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'Youth Over Flowers' Actors Brave The Cold For High Ratings

BY Julie Jones | Jan 07, 2016 10:47 AM EST

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It started out with the k-drama "Boys Over Flowers" in which four spoiled rich kids terrorized their school until they met their match in a plucky girl. Then the "Over Flowers" name was used in the reality show "Grandpas Over Flowers," featuring four veteran actors, and the sequel "Noonas Over Flowers," featuring veteran actresses. The premise of the variety show is that the cast members take a trip that takes them out of their element.

The latest spin-off in the "Over Flowers" variety genre is "Friends Over Flowers" and it's doing well. The show premiered on January 1 and landed in first place among all the TV ratings in that time slot. It reached an average rating of 9.1 percent, topping the ratings among audiences aged 10 to 50.

"Friends Over Flowers" features 30-something actors Jung Sang Hoon, Jo Jung Suk, Kang Ha Neul and Jung Woo. Jung Sang Hoon is a Saturday Night Live Korea regular, Jo Jung Suk was last seen in the drama "Oh My Ghostess" and Jung Woo can be seen in the hit film "The Himalayas."

The location was snowy, bitterly cold Iceland. In the first episode Jung Sang Hoon, Jo Jung Suk and Jung Woo set off through ice and snow to see Iceland's Northern Lights.

The episode was titled "Three Stones,"  which maybe had something to do with how much help the actors needed in their new environment.

The actors were ill equipped to make such a difficult trip. Despite Jung Woo's experience filming in snowy environments during "The Himalayas," none of the actors had previous backpacking experience and none of them spoke a lot of English. Still, they were optimistic and persevered, meeting each problem they encountered.

Each had a different role to play.

Jung Sang Hoon, as the eldest, took care of the others and as he is naturally friendly, effortlessly made friends along the way. Jo Jung Suk smartly made hotel reservations with the help of his translation app. Jung Woo charmed everyone with his optimism and smile.

The camaraderie between the actors earned them rave reviews and their names quickly became trending topics.

Kang Ha Neul, soon to be seen in the k-drama "Moon Lovers," will join the show during the second episode.

'Friends Over Flowers' will air in Southeast Asia on January 16 on channel M. It will be shown in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar.  

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