she decides to do something for herself while on a business trip to Cuba. There, she meets Kim Jin-hyuk (Bo-gum), a free-spirited young soul. Despite their differences, they are undeniably drawn together. The question is will they find true love amongst the differences?

And just so it is out there, the plot becomes even more interesting by the end of the first episode and even more so by the end of the second episode.

The aforementioned plot, direction, and production are enough for Encounter to be success. However, the biggest reason why it is so popular among K-drama fans now are probably the main leads.

Song Hye-kyo is very popular for her role as Doctor Kang Mo-yeon in probably the most-popular K-drama of this decade so far, Descendants of the Sun. Park Bo-gum, is very popular for his role of Yi Yeong in the extremely popular Moonlight Drawn by Clouds.

Having two powerhouse stars on the same K-drama as sure enough to get viewers to watch, but it is everything else about the K-drama that keeps viewers’ eyes glued to the screen.

Encounter airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who do not have access to Korean television networks, it is available to watch on Rakuten Viki depending on region availability.


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