'Mr. Sunshine' Pilot Episode Sets New Record; Breaks 'What's Wrong With Secretary Kim' Premiere Ratings
The much-awaited Korean drama Mr. Sunshine had its official debut over the weekend, and it has proven that it will dominate the ratings in the coming weeks. The tvN K-drama has recorded the highest ever viewership ratings for both the network and other viewing platforms.
Mr. Sunshine aired its pilot episode on July 7, and it took the No. 1 spot in ratings in its time slot. Episode 1 garnered an average of 8.85 percent in nationwide TV ratings based on Nielsen Korea data. Additionally, the new K-drama has broken the 5.75 percent record set What's Wrong With Secretary Kim, making it the highest-rated pilot episode among Korean TV dramas in 2018.
Mr. Sunshine also now holds the highest-rated pilot episode rating in cable drama history. It recorded 10.6 percent ratings across paid platforms.
The elaborate and eye-catching visuals, combined with a good story, had viewers glued to their TV screens. The first episode features the Chosun Dynasty and the war during the era.
Mr. Sunshine is set during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It tells the story of a Korean-born U.S. Marine Officer Eugene Choi (G.I. Joeactor Lee Byung-hun). He fled to the United States in 1871 when he was still a child after the first U.S. military expedition in his nation turned into an armed conflict that killed hundreds of Koreans.
Choi later returns to his native land as a U.S. Marine Officer. He discovers Japan's to colonize his homeland but also falls in love with a young aristocrat's daughter, Go Ae-sin (Kim Tae-ri).
This is Kim's television comeback after her lead role in the critically acclaimed thriller The Handmaiden. Other cast members include Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung, and Byun Yo-han. Director Lee Eung Bok helmed the series while Kim Eun-sook penned the script. The two are the very same tandem that created both 2016 hit dramas Goblin and Descendants of the Sun.
Meanwhile, DOTS alums Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won also had special cameos in the pilot episode of Mr. Sunshine. Although their appearances were brief, their characters will have a lasting impact on the series as different storylines unfold.
Mr. Sunshine airs every Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. KST on tvN. It is also available for online streaming via Netflix. The new K-drama has 24 episodes in total.