Controversial series ‘Man Who Dies To Live’ tops TV popularity index

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SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) — MBC TV’s weekday drama “Man Who Dies To Live” rose to the top of a TV popularity index, data showed Tuesday, amid a controversy over the show’s questionable depiction of Islamic culture.

The comedy-drama series, starring Choi Min-soo, scored 247.7 points on the Content Power Index (CPI), becoming the most popular TV program from July 17-23.

CPI, developed by entertainment company CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, measures the popularity of TV shows based on the number of views of related news stories, online search tallies and buzz on social media.

The TV show is about a Korean-born “count” named Said Fahd Ali, who lives in a fictional Arab country called Bodantia. Learning he has a long-lost daughter, he goes on a mission to find her and reconnect.

The show has came under fire for its insensitivity in depicting foreign culture. Some Muslims have called for a boycott, accusing the show of being Islamophobic and racist. MBC TV has apologized and said it will take “extreme caution in its production.”

SBS TV’s new series “Into The New World” came in at second place, scoring 244.1 points, followed by MBC TV’s weekend variety show “Infinite Challenge” finishing third with 234 points.

“Law of the Jungle,” SBS TV’s wildlife reality TV show, surged 24 notches to rank fourth, followed by KBS 2TV’s high school drama series “School 2017” finishing fifth.

Mnet’s idol survival program “Idol School” tumbled five steps to finish sixth, while MBC TV’s new period drama “The King Loves,” starring Im Si-wan and Yoona of Girls’ Generation, debuted on the chart in seventh place.

TvN’s weekend legal thriller “Stranger” clocked in at eighth, followed by the mission-based comedy show “Journey to the West 4” on the same network finishing ninth.

A promotional image for MBC TV’s “Man Who Dies to Live” (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr

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