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YesAsia 2012 Bestsellers - TV Dramas

Written by YumCha! Editorial Team Tell a Friend

Korean dramas take eight of the top ten spots for the best-selling television dramas on YesAsia's Global Site in 2012. Some of the most talked about dramas of 2011 to 2012, like Moon that Embraces the Sun, In Time with You and Rooftop Prince, unsurprisingly made the list, as did some surprisingly resilient dramas from previous years.

The below rankings are based on video sales on's Global Site from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Sales of all editions and versions of the same title are summed up to determine the total sales.


1. The Moon that Embraces the Sun (Korea)
One of the biggest Korean dramas of 2012, The Moon That Embraces the Sun collected awards left and right and launched young leading man Kim Soo Hyun to household fame. The MBC fantasy period romance not only topped viewership ratings in Korea, it also topped our bestsellers.

2. Secret Garden (Korea)
Hyun Bin was absent from dramaland in 2012 because of army service, but his 2010 megahit still made a mighty showing in sales. Our best-selling TV drama of 2011 hangs strong in second place in 2012.

3. Rooftop Prince (Korea)
One of 2012's hot-topic K-Dramas, Rooftop Prince packs enough conflicts for two dramas: time travel, fated romance, murder mystery, family and corporate power struggle. Luckily, there are also two Park Yoo Chuns to hold down the fort, one of whom inspires easy laughs as a fish-out-of-water royal with his equally endearing retainers.

4. Love Rain (Korea)
Old-school producer-director Yoon Suk Ho of Winter Sonata fame teams up with young Hallyu megastars Jang Keun Suk and Yoon A of Girls' Generation for the picture-perfect love story extending two generations. It's no exaggeration to call Love Rain the ultimate new-generation Korean Wave melodrama.

5. City Hunter (Korea)
SBS's 2011 adaptation of City Hunter didn't actually adapt the original manga, but it nailed everything else with its exhilarating tale of a vigilante racing against an upright prosecutor and a vengeful father to find revenge and justice on his own terms. Action, suspense and Lee Min Ho – what more could you ask for?

6. Protect the Boss (Korea)
SBS's zippy workplace romantic comedy surprises with its refreshing and unexpected cast, starting with the lead pairing of the brassy Choi Kang Hee and the usually serious Ji Sung in an immature chaebol role different from his past performances. The casting that put this romantic hit over the top though is probably idol Kim Jae Joong in his K-Drama debut.

7. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Korea)
The fan-favorite campus sageuk was #4 on the 2011 bestsellers and it continued to sell well in 2012, coming in at #7. Park Yoo Chun gets bragging rights as the only actor with two dramas in the top ten.

8. The Princess' Man (Korea)
KBS's acclaimed 2011 period romance was a big hit in Korea and among overseas fans, lifting Moon Chae Won to true leading lady status – and once again confirming the unstoppable charm of one Park Si Hoo.

9. Hi My Sweetheart (Taiwan)
This 2010 release managed to hold on to its top position on the Chinese TV sales chart in 2012, outselling even the new titles. One may be tempted to attribute such enduring popularity to its immense idol appeal courtesy of Show Luo and Rainie Yang, but the show itself really does pack enough dramatic and comedic punch. See for yourself, if you haven't already!

10. In Time with You (Taiwan)
Director Chu Yu Ning's hit romance rewrote Golden Bell Awards history when it swept seven statuettes, including Best Actor for Chen Bo Lin and Best Actress for Ariel Lin. The affecting story of BFFs in an ambiguous state of almost-but-not-quite romantic relationship readily strikes a chord with audiences, a major contributing factor being that it feels grounded in the real world, unlike many fluffy idol dramas.

Note: Rankings for best-selling TV dramas differ between YesAsia's US and Global Sites due to the different product selections available on each site based on regional licensing restrictions. Korean and Chinese TV drama rankings in this feature reflect the sales on Global Site only.

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Published January 15, 2013

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