South Korean soaps also find large audiences in the US

Millions of fans across Asia began tuning to South Korean soap operas in the late 1990s. Now, the dramas are winning over devotees in the United States such as Honolulu, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Washington, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

While covering the filming set in the Chung-Ang Hospital for one of MBC dramas, the newspaper reported that the soaps also boosted the popularity of South Korean movies and singing acts, and even her culture.

The "Korean wave" of pop culture-also known as 'hallyu'-helps introduce the country to the world and breaking down historical grudges with its neighbors.

As Americans flee network television in droves, Korean dramas are grabbing audience share. In the Bay Area, "Dae Jang Geum", or "Jewel in the Palace", aired this spring, dubbed in Mandarin on the Chinese-language KTSF. For the finale, more than 100,000 viewers tuned in, handing the show higher ratings than ABC's "Extreme Makeover", the WB's "Starlet" or PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center" in that time slot.

In terms of business, '' ( ) based in San Bruno, California has been selling 20,000 to 30,000 English-subtitled Korean dramas every month, While steadily growing, in the first half of this year, the retailer sold more Korean dramas than in all of 2004.

Even, 'The Honolulu Advertiser' in Hawaii prints synopses of the shows, broadcast in the local subtitled in English. Besides, last year, the University of Hawaii held a seminar on how South Korean dramas have influenced on pop culture worldwide.

The San Francisco Chronicle says, "Korean soaps in the Bay Area attract fans of both sexes and various ages and ethnicities, especially Chinese or Hispanic Americans".

In Korea, fans can get their fix of popular soaps twice a week, often on consecutive weeknights, and some episodes are re-run on weekends. Viewers can also download episodes (VOD) from the website, and show producers monitor online fan postings, which sometimes influence the plots. Likewise, the Internet abounds with bulletin boards, where fans from different countries discuss what happened and what they missed, and share English-subtitled video clips they've made.

In the US, Korean dramas air in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., and can also be seen nationally on cable channel AZN Television.

The Source : Koreacontent News Team