‘Nokdu Flower’ records double-digit TV ratings during premiere

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SBS’s newest Friday-Saturday drama Nokdu Flower is off to a good start as it premiered Friday night to impressive ratings.

Its first episode recorded an 8.6% nationwide audience share, which then climbed to 11.0% in the second episode. In Seoul area, the figures stand at 10.1 and 13.2 percent, respectively. With these numbers, Nokdu Flower topped all programs airing from 10 to 11 p.m. KST on terrestrial, cable, and end-to-end platforms.

From the looks of it, SBS is poised for back-to-back viewership success in its experimental Friday-Saturday time slot, following the impressive run of The Fiery Priest whose ratings peaked at 22.0%.

Set in the province of Jeolla in the late 19th century, Nokdu Flower follows the rivalry of two half-brothers who fight on opposite sides of the real-life Donghak Peasant Revolution in 1894, during which the leaders of Donghak—a syncretic religion that opposed Western culture—and the peasants from Jeolla province joined forces to protest the government-backed spread of Catholicism. This movement sparked the first Sino-Japanese War from 1894 to 1895.

The two brothers are played by Jo Jong-suk (Two Cops) and Yoon Shi-yoon (Your Honor). Jo plays Baek Yi-kang, a son born out of wedlock in an affluent family. His father is known in the government for his iron fist ways, but his mother is often frowned upon for being poor. Meanwhile, Yoon portrays Baek Yi-hyun, who has just come back from studying abroad in Japan. Unlike Yi-kang who is tagged as lowly, Yi-hyun is full of class and intelligent charm.

Nokdu Flower is helmed by Shin Kyung-soo, the director behind award-winning sageuks Six Flying Dragons and Tree With Deep Roots. It will air for a total of 48 half-hour-long episodes, with its finale slated for July..

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