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TV drama starring Choi Ji-woo records 20.6% viewership in Japan

2006/01/16 Source

The pilot episode of the Korean-Japanese TV drama "Rondo", starring top hallyu actress Choi Ji-woo, recorded viewer ratings of 20.6 percent when it aired in Japan Jan. 15 on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), reported Choi's agency, Yedang Entertainment, on Jan. 16.

TBS officially announced the figure via the Japanese viewership research firm Video Research.

Co-produced by Yedang Entertainment and TBS, the 11-episode drama co-stars Choi opposite Japanese actor Takenouchi Yutaka, and will air until March.

Given the 9 percent viewer rating of the pilot episode of "Winter Sonata" and the 6 to 8 percent ratings of "Stairway to Heaven" and "Beautiful Days" -- all starring Choi -- "Rondo" has every reason to be regarded as a sensation in Japan, where dramas with viewer ratings of 10 to 15 percent are considered hits. Shows with 15 to 20 percent ratings are considered big successes, and those with over 20 percent ratings, super-successes.

Choi herself says she was happy to learn that the drama's pilot episode turned out to be a big success, and was proud to be part of a joint Korean-Japanese drama that could serve as a turning point in the Korean Wave phenomenon.

Choi plays a woman who goes to Japan in search of her father, who left her when she was young, and ends up opening a Korean restaurant in Japan. Her character is also the love interest of two men played by Yutaka and Shin Hyun-joon.

The pilot episode of "Rondo" has received rave reviews from Japanese viewers who credited the series for starring two top leading actors and featuring an interesting plot in line with the lofty production costs of 100 million yen per episode.

Yedang is expected to reap substantial profits from the series. The company holds a 40-percent share in copyright and DVD revenues prior to the return of its 2.4-billion-won investment and a 30-percent share after the return, and a 50-percent stake in sales rev

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