Deciphering the Drama Awards Season Part 2: The Winners

Tis the season, the awards season that is. Time to celebrate the dramas that captivated us, made us groan, and just made us wish that the awards were given out then and there- damn you drama gods, sometimes it is hard to wait!

Drama Awards

There are several different award shows celebrating the drama genre- in fact there are enough to make a drama newbie’s head spin (I know it made my head spin at first, I like context with my awards). Here is hoping this handy guide will help you decipher what awards are what and how they all fit into the larger drama awards season.

Update January 2nd, 2013: Phew! What an awards season. All of the major awards have been handed out, all of the after parties have been extinguished (well, maybe one or two are still going on). Time to hang up the awards show finery and review the list of the winners.

And just in case you were wondering (I know you were, weren’t you? I was) the “winningest” dramas of 2012:

Gentlemen’s Dignity (SBS) won the most awards between the network and non-network awards programs (a total of 15). This includes producing, directing, writing, acting, and technical awards.

Han Ji Min received the most awards bestowed on a 2012 actress for her portrayal of Park Ha, the heroine foil to the Joseon Power Ranger brigade of Rooftop Prince. (Note- 3 acting awards in total +  a popularity award).

Park Yoo Chun was the most awarded actor of 2012 with multi-network awards for his acting in Rooftop Prince and I Miss You (and a good boost via best couple awards with Han Ji Min).

I am surprised as you. While neither Rooftop Prince nor Gentlemen’s Dignity were critically acclaimed they managed to nab a multitude of awards via the network* they aired on and independent awards shows. Good for them…but I am still confused why Bridal Mask did not steal the awards shows.

*SBS, you aren’t messing around, are you? KBS, still confused- I loved SJK in Nice Guy but I heard such great things about Bridal Mask?! Color me confused. 

Non-Network Specific Awards Shows


Advertised as the one and only festival that brings global TV productions together and fosters cultural diversity the Seoul International Drama Awards highlight the best dramas the world has to offer. Launched in 2006 by the Korean broadcasters association this awards show touts the lofty goals of: continuous development of the Korean Wave, promotion of healthy participation in festivals and vitalization of tourism in Seoul. There is a special section devoted to the best of the best in Korean drama (international submissions aside).

Broadcast: August

Founded: 2006

2012 Award Winners:

Grand Prize: Tree With Deep Roots

Series Drama, Golden Bird Prize: Princess’s Man

Excellent Korean Drama: Rooftop Prince

Outstanding Korean Drama: King 2 Hearts

Outstanding Korean Actor: Park Yoo Chun (Rooftop Prince)

Outstanding Korean Actress: Han Ji Min (Rooftop Prince)

Outstanding Korean Drama OST: Missing You Like Crazy (Tae Yeonm, King 2 Hearts)


Honoring both film and television, the Paeksang Arts Awards are similar to the stateside Golden Globes.  IS PLUS Corp started the awards in 1965 to honor the best in Korean entertainment. The name Paeksang refers to the pen name of Chang Key-young, founder of Hankook Ilbo newspaper.

Broadcast: April or May

Founded: 1965

Note- Excluding “2012” award winners as they are actually 2011 award winners based on the air date of this program. 2013 awards will be counted as 2012 award winners. If that makes sense. Suddenly I am confused…



A new awards show as of 2012, the K-drama star awards celebrates the, well the stars of K-drama (who would have thunk it by the title?) A fan service, at least in my opinion, it will be interesting to see where this awards show goes in the years to come.

Broadcast: December

Founded: 2012

2012 Award Winners:

Grand Prize (Daesang): Son Hyun Joo (The Chaser)

Best Leading Actor: Song Joong Ki (The Innocent Man)

Best Leading Actress: Kim Nam Joo (My Husband Got a Family)

Excellent Actor Award: Yun Jun Sang (My Husband Got a Family), Kim Soo Hyeon (The Moon That Embraces The Sun)

Excellent Actress Award: Han Ji Min (Rooftop Prince)

Acting Award: Lee Sung Min (Golden Time), Kim Jung Nan (Gentlemen’s Dignity)

Best Child Actors/Actress: Park Gun Tae (The King 2 Hearts, May Queen), Kim Yoo Jung (May Queen, The Moon That Embraces The Sun), Kim So Hyun (Rooftop Prince)

Best Villain: Yoon Yong Hyeon (History of the Salaryman)

Best Couple: Seo In Guk and Jung Eun Ji (Reply 1997)

Achievement Award: Lee Soon Jae (High Kick Through The Roof, Good Morning President)

Fashionista Award: Go Se Won (Moon and Stars For You), Jeon Hye Bin (Queen In Hyun’s Man)

Rising Stars Award
Kang Min Hyuk
Oh Yeon Seo
Jung Eun Ji
Yoon Jin Yi
Seo In Gook
Yoo In Na
Kim Hyung Joon

Hallyu Star Award: Jung Yonghwa (A Gentleman’s Dignity)

Popularity Award: Yoo Joon Sang (My Husband Got a Family)

Best Stunt: Bridal Mask

Best OST: Jung Eun Ji and Seo In Guk (Reply 1997)

Best Director: Jo Nam Kook (The Chaser)

Best Screenwriter: Park Ji Eun (My Husband Got a Family)



Network Awards Show

Broadcast: December

Okay. I will admit it- this is extremely puzzling to the western viewer. The networks have their own awards shows where they give awards to, well, their own shows. Huh?! Of course they think their own programs are awesome- they aired them after all! Not to mention they have more than one awards show; they divide their awards extravaganzas between entertainment (variety, reality) and dramas. So confused! Stressss!

However after much pondering (a headache, some background music that mysteriously played, and long sessions of gazing at Lee Min Ho photos) I think I may get it. Kind of. Not only do the network’s shows compete against each other in ratings their awards shows do the same. Who has the bestest awards show of them all is a big deal at the end of the year. So not only do the dramas airing throughout the year compete against each other for market share the shows that award the drama lineup compete against each other as well. Okay- I lied, I still don’t get it. All of the big three networks air their awards shows in late December.

SBS Drama Awards

Daesang: Sohn Hyun-joo (The Chaser)
Top Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actress: Jung Ryeo-won (History of the Salaryman, King of Dramas)
Top Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actor: Lee Min-ho (Faith)
Top Excellence Award, Drama Special, Actress: Han Ji-min (Rooftop Prince)
Top Excellence Award, Drama Special, Actor: So Ji-sub (Ghost)
Top Excellence Award, Weekend/Serial Drama, Actress: Kim Haneul (A Gentleman’s Dignity)
Top Excellence Award, Weekend/Serial Drama, Actor: Jang Dong-gun (A Gentleman’s Dignity)                                 Producer’s Award: Park Geun-hyung (The Chaser), Chae Shi-ra (Five Fingers)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kim Eun-sook, scriptwriter (A Gentleman’s Dignity)
Best Couple: Kim Min-jong and Yoon Jin-yi (A Gentleman’s Dignity);
Park Yoochun and Han Ji-min (Rooftop Prince)
Audience Popularity Award: Park Yoochun (Rooftop Prince), Kim Haneul (A Gentleman’s Dignity)                       Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actress: Kim Sung-ryung (The Chaser)
Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actor: Kim Sang-joong (The Chaser)
Excellence Award, Drama Special, Actress: Jung Yumi (Rooftop Prince)
Excellence Award, Drama Special, Actor: Park Yoochun (Rooftop Prince)
Excellence Award, Weekend/Serial Drama, Actress: Shin Eun-kyung (Still You)
Excellence Award, Weekend/Serial Drama, Actor: Kim Su-ro (A Gentleman’s Dignity)                                                        Special Acting Award, Miniseries: Lee Deok-hwa (History of the Salaryman),
Jang Shin-young (Chaser)
Special Acting Award, Drama Special: Kwak Do-won (Ghost), Lee Jin (The Great Seer)
Special Acting Award, Weekend/Serial Drama: Kim Min-jong (A Gentleman’s Dignity),
Lee Jong-hyuk (A Gentleman’s Dignity), Kim Jung-nan (A Gentleman’s Dignity)

Top 10 Stars: Park Yoochun (Rooftop Prince), Han Ji-min (Rooftop Prince), Jang Dong-gun (A Gentleman’s Dignity), Kim Haneul (A Gentleman’s Dignity), So Ji-sub (Ghost), Shin Eun-kyung (Still You), Sohn Hyun-joo (The Chaser), Jung Ryeo-won (King of Dramas, History of the Salaryman), Lee Min-ho (Faith), Chae Shi-ra (Five Fingers)

New Star Award:
Min-ho (To the Beautiful You), Sulli (To the Beautiful You), Lee Hyun-woo (To the Beautiful You), Go Jun-hee (The Chaser), Park Hyo-joo (The Chaser), Lee Jong-hyun (A Gentleman’s Dignity), Yoon Jin-yi (A Gentleman’s Dignity), Kwon Yuri (Fashion King), Park Se-young (Faith), Jung Eun-woo (Bride of the Sun, Five Fingers)

KBS Drama Awards

Daesang: Kim Nam-joo (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly)
Top Excellence, Actor: Song Joong-ki (Nice Guy),
Yoo Joon-sang (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly)
Top Excellence, Actress: Moon Chae-won (Nice Guy)

Excellence Awards:
Daily Drama, Actor: Kim Young-chul (I Will Give You the Moon and the Stars),
Kim Dong-wan (Be Strong Mr. Kim)
Daily Drama, Actress: Kim Ye-ryung (Love Love),
Seo Ji-hye (I Will Give You the Moon and the Stars)
Miniseries, Actor: Shin Hyun-joon (Oohlala Spouses)
Miniseries, Actress: Jang Nara (School 2013)
Mid-length Drama, Actor: Uhm Tae-woong (Equator Man)
Mid-length Drama, Actress: Lee Bo-young (Equator Man)
Serial Drama, Actor: Joo-won (Gaksital)
Serial Drama, Actress: Yoon Yeo-jung (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly)
Supporting Actor: Kim Sang-ho (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly),
Park Ki-woong (Gaksital)
Supporting Actress: Jo Yoon-hee (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly)

Actor of the Year, awarded by PDs from all three broadcasters: Uhm Tae-woong
(Equator Man)
Newcomer Award, Actor: Lee Hee-joon (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly),
Lee Jong-seok (School 2013)
Newcomer Award, Actress: Oh Yeon-seo (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly),
Jin Sae-yeon (Gaksital)
Netizens’ Award: Song Joong-ki (Nice Guy), Moon Chae-won (Nice Guy),
Yoona (Love Rain)
Popularity Award: Joo-won(Gaksital), Bae Suzy (Big)
One-Act Special, Actor: Yeon Woo-jin (Ordinary Love),
Sung Joon (Swamp Ecology Report)
One-Act Special, Actress: Yoo Da-in (Ordinary Love),
Park Shin-hye (Don’t Worry, I’m a Ghost)
Youth Actor: Noh Young-hak (King’s Dream),
Nam Ji-hyun (Girl Detective Park Hae-sol)
Best Couple: Song Joong-ki & Moon Chae-won (Nice Guy),
Lee Sang-yoon & Lee Bo-young (My Daughter Seo-young),
Lee Hee-jun & Jo Yoon-hee (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly),
Yoo Joon-sang & Kim Nam-joo (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly),
Writer Award: Park Ji-eun (You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly)

MBC Drama Awards

Daesang (Grand Prize): Jo Seung-woo (Horse Healer)
Drama of the Year: The Moon That Embraces the Sun
Top Excellence, Miniseries, Actor: Kim Soo-hyun (The Moon That Embraces the Sun)
Top Excellence, Miniseries, Actress: Han Ga-in (The Moon That Embraces the Sun)
Top Excellence, Special Production Drama, Actor: Jo Seung-woo (Horse Healer)
Top Excellence, Special Production Drama, Actress: Sung Yuri (Feast of the Gods)
Top Excellence, Serial Drama, Actor: Kim Jae-won (May Queen)
Top Excellence, Serial Drama, Actress: Han Ji-hye (May Queen)

Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actor: Park Yoochun (I Miss You)
Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actress: Lee Yoon-ji (The King 2 Hearts)
Excellence Award, Special Production Drama, Actor: Lee Sang-woo (Horse Healer, Feast of the Gods)
Excellence Award, Special Production Drama, Actress: Sohn Dam-bi (Light and Shadow), Sung Yuri (Feast of the Gods)
Excellence Award, Serial Drama, Actor: Jae Hee (May Queen)
Excellence Award, Serial Drama, Actress: Seo Hyun-jin (Feast of the Gods, Oh Ja-ryong Is Coming)

Actor of the Year, awarded by PDs from all three broadcasters: Lee Sung-min (Golden Time)
New Actor Award: Kim Jaejoong (Dr. Jin), Lee Jang-woo (I Do, I Do; Oh Ja-ryong Is COming)
New Actress Award: Kim So-eun (Horse Healer, Oh Yeon-seo (Oh Ja-ryong Is Coming)
Child Actor Award: Yeo Jin-gu (The Moon That Embraces the Sun, I Miss You)
Child Actress Award: Kim Yoo-jung (The Moon That Embraces the Sun, May QueeN, Kim So-hyun (The Moon That Embraces the Sun, I Miss You)
Golden Acting Award, Miniseries, Actor: Jeon Gwang-ryul (Light and Shadow, I Miss You), Lee Deok-hwa (May Queen)
Golden Acting Award, Miniseries, Actress: Yang Mi-kyung (The Moon That Embraces the Sun, May Queen), Jeon In-hwa (Feast of the Gods)

Writer of the Year Award: Sohn Young-mok (May Queen), Jin Soo-wan (The Moon That Embraces the Sun)
Popularity Award: Kim Soo-hyun (The Moon That Embraces the Sun), Yoon Eun-hye (I Miss You)
Best Couple Award: Lee Jun-ki, Shin Mina (Arang and the Magistrate)
Hallyu Star of the Year Award: Yoon Eun-hye (I Miss You)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jo Kyung-hwan
Voice Acting Award, Foreign Dubbing: Jeon Soo-bin (CSI Miami Season 10)
Voice Actor Award, Radio: Choi Sang-ki (Bae Han-sung’s Classic)

Source: Allkpop, Soompi, Dramabeans

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