Korean Soaps Find American Audiences

“As Americans flee network television in droves, Korean dramas are grabbing audience share. In the Bay Area, “Dae Jang Geum,” or “Jewel in the Palace,” aired this spring, dubbed in Mandarin on the Chinese-language KTSF. For the finale, more than 100,000 fans tuned in, handing the show higher ratings than ABC’s “Extreme Makeover,” the WB’s “Starlet” or PBS’ “Live From Lincoln Center” in that time slot. The ‘Korean wave’ of pop culture — known in South Korea as hallyu — is a point of national pride, helping introduce the country to the world and breaking down historical grudges with its neighbors. The soaps have also boosted the popularity of South Korean movies and singing acts.”