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'My Love From The Star' And 'Winter Sonata' Are Named Influential K-Dramas In KOCCA Study

BY Adrienne Stanley | Oct 21, 2015 01:38 PM EDT

"Winter Sonata" and "My Love from the Star," a series also known as "You Who Came from the Stars,"  were named two of the most influential dramas to impact the Korean Wave, in the past 20 years. 

On October 20, Sports Biz published the results of an in-depth study conducted by the Korea Cultural Contents Agency (KOCCA), which compiled data from several surveys and feedback from entertainment insiders.

KOCCA examined the impact of television series on the Hallyu phenomenon, including dramas and variety programs. "Dae Jang Geum" or "Jewel in the Palace," topped the list, along with "Winter Sonata," "Autumn in My Heart," and "My Love from the Star." 

"Jewel in the Palace" is a 2004 period series that was well-received by international audiences, with the drama broadcast in nations including India, Iran, and Nigeria. "Jewel in the Palace," centered around a orphaned cook who became a female physician, resounded with global viewers, who could relate to its elements that included execution and plots to overthrow the controlling regime.

The 2002 melodrama, "Winter Sonata," led to the rise of superstars Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo. Scholars widely consider "Winter Sonata" to be the series that sparked the Hallyu Wave.

"Autumn in My Heart" is the 2000 romantic drama that launched the careers of Won Bin, Song Seung Heon and Song Hye Kyo.

"My Love from the Star" marked a new age for the Korean Wave, as audiences throughout the world tuned in to watch the exploits of Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun.

The only variety show to place within the top five list of influential television series was "Running Man." The SBS series, which premiered in 2010, continues to attract new viewers, who tune in to see cast members Song Ji Hyo, LeeSsang's Gary, Yoo Jae Suk, Haha, Kim Jong Kook, Lee Kwang Soo, and Ji Suk Jin.

According to the study, YG and SM Entertainment had the strongest impact on Korean pop music. YG artists Big Bang led the results, along with SM groups TVXQ and Girls' Generation.

BoA and PSY, who introduced international audiences to K-pop through his 2012 hit, "Gangnam Style," rounded out the list of the top five acts with the greatest influence on the Korean Wave.

"We thank the representative content producers for their contributions to helping the spread [of Hallyu], over the past 20 years," said the director of KOCCA, in a statement published by Sports Biz. "In the future, we will continue to identify content that will work in a global market." 

On October 23, KOCCA will host the 2015 K-Cultural Policy Forum, which will examine ways that the Hallyu Wave can continue to grow and sustain itself in the competitive international market.

Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor at KDramaStars. She is also a contributing music writer at KpopStarz, MTV Iggy and other publications. When she is not listening to "Rhythm Ta," she can be found on Twitter. (@retrogirladdy).

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