The King and I (TV series)

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The King and I
The King and I (TV series).jpg
Promotional poster
Genre Historical
Written by Yoo Dong-yoon
Directed by Kim Jae-hyung
Lee Jong-soo
Son Jae-sung
Starring Oh Man-seok
Ku Hye-sun
Go Joo-won
Country of origin South Korea
No. of episodes 63
Producer(s) Yoon Young-mook
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 (KST)
Production company(s) Olive9
Original network Seoul Broadcasting System
Original release August 27, 2007 (2007-08-27) – April 1, 2008 (2008-04-01)
Preceded by Catching Up with Gangnam Moms
Followed by Saranghae
External links
The King and I
Hanja 과 나
Revised Romanization Wanggwa Na
McCune–Reischauer Wang'gwa Na

The King and I (Hangul왕과 나; Hanja王과 나; RRWanggwa Na) is a South Korean historical drama series that aired on SBS from August 27, 2007 to April 1, 2008 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55.[1][2] Starring Oh Man-seok, Ku Hye-sun and Go Joo-won, the series was moderately successful, with its ratings peak at 20%.


The King and I revolves around the life of Kim Cheo-sun, considered the best eunuch attendant who lived during the Joseon Dynasty.[3]

Cheo-sun secretly loves his childhood friend So-hwa, but he cannot confess his love because of their difference in social class. Eventually, when So-hwa becomes betrothed to King Seongjong, he castrates himself and enters the palace as a eunuch, determined to watch over her and protect her.

Initially the King's second concubine, So-hwa later becomes the Queen Jeheon. But she becomes a pawn of the intense strife among warring political factions, and is stripped of her title and cast out of the palace in disgrace. Despite Cheo-sun's attempts to help her, she is sentenced to death. Cheo-sun carries out his orders by handing her the bowlful of poison, as he watches the woman he's loved all his life die before his eyes.[4] After her death, he looks after her son, Prince Yeonsan.


Main characters[edit]

Supporting characters[edit]

Extended cast[edit]

  • Yang Jung-a as Lady Oh, Cheo-sun's mother
  • Lee Il-jae as Kim Ja-myung, Cheo-sun's father
  • Sunwoo Jae-duk as Yoon Ki-kyun, So-hwa's father
  • Choi Jung-won as Lady Shin, Ki-kyun's wife
  • Han Da-min as Queen Gonghye
  • Han So-jung as Royal Lady Um
  • Yoon Hye-kyung as Lady Eom Gwi-in
  • Ahn Gil-kang as Kae Do-chi
  • Kim Jung-min as Beo Deul-yi
    • Jo Jung-eun as young Deul-yi
  • Kim Da-hyun as Choi Ja-chi
  • Kang In-hyung as Moon So-woon
    • Jeon Ha-eun as young So-woon
  • Kim Ha-kyun as Jang Soon-moo
  • Kim Myung-soo as Yang Sung-yoon
  • Han Jung-soo as Do Geum-pyo
  • Kim So-hyun as Lady Jung, Ji-gyeom's wife
  • Kim Byung-se as King Sejo
  • Yoo Dong-hyuk as King Yejong
  • Kim Jong-gyul as Han Myung-hoi
  • Kim Young-joon as Hong Gwi-nam
    • Shin Tae-hoon as young Gwi-nam
  • Kang Jae as Kim Ja-won
    • Choi Soo-han as young Ja-won
  • Lee Gun-joo as Song Gye-nam
    • Maeung Chang-min as young Gye-nam
  • Lee Sang-won as Shim Ki-soo
  • Park Ha-sun as Pye Bi-shin, Yeonsan's wife
  • Kim Hyuk as Park Deok-hu, So-hwa's first love
  • Jung Eun-chan as Yoon Ki-hyun, So-hwa's older brother
    • Ho Hyo-hoon as young Ki-hyun
  • Lee Young-eun as palace member
  • Kim Yong-heon as Eom Nae-kwan
  • Kim Byung-choon as Yang Sung-yeon
  • Park Dong-bin as Goo Sung-gun
  • Choi Ha-na as Hong Bi
  • Lee Ji-oh as the Crown Prince, Yeonsan's son
  • Jun Hyun-ah as court lady Kam-chul
  • Oh Soo-min as Jang Nok-su
  • Nam Hyun-joo as Han-soo's mother
  • Jung Ki-sung as Jogeobi
  • Song Young-gyu as Lee Ki
  • Shin Soo-jung as Hoo Koong
  • Seol Ji-yoon as Court Lady Kim
  • Jung So-young
  • Kang Soo-han
  • Noh Young-hak as Grand Prince Jinseong
  • Jun Tae-soo as Han Chi-geun
  • Park Ji-hoon as Eunuch[5]


Park Sang-min was originally cast as King Seongjong, but had to back out. He was replaced by Go Joo-won.

Yeo Woon-kye was supposed to portray Old Woman So-gwi but had to quit due to health reasons, even though she had already filmed a few episodes. Her replacement was Kim Soo-mi.

Reportedly enraged because the scripts were routinely turned in late, resulting in exhaustion for the actors in the cast, Jeon In-hwa's husband Yoo Dong-geun assaulted two producers on The King and I set on December 29, 2007. He later apologized for the incident.[6][7]

Episode ratings[edit]

The King and I performed moderately well, getting ratings in the 20%–25% range and ranking in the top 10. However, in late January 2008, due to competition from MBC's Yi San, ratings fell to the mid-tens, barely cracking the Top 20 in Korea.[8]

SBS first extended the episodes from the originally planned 50 to 67, then back to 61 because of bad ratings, and finally to 63.[9]


2007 SBS Drama Awards[10]


  1. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (September 18, 2007). "TV Falls in Love with Epic Dramas". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  2. ^ Chun, Su-jin (September 19, 2007). "Eunuchs make me long to get my hands on father's remote". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  3. ^ "About The King and I". Arirang TV. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  4. ^ "Ingredients of poison used during the Joseon Dynasty to kill traitors". KBS World. February 23, 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  5. ^ "Park Ji Hoon, the wink guy in Produce 101 was in drama 'King and I'". Kpople. April 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  6. ^ Lee, Eun-joo (January 2, 2008). "Real life punch-up upstages SBS drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  7. ^ Chung, Sung-hee (December 31, 2007). "Page Scripts Symbolize Darker Side of Korean Drama Industry". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  8. ^ "TV Ratings for January" Archived February 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Soompi. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  9. ^ "2008 K-DRAMA: First Half Wrapup". Twitch Film. July 18, 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  10. ^ "2007 Year-end Korean drama awards round-up". Hancinema. January 7, 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-25.

External links[edit]