Review: Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) - Korean Dramas, History, and More

Review of Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) – Korean Dramas, History, and More.

The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is a well-known South Korean television and radio broadcaster that has played a big part in shaping the country’s entertainment scene, especially the Korean Drama ecosystem.

Established in 1927, KBS has become a popular choice for viewers and listeners both in South Korea and around the world.

In this article…

We will explore various aspects of KBS, mainly as a Korean drama broadcaster, including its history, notable programs, and international presence. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of why KBS remains an important player in South Korea’s dramas and cultural landscape.

A Brief Overview of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)

  • Founded in 1927, KBS is a well-known South Korean TV and radio broadcaster.
  • Famous for Korean dramas (K-dramas): Descendants of the Sun, Love in the Moonlight, Good Doctor, Fight for My Way etc.
  • Has over 600 Korean Dramas and Movies under its name
  • International reach: KBS World TV broadcasts programs worldwide, promoting Korean culture.
  • Diverse programming: news, documentaries, variety shows, dramas, and radio.

The Role of KBS in South Korean Dramas

KBS plays a multifaceted role in the realm of Korean dramas, acting as a (i) producer, (ii) platform, and (iii) influencer for the genre:

KBS as a Producer

  • Creates original dramas: KBS commissions and produces its own dramas through its Drama Production division. These dramas often cover a wide range of genres, from historical epics to romantic comedies to social commentaries. Popular KBS dramas include “Crash Landing on You”, “Descendants of the Sun”, and “Mr. Queen”.
  • Develops new talent: KBS provides a platform for up-and-coming writers, directors, and actors to showcase their skills through initiatives like “KBS Drama Special”, a series of single-episode dramas featuring diverse stories and talent.
  • Focuses on high-quality productions: KBS is known for its commitment to quality, investing in well-researched historical dramas, innovative filming techniques, and high production values.

KBS as a Platform

  • Broadcasts dramas on its channels: KBS dramas are primarily aired on its two terrestrial channels, KBS1 and KBS2, reaching a wide audience throughout South Korea.
  • Distributes dramas online: KBS is active on digital platforms, making its dramas available through its streaming service, YouTube channel, and international partnerships. This accessibility has contributed to the global popularity of Korean dramas.

KBS as an Influencer

  • Sets trends and shapes narratives: The success of KBS dramas can influence trends in the Korean drama industry, setting the bar for production quality and storytelling.
  • Tackles social issues: KBS dramas often explore social issues and cultural anxieties, sparking conversations and raising awareness about important topics.
  • Promotes Korean culture globally: The international success of KBS dramas contributes to the spread of Korean culture and language worldwide.

A Brief History of KBS

KBS, a public service broadcaster founded in 1927, has played a significant role in shaping South Korea’s media landscape. Throughout its history, KBS has been dedicated to serving the public and offering a wide range of programming.

Here are some notable moments in KBS’s past:

  1. Television Beginnings (1961): KBS launched its television broadcasts in 1961, bringing a new era of visual media to the country.
  2. Embracing Color TV (1980): In 1980, KBS introduced color TV transmissions, transforming the way Korean viewers experienced their favorite shows.

These milestones highlight KBS’s commitment to innovation and its mission as a public broadcaster to provide quality content for all.

A Brief History of KBS

KBS’s Impact on the Korean Wave

KBS’s influence on the Korean entertainment industry is undeniable. The network has produced many successful dramas that have captured the attention of viewers globally with their engaging stories and talented actors. These dramas have not only gained huge popularity but have also played a significant role in spreading Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, to other countries.

Top-rated Korean dramas from KBS

KBS has produced or aired a wide array of top-rated Korean dramas that have captivated audiences both domestically and internationally. Here are some of the most popular and beloved KBS dramas:

1. Descendants of the Sun

Descendants of the Sun
Image Source: viki

A romantic melodrama portraying the love story between a special forces captain and a surgeon in the fictional war-torn country of Urk.

2. Love in the Moonlight

Love in the Moonlight
Image source: netflix

Set in the Joseon Dynasty, this historical romance follows the story of a young prince and a eunuch who cross paths under unexpected circumstances.

3. Good Doctor

Good Doctor
Image source: viki

This medical drama revolves around a young autistic savant who overcomes societal prejudices to pursue his dream of becoming a pediatric surgeon.

4. Fight for My Way


Fight for My Way
Image source: viki

A heartwarming story about four friends struggling to achieve their dreams and navigate the complexities of adulthood while staying true to themselves.

5. Uncontrollably Fond

Uncontrollably Fond
Image source: soompi

A poignant melodrama tracing the bittersweet reunion of a top star and his first love, whose lives take unexpected turns due to past circumstances.

6. Healer

Healer - Korean Drama

Blending action, romance, and mystery, “Healer” follows the adventures of an enigmatic night courier who becomes entangled in a dangerous conspiracy.

7. School 2013

School 2013
Image source: asianwiki

Focused on the lives of teachers and students at an ordinary high school, this drama realistically portrays the challenges faced in South Korea’s educational system.

8. My Golden Life

My Golden Life
Image source: wikipedia

This family drama delves into themes of identity, love, and ambition as it chronicles the intertwined fates of two women who were switched at birth.

9. The Producers

The Producers
Image source: netflix

Offering a behind-the-scenes look at the production of variety shows, “The Producers” humorously showcases the lives and relationships of TV producers and celebrities.

Other Highly Rated Korean Dramas by KBS

1. Angel’s Last Mission: Love 11. Inspiring Generations
2. Blood 12. IRIS 1 and 2
3. Boys Over Flowers 13. Police University
4. Bridal Mask 14. Moorim School
5. Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol 15. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
6. Doctor Prisoner 16. The Tale of Nokdu
7. Hong Gil-Dong, The Hero 17. The King’s Face
8. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth 18. The Princess’ Man
9. River Where The Moon Rises 19. When the Camellia Blooms
10. The Slave Hunters 20. The Innocent Man

These dramas have not only garnered high viewership ratings but have also left a lasting impact on K-drama enthusiasts worldwide. Each production offers a unique blend of storytelling, compelling characters, and emotional depth that resonates with diverse audiences.

With an impressive lineup of top-rated dramas, KBS continues to solidify its reputation as a powerhouse in delivering captivating storytelling that captures the hearts of viewers across the globe.

The Nature of Korean Dramas Produced by KBS

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) has made significant contributions to the Korean entertainment industry through its compelling dramas. Here’s a brief overview of the impact of KBS dramas on the industry:

  • Diverse Range of Dramas: KBS has been known for producing a diverse range of dramas, including romance, historical, fantasy, and thriller genres. This variety caters to a wide audience and showcases the depth of storytelling in Korean television.
  • Cultural Impact: KBS dramas have played a pivotal role in spreading Korean culture and language worldwide. Through captivating storylines and well-developed characters, these dramas have garnered international acclaim and contributed to the global popularity of Korean entertainment.
  • Trendsetting: Many KBS dramas have set trends in fashion, music, and pop culture. Iconic scenes and memorable dialogue from these dramas often become part of mainstream conversations and influence popular culture both domestically and internationally.
  • Launching Pad for Talent: KBS dramas have served as a platform for emerging actors and actresses to showcase their talent. Several stars have risen to fame through their performances in KBS dramas, solidifying the network’s reputation for nurturing new talent in the industry.

Notable Examples

One notable example is the widely acclaimed drama “Descendants of the Sun,” which achieved immense success both locally and internationally. Its gripping storyline, coupled with stellar performances by the cast, propelled it to the status of a global phenomenon.

Similarly, “Love in the Moonlight” captivated audiences with its enchanting portrayal of historical romance, further establishing KBS as a powerhouse in producing captivating period dramas.

In essence, KBS continues to be at the forefront of delivering compelling narratives that resonate with audiences across the globe, solidifying its position as a leader in shaping the landscape of Korean drama production.

KBS Programs and Channels

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is renowned for its diverse range of programs and channels, catering to the entertainment needs of a wide audience. Let’s delve into the captivating world of KBS programs and channels, with a specific focus on its vibrant entertainment shows and variety programs.

Entertainment Shows

KBS boasts a plethora of entertaining shows that captivate viewers with their compelling content and engaging formats. From heartwarming reality shows to riveting game shows, KBS offers a diverse array of entertainment programs. However, it is the variety shows that truly steal the spotlight on KBS.

Variety shows are an integral part of KBS’s programming lineup, showcasing the wit, humor, and talent of South Korean celebrities. These shows often feature a mix of comedic skits, celebrity interviews, and exciting games that keep audiences thoroughly entertained. Notable variety shows such as “The Return of Superman,” “1 Night 2 Days,” and “Happy Together” have garnered immense popularity both domestically and internationally.

The success of KBS’s variety shows can be attributed to their ability to resonate with viewers from all walks of life. Whether it’s through laughter, heartwarming moments, or friendly competitions, these programs create a sense of connection and enjoyment for audiences worldwide.

Other Entertainment Programs

In addition to variety shows, KBS presents a rich tapestry of entertainment programs encompassing genres such as talk shows, reality TV, music performances, and much more. The network continually strives to cater to diverse audience preferences while maintaining high standards of quality and creativity in its content offerings.

By consistently delivering captivating entertainment shows, KBS has solidified its position as a powerhouse in the realm of television broadcasting. With an unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence, KBS continues to set the bar high for entertainment programming in South Korea and beyond.

KBS International Service and Reach

The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) not only caters to the domestic audience but also has a significant international presence through its KBS World TV service. Here’s a look at the availability and reach of KBS international service:

KBS World TV

KBS World TV is a 24-hour international television channel that broadcasts KBS programs worldwide. It provides a platform for people around the globe to enjoy a wide range of Korean content, including dramas, variety shows, news, and documentaries.

Satellite Broadcast

KBS World TV is available via satellite in various regions, making it accessible to viewers across different continents. This allows Korean drama enthusiasts from all over the world to stay updated with the latest K-dramas and other popular programs.

Cable and IPTV

In addition to satellite broadcast, KBS World TV is also available through cable and IPTV providers in many countries. This expands its reach even further, ensuring that fans of Korean entertainment can easily access their favorite shows.

Online Streaming

KBS World TV also offers online streaming services, allowing users to watch their favorite KBS programs anytime, anywhere. Through platforms like YouTube and the official KBS website, viewers can catch up on missed episodes or binge-watch entire series at their convenience.

The availability of KBS World TV demonstrates the global appeal of Korean entertainment. With subtitles provided in multiple languages, including English, Chinese, and Spanish, KBS ensures that language barriers do not hinder international audiences from enjoying their content.

KBS’s international service plays a crucial role in promoting Korean culture and fostering cultural exchange. By reaching audiences beyond Korea’s borders, it continues to contribute to the growing popularity of Korean dramas and variety shows worldwide.

Coverage of KBS Radio Networks

KBS operates a comprehensive network of radio stations, providing a diverse range of programming to its audience. The radio networks cover various genres and formats to cater to different listener preferences.

Overview of the radio networks operated by KBS

  • KBS Radio 1: Offers news, current affairs, and cultural programs.
  • KBS Radio 2: Focuses on popular music, entertainment, and variety shows.
  • KBS Happy FM: Targets a younger audience with vibrant music and engaging content.
  • KBS Cool FM: Known for its trendy music selection and interactive talk shows.


  • Explore the diverse content offered by KBS, from captivating dramas to entertaining variety shows.
  • KBS headquarters stands as the central hub of operations, a testament to the rich history and influence of this broadcasting powerhouse. If you have the chance, consider visiting this iconic location to immerse yourself in the world of KBS.