Historical dramas a huge hit on Korean TV

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Historical dramas have ruled TV screens this year with all three major broadcast stations in Korea rushing to produce epic drama series. Perhaps influenced by the heated dispute over the history of Goguryeo between China and Korea, most epic dramas are set in the Goguyreo period (37 B.C.-A.D. 668).

The smash-hit MBC drama "Jumong," which is still garnering an average of about a 40 percent viewing rating, is one example demonstrating the "craze for Sageuk, or historical dramas," here. The drama, based on the founding myth of Goguyreo, received explosive popularity among TV viewers thanks to its heroic character played by Song Il-guk while mixing comedy and pathos in the drama.

KBS's "Daejoyoung," played by Choi Su-jong, and SBS's epic drama "Yeongaesomun," played by Yoo Dong-geun, also enjoyed popularity.

The craze for historical dramas is likely to continue next year with "Taewangsasingi," which is currently being made and is scheduled to air through MBC. The 20-episode drama will highlight the reign of King Gwanggaeto, who expanded the territory of Goguryeo as far as northern Manchuria. Korean Wave star Bae Yong-joon takes the role of the king.

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