The Matchmakers E2 ratings FALL almost 1 percent – is Rowoon more popular outside Korea?

Photos courtesy KBS2

The Matchmakers beaten by Twinkling Watermelon in the ratings

One thing that surprised me when waking up this morning to the latest numbers from Nielsen Korea is how much the new KBS2 drama The Matchmakers, Episode 2 ratings have fallen in the last 24 hours.

Especially as the new historical drama kicked off with strong ratings for its first episode, but has seemingly fallen by almost 1 percent for its second.

According to those numbers from Nielsen, The Matchmakers, Episode 2 ratings fell from the first episode’s 4.5 percent to last night’s 3.6 percent.

That rating placed it in 13th place on public TV for the day.

In Seoul, the fall in ratings was similar, with Episode 2 grabbing just 3.4 percent of the audience, which is a fall from Episode 1’s rating of 4.2 percent.

That is quite a drop for a second episode, particularly as the drama stars Rowoon who is generally a fan darling.

And because The Matchmakers’ only drama competitor on Tuesday nights, Twinkling Watermelon,¬†airs on a paid channel while The Matchmakers is on a public TV station, and it still performed better than The Matchmakers.

Cho Yi Hyun, Rowoon’s co-star in The Matchmakers

Rowoon more popular outside South Korea?

If you look closely, though, with the exception of The King’s Affection, Rowoon‘s recent dramas have tended not to perform as well in South Korea as they do internationally.

Tomorrow started out on a high of 7.6 percent and, by the time it finished, had fallen to 2.8 percent, She Would Never Know never did well in the ratings with 2.02 percent to begin with and 1.72 percent by its end, while Rowoon’s latest just-ended drama Destined with You grabbed over 3 percent of the audience only twice in its 16-episode run.

Outside South Korea, however, Rowoon’s dramas tend to perform very well, with Destined with You one of the most-watched non-English TV shows on Netflix for several weeks, and She Would Never Know and Tomorrow earning high ratings from My Drama List users. (A rating of 8 out of 10 or above is high for users of that site)

The Matchmakers too is being rated with a high-even-for-that-site 9.4 out of 10 by users of Viki, where the drama is currently streaming, while My Drama List users currently have it at an 8.1 out of 10.

On IMDB, with only a small number of users (15) rating The Matchmakers so far, the historical drama is also being rated an 8.5 out of 10.

International viewer numbers for Rowoon’s dramas also seem to suggest he is a big draw.

In other words, maybe Rowoon should be brushing up on his English skills and concentrating on an international career, eh?

After all, the 27-year-old actor is drop-dead gorgeous, can definitely act, and international K-drama fans love him.

Whatever the reason for The Matchmakers‘ ratings drop in South Korea, it would be a shame if it continues, as the drama itself is well-written around an interesting premise, beautifully filmed and costumed, and both Rowoon and his co-star Cho Yi Hyun’s performances are excellent.

Fingers crossed then that the ratings drop last night is only temporary.

The Matchmakers stars Rowoon and Cho Yi-hyun and airs every Monday and Tuesday at 21:45 on KBS2. Let’s see how it does next week, eh?


About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.