MBC Rebuilds 'Drama Empire' With Lee Hanee and Han Suk-kyu

MBC is back in 2024 with a lineup worth the original 'Drama Kingdom' name.


MBC dramas, which had a good trend last year with "My Dearest" and "The Story of Park's Marriage Contract" have been on a roll with "Knight Flower" since the beginning of this year. Kim Nam-joo, Kim Hee-sun, Lee Je-hoon and Han Suk-kyu are coming forth, signaling a fierce trophy war for the 2024 MBC Acting Awards.

First of all, Lee Hanee's "Knight Flower" opened the beginning of MBC's drama in 2024. It is a close comic action historical drama about Yeo-hwa, a widow of 15 years who crosses over the wall at night, and Soo-ho (Lee Jong-won-I), an officer. The viewership of the seventh episode, which aired on the 2nd, recorded 13.1% nationwide, surpassing all of the previous works.

The rise in "Knight Flower" is expected to be followed by the mystery drama "Wonderful World" starring Kim Nam-joo. "Wonderful World", which will premiere on March 1st, is a human mystery drama in which Eun Soo-hyeon (Kim Nam-joo), who personally executes the killer who killed her son, digs up the mystery secrets related to that day.

Kim Nam-joo's return to the home turf in six years, and Cha Eun-woo's drastic acting transformation in the role of Kwon Seon-yool are drawing attention. In addition, the meeting between writer Kim Ji-eun-III, who showed excellent writing skills and tight development in dramas "Lies of Lies" and "Cheongdam-dong Scandal", and director Lee Seung-young, who was acclaimed for his immersive directing of dramas "Tracer" and "Voice 2", is also drawing attention.

Korea's leading crime investigation drama "Investigation Team Leader" is also coming back. Retro crime investigation drama "Chief Detective 1958" (written by Kim Young-sin and directed by Kim Seong-hoon-III), a prequel version of "Investigation Team Leader", is scheduled to premiere in April, and recently released a script reading site, drawing attention. It is set in the 1950s and 1960s before the existing "Investigation Team Leader", and Lee Je-hoon, plays the young days of Park Yeong-han, who was played by 'national actor' Choi Bool-am.

"Chief Detective 1958" will be set in 1958 when Detective Park Yeong-han (Lee Je-hoon) takes office in Seoul, and it will dynamically portray the story of detective Park Yeong-han, who specializes in arresting small thieves, breaking the emergency of corruption power with common sense and becoming a detective for the people.

Kim Hee-sun's "Our House" is another anticipated success of MBC this year. It is a human black comedy about the main character No Yeong-won (Kim Hee-sun), Korea's best family psychology consultant, who is threatened by a mysterious blackmailer and tries to protect her family by cooperating with her mother-in-law Hong Sa-kang (Lee Hye-young-I).

The teaser video was released for the first time at the year-end acting awards last year, which attracted a lot of attention. It is an anticipation point in that it depicts the shock of facing the bare truth of a family and not an obvious family story. In addition, Kim Hee-sun and Lee Hye-young-I's 'wo-mance' is expected to give viewers a different charm.

In the second half of the year, Han Suk-kyu will take the mound. Through "Such a Close Traitor", Han Ah-young and Song Yeon-hwa, Han is returning to MBC for the first time in 29 years. "Such a Close Traitor" is a family psychological thriller about a dilemma faced by Korea's top profiler when he learns his daughter's secret related to the murder crime he is investigating. Although it has genre characteristics, it will eventually contain in-depth stories about family relationships, beliefs, and doubts.

MBC also planned to introduce Kim Tae-ri's "Jeong Nyeon". Director Jeong Ji-in of "The Red Sleeve" is in charge, and a number of trusted actors such as Kim Tae-ri, Shin Ye-eun, Ra Mi-ran and Moon So-ri appear on the drama, drawing keen attention. However, "Jeong Nyeon" was originally set up for MBC, but moved to tvN.

However, this year, MBC has braced itself with solid actors such as Kim Nam-joo, Kim Hee-sun, Lee Je-hoon, Lee Hanee, and Han Suk-kyu, as well as a rich lineup of dramas from various genres such as comic, action, mystery, criminal investigation, and thriller. Recently, when the terrestrial drama market has become more difficult than ever, such as the appearance of global OTT and the change in viewing form, attention is being paid to whether MBC will be able to establish its 'drama kingdom' again.

An MBC official said, "With more expectations on MBC dramas than ever, actors such as Kim Nam-joo, Kim Hee-sun, Lee Je-hoon, Lee Hanee, and Han Suk-kyu, who will make your heart flutter in various genres such as comic, mystery, criminal investigation and thriller, will perform with all their hearts in 2024".