The Last Empress (TV series)
The Last Empress (Korean: 황후의 품격; RR: Hwanghuui Pumgyeok; lit. Empress's Dignity) is a South Korean television series starring Jang Na-ra, Choi Jin-hyuk, Shin Sung-rok, Lee Elijah, and Shin Eun-kyung. It aired on SBS Wednesdays and Thursdays at the 22:00 KST time slot from November 21, 2018 to February 21, 2019 for 52 episodes.
|The Last Empress|
|Also known as||An Empress' Dignity|
|Created by||Park Young-soo|
|Written by||Kim Soon-ok|
|Directed by||Joo Dong-min|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||52[a]|
|Executive producer(s)||Kim Young-min|
|Production location(s)||South Korea|
|Running time||30–35 minutes|
|Production company(s)||SM Life Design Group[b]|
|Original network||SBS TV|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||November 21, 2018 –|
February 21, 2019
Originally slated for 48 episodes, The Last Empress was extended to 52 episodes due to its popularity. It received high viewership ratings and positive reviews for its fast-paced and unpredictable plot. On its 24th episode on December 27, 2018, The Last Empress garnered nationwide ratings of 17.9%, making it the highest rating weekday mini-series for Korean terrestrial television in 2018. It surpassed the record previously held by the drama Return.
The Last Empress is set in a hypothetical constitutional monarchy in 2018 and follows the life of a musical actress who marries the Emperor of the Korean Empire. She searches for true love and happiness as she contends with palace life, eventually getting entangled in the murder of the emperor's grandmother, leading to the demise of the imperial family.
- Jang Na-ra as Oh Sunny – an aspiring musical actress with a bright and cheerful personality. She became an overnight Cinderella after marrying the Emperor. In the palace, she fights to uncover the truth behind the Grand Empress Dowager's death and topple the corrupt imperial family.
- Choi Jin-hyuk as Na Wang-sik / Chun Woo-bin – seeks vengeance on the imperial family after his mother's murder. To infiltrate the imperial household, he changed his identity to Chun Woo-bin, becoming the Emperor's most trusted imperial bodyguard with unrivaled fighting skills.
- Shin Sung-rok as Emperor Lee Hyuk – Emperor of the Korean Empire. A powerful ruler who is well-respected by the people. He is talented and eloquent, but beneath his pleasant appearance lies an ugly personality.
- Lee Elijah as Min Yoo-ra – Imperial head secretary. She is quick-witted, decisive and greedy. She is trusted by the Emperor and becomes his secret lover and mistress.
- Shin Eun-kyung as Empress Dowager Kang – Lee Hyuk's mother. A fearless and powerful woman who holds absolute authority in the palace and is fiercely protective of her status.
- Younger brother of Lee Hyuk.
- Ah-ri's nanny, and birth mother.
- Oh Ah-rin as Ah-ri
- Illegitimate daughter of Lee Hyuk.
- Park Won-sook as Grand Empress Dowager Jo
- Lee Hee-jin as Princess So-jin
- Shin Go-eun as Late Empress Sohyun
- First wife of Lee Hyuk.
- Sunny's father and owner of a chicken restaurant.
- Sunny's sister.
- Lee Ji-ha as Shin Eun-soo
- Sunny's late mother
- Kim Myung-soo as Byun Baek-ho
- Yoon Joo-man as Ma Pil-joo 
- Right-hand man of the Emperor.
- Hwang Young-hee as Baek Do-hee
- Mother of Na Wang-sik. Adoptive mother of Min Yoo-ra and Na Dong-sik.
- Hado Kwon as Chief Imperial guard Joo
- Lee Soo-ryun as Choi Tae-jung
- Chief Assistant of Empress Dowager Kang
- Kim Min-ok as Hong So-mae
- Chief Assistant of Grand Empress Dowager Jo.
- Choi Ja-hye as Ha Jeong-dan
- Court lady of Grand Empress Dowager Jo.
- Sunny's junior colleague and a fellow musical actress who is jealous of Sunny
- Tae Hang-ho as Na Wang-sik (Ep 1-6)
- Go Se-won as the Prime Minister
- Yoo Gun as Kang Joo-seung
- Kim Jin-geun as the new Prime Minister
- Park Chan-min as news anchor (Ep 1)
- Yoon Jong-hoon as terrorist who tried to kill the Emperor
- Kang Joo-seung's brother (Ep 1)
- Park Gyu-ri as suicidal woman (Ep 13)
- Song Jae-hee as father of Lee Hyuk and Lee Yoon (Ep 14 & 19)
- Jo Dong-hyuk as the detective in Grand Empress Dowager's murder (Ep 17-20)
- Son Chang-min as Goo Pil-mo, chief neurosurgeon at Daehan Imperial University Hospital (Ep 23-24)
- Kim Da-som as court lady Yang Dal-hee (Ep 28)
- Dong Hyun-bae as the detective (Ep 41-42)
- Ahn Nae-sang as Chief Detective in Lee Yoon's assault (Ep 41-42)
- Jeon Soo-kyung as Empress Eun (Ep 46-48)
- Kim Soo-mi as Sa Goon Ja/former Chief Kim (Ep 47)
Working condition controversyEdit
On October 25, 2018, SBS signed individual contracts with the staff of The Last Empress to ensure better working conditions. However, according to the Hope Alliance Labor Union (HALU), the network and the production company SM Life Design Group (SMLDG) violated the contracts when they continued to extend work schedules without consent from workers.
The HALU also alleged that, "From November 21 to 30, the staff [of The Last Empress] had to undergo ten consecutive days of intense filming schedules that lasted for many hours without a single day of rest."
On December 17, 2018, HALU filed a bill of indictment with the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) against SBS and SMLDG.
|The Last Empress|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Label||Vlending, SBS Contents Hub|
|1.||"What Would It Be" (어땠을까)||Kim Ho-kyung||1601||Jang Deok Cheol||3:56|
|2.||"What Would It Be" (Inst.)||1601||3:56|
|1.||"Not Over" (끝이 아니길)||Park Sung-il||Park Sung-il||Gaho||3:30|
|2.||"Not Over" (Inst.)||Park Sung-il||3:30|
|1.||"If I Convey My Heart" (마음을 전하면)||D'DAY||KZ, Jung Su-min||Kei (Lovelyz)||4:11|
|2.||"If I Convey My Heart" (Inst.)||KZ, Jung Su-min||4:11|
|1.||"Deep Voice" (낮은 목소리)||Sebastian Anton Atas, Victor Carl Sjostrom, Red Haired Anne, SING||Sebastian Anton Atas, Victor Carl Sjostrom, Red Haired Anne, SING||Park Ji-min||3:23|
|2.||"Deep Voice" (Inst.)||Sebastian Anton Atas, Victor Carl Sjostrom, Red Haired Anne, SING||3:23|
|1.||"For Only One Day" (단 하루만)||Seo Jae-ha, Kim Young-sung||Seo Jae-ha, Kim Young-sung||Seo Ji-an||3:45|
|2.||"For Only One Day" (Inst.)||Seo Jae-ha, Kim Young-sung||3:45|
|1.||"Open Ending"||Jang Yeon-jung||OneTop||Giryeon||3:45|
|2.||"Open Ending" (Inst.)||OneTop||3:25|
|1.||"Anger and hatred"||Various Artists||3:46|
|2.||"Awkward romance"||Various Artists||2:06|
|3.||"Confused heart"||Various Artists||1:50|
|4.||"Definite flaw"||Various Artists||2:22|
|5.||"Empress of slander"||Various Artists||1:59|
|6.||"Fabricated imperial family"||Various Artists||2:30|
|7.||"Fallen emperor"||Various Artists||2:31|
|8.||"Growing distrust"||Various Artists||2:11|
|9.||"It's all happening"||Various Artists||2:23|
|10.||"Imperial shadow"||Various Artists||2:15|
|11.||"Imperial identity"||Various Artists||1:51|
|12.||"Imminent crisis"||Various Artists||2:28|
|13.||"I am alone"||Various Artists||1:52|
|14.||"Min Yoo Ra"||Various Artists||1:50|
|15.||"My only one"||Various Artists||3:33|
|16.||"Man who thought he was dead"||Various Artists||1:50|
|17.||"Oh! Sunny day"||Various Artists||1:38|
|18.||"Overview of events"||Various Artists||1:47|
|19.||"Prelude to the truth"||Various Artists||2:44|
|20.||"Protect dignity! Besides !"||Various Artists||1:20|
|21.||"Princess Ari's Day"||Various Artists||2:10|
|22.||"Puzzled puzzles"||Various Artists||2:16|
|23.||"The Emperor is innocent"||Various Artists||2:05|
|24.||"The case to be revealed"||Various Artists||2:47|
|25.||"The past I want to die"||Various Artists||1:59|
|26.||"Good morning empress"||Various Artists||2:15|
|27.||"Throbbing Heart"||Various Artists||2:00|
|28.||"Thanks Oh Sunny"||Various Artists||3:11|
|29.||"Trigger of revenge"||Various Artists||2:46|
|30.||"Tearing bite fight"||Various Artists||2:46|
|33.||"The shadow of power"||Various Artists||2:16|
|34.||"The Empress dignity"||Various Artists||2:24|
|35.||"The ugly truth"||Various Artists||3:28|
|36.||"Unexpected breathing"||Various Artists||2:20|
|37.||"Woman with ambition, Seo Kang Hee"||Various Artists||2:39|
|38.||"Perfect trap"||Various Artists||1:53|
|39.||"Twisted self"||Various Artists||2:15|
In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
|Ep.||Original broadcast date||Episode Title||Average audience share|
|1||November 21, 2018||Thank You, Your Majesty
|7.4%||7.2% (14th)||7.7% (12th)|
|2||8.1%||7.6% (11th)||8.6% (8th)|
|3||November 22, 2018||Always the Main Character
|8.0%||7.6% (13th)||8.6% (9th)|
|4||8.5%||8.5% (9th)||9.3% (8th)|
|5||November 28, 2018||Can You Accept Me?
(나 좀 받아줄래요?)
|5.9%||5.7% (20th)||5.8% (17th)|
|6||7.0%||7.9% (10th)||8.4% (9th)|
|7||November 29, 2018||The Korean Empire's Empress
(대한 제국 황후)
|7.2%||7.6% (13th)||8.0% (11th)|
|8||8.2%||9.3% (7th)||9.9% (5th)|
|9||December 5, 2018||I'll Kill You All
(내가 다 죽여버릴 거야)
|6.8%||6.1% (18th)||6.8% (13th)|
|10||9.2%||9.3% (7th)||10.1% (5th)|
|11||December 6, 2018||Don't Trust Anyone in the Palace
(궁에선 아무도 믿지 마)
|8.3%||7.9% (12th)||8.3% (9th)|
|12||10.1%||10.5% (6th)||11.5% (3rd)|
|13||December 12, 2018||Cheer Up, Your Majesty
|6.8%||8.2% (10th)||8.6% (10th)|
|14||9.1%||11.5% (4th)||12.3% (3rd)|
|15||December 13, 2018||A Life that has Already Died Once
(이미 한번 죽은 목숨)
|9.6%||11.0% (8th)||12.4% (4th)|
|16||12.3%||14.0% (3rd)||15.4% (2nd)|
|17||December 19, 2018||I Will Destroy the Imperial House
(황실을 박살 낼 겁니다)
|8.5%||10.0% (8th)||10.8% (6th)|
|18||11.9%||13.3% (3rd)||14.5% (2nd)|
|19||December 20, 2018||I Love You, Your Majesty
|10.9%||11.4% (6th)||12.0% (5th)|
|20||13.3%||14.6% (2nd)||15.5% (2nd)|
|21||December 26, 2018||Appointing the Chief Imperial Guard
|11.0%||12.6% (6th)||13.7% (4th)|
|22||13.1%||16.1% (2nd)||17.3% (1st)|
|23||December 27, 2018||Die
|13.7%||15.1% (4th)||16.2% (3rd)|
|24||15.8%||17.9% (2nd)||18.9% (1st)|
|25||January 2, 2019||Tell Me the Truth
|11.0%||12.5% (3rd)||12.4% (3rd)|
|26||14.5%||15.8% (2nd)||16.3% (2nd)|
|27||January 3, 2019||Let's Play, Sunny
|13.7%||14.0% (3rd)||14.7% (3rd)|
|28||15.1%||16.0% (2nd)||16.9% (2nd)|
|29||January 9, 2019||I'll Protect It
|10.7%||11.8% (6th)||12.7% (5th)|
|30||13.9%||14.9% (2nd)||15.9% (2nd)|
|31||January 10, 2019||I Like It
|11.7%||12.5% (5th)||13.5% (3rd)|
|32||13.7%||15.3% (2nd)||16.7% (2nd)|
|33||January 17, 2019||You Look Pretty
|11.1%||12.2% (5th)||12.9% (3rd)|
|34||13.5%||15.2% (2nd)||16.1% (2nd)|
|35||January 23, 2019||You Have To Be Strong
|10.5%||11.0% (7th)||11.6% (4th)|
|36||12.3%||14.0% (2nd)||15.2% (2nd)|
|37||January 24, 2019||Please Catch The True Criminal
|9.7%||10.9% (6th)||11.0% (5th)|
|38||12.0%||13.9% (2nd)||14.3% (2nd)|
|39||January 30, 2019||I Like Her Majesty
(황후 마마를 좋아합니다)
|12.3%||12.9% (5th)||13.5% (3rd)|
|40||14.7%||15.0% (2nd)||15.3% (2nd)|
|41||January 31, 2019||Do Not Run Away
|13.0%||14.9% (3rd)||15.5% (3rd)|
|42||14.8%||16.7% (2nd)||17.1% (2nd)|
|43||February 7, 2019[c]||You Murderer, Die
(살인자 새끼, 죽어)
|11.1%||12.2% (6th)||12.7% (4th)|
|44||13.1%||14.5% (2nd)||15.2% (2nd)|
|45||February 13, 2019||Live As My Woman Until You Die
(죽을 때까지 내 여자로 살아)
|11.1%||11.0% (7th)||11.1% (5th)|
|46||13.5%||13.9% (2nd)||14.1% (2nd)|
|47||February 14, 2019||Please Take Care of the Empire of Korea
(대한 제국을 부탁합니다)
|11.9%||12.4% (7th)||12.4% (5th)|
|48||14.0%||14.6% (3rd)||14.7% (3rd)|
|49||February 20, 2019||The Last Day of the Imperial Family
(황실의 마지막 날)
|11.0%||11.7% (6th)||11.7% (4th)|
|50||13.1%||13.8% (3rd)||14.2% (2nd)|
|51||February 21, 2019||The Last Imperial Family of the Korean Empire
(대한제국 마지막 황실)
|13.2%||14.1% (5th)||13.9% (4th)|
|52||15.7%||16.5% (2nd)||16.8% (2nd)|
|Special||January 16, 2019[d]||Special Episode
|5.5%||5.8% (NR)||6.3% (16th)|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2018||SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama||Choi Jin-hyuk||Won|||
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama||Jang Na-ra||Won|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama||Lee Elijah||Nominated|
|Best Young Actor/Actress||Oh Ah-rin||Nominated|
|2019||Seoul International Drama Awards||Outstanding Korean Actress||Jang Na-ra||Won|||
- In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei the drama aired on Sony ONE within 24 hours after its original South Korean broadcast with subtitles.
- In Singapore, the drama is available to stream on-demand on Viu with subtitles. During its original run, episodes of the drama were available to stream on Viu 12 hours after its original South Korean broadcast. The drama will also be aired on public broadcast channel, Channel U, starting from 3 February 2020, every Monday to Friday at 10pm.
- In Indonesia, the drama aired on Trans TV starting February 18, 2019.
- In Myanmar, the drama aired on Sky Net International Drama starting April 12, 2019
- In Vietnam, the drama aired on HTV2 starting December 2019
- In Philippines, it will be aired in GMA Network at March 9, 2020.
- Originally scheduled to air for 48 episodes, the series was extended by four episodes due to its popularity.
- Formerly KD Media and FNC Add Culture.
- No episodes were aired on February 6 due to the Korean New Year, the film On Your Wedding Day was aired instead.
- No new episodes were aired on January 16. A recap of the earlier episodes was aired instead.
- Rapir, Jessica (February 12, 2019). "'The Last Empress' Extends Run With Four More Episodes; SBS TV Series Leads Buzzworthy K-Drama List". Korea Portal. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- [단독]장나라·신성록·최진혁 '황후의 품격' 확정 "6일 리딩"(종합). Ilgan Sports (in Korean). September 3, 2018.
- ""Empress's Dignity" confirmed the main cast". JTBC. September 4, 2018.
- Moon Ji-yeon (December 28, 2018). "올해 지상파 미니中 최고"..'황후의 품격' 브레이크가 고장 난 막장열차. SportsChosun (in Korean).
- ""The Last Empress" Jang Nara and Shin Sung-rok Ready to Tackle Modern Day Monarchy". Hancinema. November 20, 2018.
- Hwang Soo-yeon (October 30, 2018). '황후의품격' 산타요정 장나라, 황후의 옛 직업은 뮤지컬 배우. Newsen (in Korean).
- Lee Ye-eun (November 13, 2018). "SBS '황후의 품격' 최진혁이 황실경호원으로서 열정적으로 훈련에 임하고 있는, '하드트레이닝' 현장이 포착됐다". iMBC (in Korean).
- [단독] 신성록, 김순옥 신작 '황후의 품격' 주인공 출연 확정. My Daily (in Korean). August 8, 2018.
- "[공식] 이엘리야, SBS '황후의 품격' 출연···매력적인 악녀 변신". Seoul Economic Daily (in Korean). October 1, 2018.
- Kim Mi-jung (October 16, 2018). '황후의 품격' 장나라-최진혁-신성록, 대본리딩 현장 공개! 품격 다른 드라마 탄생 예고. iMBC (in Korean).
- 오승윤 '황후의 품격' 출연…"극중 중요한 열쇠 된다". Sports Donga (in Korean). October 18, 2018.
- '황후의 품격' 장나라-최진혁-신성록-신은경-이엘리야, 열정 충만 첫 대본리딩. Herald Pop (in Korean). October 16, 2018.
- '황후의 품격' 오아린, 앙증 이목구비+ 미소로 '엄마 미소 유발'. Sports Chosun (in Korean). November 21, 2018.
- '황후의 품격' 신은경-박원숙-이희진-오아린, '황실의 여인들'. My Daily (in Korean). October 25, 2018.
- Cho Eun-sool (November 10, 2018). 21일 첫 방송 '황후의 품격' 이희진, 파격 '하이패션' 공주로 변신!. iMBC (in Korean).
- 윤다훈, '황후의 품격' 합류…장나라 아버지 役. Kyeonggi (in Korean). November 14, 2018.
- '황후의 품격' 윤주만, 잔인무도한 '극강 악역' 마필주로 돌아온다... '존재감 甲'. iMBC (in Korean). November 11, 2018.
- "NS윤지, 활동명 '김윤지'로 변경 후 SBS '황후의 품격'으로 배우 활동 시작". SE Daily (in Korean). October 4, 2018.
- '황후의 품격' 박규리, 짧지만 강렬 임팩트…절절한 눈물연기 '시선집중'. Korea Times (in Korean). December 13, 2018.
- Kim Mi-jung (October 16, 2018). '황후의 품격' 장나라-최진혁-신성록, 대본리딩 현장 공개! 품격 다른 드라마 탄생 예고. iMBC E-news (in Korean).
- '황후의 품격' 장나라-최진혁-신은경, 대본리딩만으로 높인 기대감. Newsen (in Korean). October 16, 2018.
- Lee Min-ji (October 19, 2018). 김정태 측 "간암 치료 전념, '황후의 품격' 하차한다"(공식입장). Newsen (in Korean).
- 윤주만, 김정태 후임으로 '황후의 품격' 합류. YTN (in Korean). October 21, 2018.
- [공식입장] 최진혁 측 "눈 주위 부상으로 30바늘 꿰매…제발회 참석 추후 논의". Xport News (in Korean). November 19, 2018.
- Hwang So-young (November 19, 2018). [단독] 최진혁, '황후의 품격' 촬영중 부상…긴급 치료行. IS Plus (in Korean).
- "다시 '황후의 품격'으로"…'발가락 골절' 신성록, 오늘(20일) 퇴원 [전문]. MyDaily (in Korean). December 20, 2018.
- "Choi Jin Hyuk Unable To Appear In Final Episodes Of "The Last Empress" Due To Schedule". Soompi. February 15, 2019.
- "Watch: Shin Sung Rok And Jang Nara Meet Again Under Different Circumstances In "The Last Empress" Epilogue". Soompi. February 25, 2019.
- ‘황후의 품격’ 측 “29시간30분 연속촬영? 이동+휴게시간 포함된 것”(전문)
- [공식] 노조"'황후의품격' 근로시간위반+추가수당無, 내일 증거공개"
- "TNMS Daily Ratings at Naver". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- ‘황후의 품격’ 오늘(6일) 결방, 영화 ‘너의 결혼식’ 편성. Newsen (in Korean). February 6, 2019.
- 황후의 품격’ 오늘(16일) 본방송 대신 하이라이트 편성, 1-32회 몰아본다. Newsen (in Korean). January 16, 2019.
- "[SBS 연기대상] 감우성·김선아, 공동 대상..베스트 커플상까지(종합)". News1 (in Korean). January 1, 2019.
- "Winners Of The Seoul Drama Awards". Soompi. August 28, 2019.
- "ONE TV Asia".
- "Viu Singapore".
- "Channel U channel guide". Toggle.
- "TRANS TV on Instagram: "Seorang aktris musikal, Oh Ssu Ni, mencari cinta sejati dan kebahagiaan ketika berjuang menjalani kehidupan di istana sebagai istri seorang…"".
- "SKYNET International Drama".