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YesAsia 2012 Bestsellers - TV Dramas

Written by YumCha! Editorial Team Tell a Friend

Korean dramas and Hong Kong dramas again take up the top ten spots for the best-selling television dramas on YesAsia's US Site in 2012. JYJ's Kim Jae Joong and Park Yoo Chun brought their idol power to television, launching their series to first and second place. TVB made a strong showing with four of the studio's top dramas of the year also making our bestsellers list.

The below rankings are based on video sales on's US 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. 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 for a first-place finish though is probably idol Kim Jae Joong in his K-Drama debut.

2. 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 flanked by his equally endearing retainers.

3. When Heaven Burns (Hong Kong)
The Hong Kong TV phenomenon won critical acclaim and even cult popularity, and this reflected on our bestseller chart. Ranked the #1 Chinese drama of 2012, the controversial production divided audiences when it aired, but it will ultimately be remembered as a modern classic in the TVB hall of fame. Kudos go to producer Jonathan Chik and screenwriter Chow Yuk Ming, who remind urbanites not to forget the pursuit of freedom and independence.

4. Forensic Heroes III (Hong Kong)
TVB rebooted the Forensic Heroes franchise with a new cast playing new characters, passing the mantle to shades-wearing, jargon-speaking forensic specialists played by fan-favorite "TV King" Wayne Lai and popular actress Maggie Cheung Ho Yee. The change paid off: audiences gave it the highest viewership ratings the franchise has ever recorded and made it the highest-rated Hong Kong drama of 2011.

5. You're Beautiful (Korea)
With a Taiwan drama remake on the horizons, SBS's immensely popular gender-bending idol drama starring Jang Keun Suk and Park Shin Hye isn't going away anytime soon. In 2011, You're Beautiful was ranked #1, and it's still going strong at #5 on our 2012 bestsellers ranking.

6. The Hippocratic Crush (Hong Kong)
TVB evoked fond memories of the Healing Hands series with a brand new medical drama. Garnering great word of mouth, The Hippocratic Crush catapulted Kenneth Ma to the A-list thanks to his star-making turn as Dr. Cheung Yat Kin, which earned him comparisons with Healing Hands's unforgettable Dr. Paul Ching (Lawrence Ng). Expect sparks to fly when the two doctors come face-to-face in the already greenlighted sequel!

7. Lie To Me (Korea)
If there's any actress whose fandom calling power matches that of the actors, it would have to be rom-com queen Yoon Eun Hye. Add Kang Ji Hwan to the mix and you get a popular, photogenic pairing with more than enough romantic sparks to make up for its sparse story.

8. Curse of the Royal Harem (Hong Kong)
If there's one genre that TVB has most consistently done right, it's the costume drama with conflicting queens and concubines. In 2011, there was this spectacular Qing palace warfare between Jessica Hsuan and Myolie Wu. The latter lost the battle on screen, but won the war off as she was crowned Best Actress at the TVB Awards for her brilliant performance.

9. 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?

10. Boys Over Flowers (Korea)
"F4" and "flower boy" continue to be common references thrown around when describing the casts and characters of Korean dramas. The original flower boy K-Drama still lives on in pop culture, and it climbed back into the top ten on our chart three years after its release.

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 US Site only.

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Published January 15, 2013

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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
  • *Reference Currency: No Reference Currency
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