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"Descendants of the Sun" makes European breakthrough

by Chiqui Guyjoco / Dec 13, 2016 04:54 AM EST
HONG KONG - APRIL 05: (CHINA OUT) Actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo attend television drama 'Descendants of the Sun' press conference on April 5, 2016 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

South Korean drama "Descendants of the Sun" reaches European fans as it airs in Greece this month. 

According to Soompi, the Korean Embassy in Greece announced that the widely popular series reached another breakthrough when it began airing Wednesday on Thessaloniki's non-state TV station TV100. It will run for the next 19 weeks on Wednesdays at a primetime slot of 9 p.m. with replays on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. The show comes with three bonus episodes of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage in addition to the original 16 episodes. It will also reach cable viewers in other areas of Greece and Cyprus.

South Korea and Greece takes on a cooperative relationship with their cultural exchange. The major hit drama filmed many of its scenes in the idyllic Greek locations of Zakynthos, Arachova, Lemnos, and Navagio. TV100, on the other hand, started airing hit Korean shows since 2013 such as "Jewel in the Palace" and "I Miss You." The local channel also co-produces documentaries with EBC and MBC, Korean broadcasting companies.

"We hope that cultural exchange between Korea and Greece will deepen with the broadcast of 'Descendants of the Sun,'" stated Ambassador Ahn Young Jip.

Korea Herald reported that the drama's production and distribution company Next Entertainment World (NEW) already exported the show to 27 countries by March alone. An addition of 25 more countries that includes the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and other European states are also expected to broadcast the drama series.

The sweeping popularity of the show reportedly contributed to a growing demand for Korean products and stimulated foreign investments.

"Descendants of the Sun" stars top Hallyu actress Song Hye Kyo as a surgeon working with a medical NGO who's become romantically involved with the captain of the South Korean Special Forces unit played by Song Joong-ki. The drama catapulted Song Joong-ki into stardom while the Song-Song tandem was received with an overwhelmingly positive response.

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