The seventh season of music cable channel Mnet’s rap competition show “Show Me the Money 777” has made a solid debut on the weekly TV chart.
The first episode, which aired Friday, took the No. 2 spot with a Content Power Index score of 257.6 on the chart for Sept. 3-9.
The popular competition show has drawn 13,000 applicants for the latest season, in which a winner earns 200 million won ($177,000) in prize money. With a bigger talent pool, the show boasts more competent rappers than previous editions.
Since its premiere in 2012, the show is credited with having made the Korean music scene more diverse and increased the public’s interest in hip-hop and rap in particular.
The new season features four producer teams: the Quiett & Changmo, Code Kunst & Paloalto, Deepflow & Nucksal and Giriboy & Swings.
There is no preliminary round this time, and the producers select successful candidates through audition videos instead. Among some highly competitive rappers, Napola has drawn more than 1.1 million views for his video.
The first episode garnered a viewership rating of 1.6 percent, lower than the 2.2 percent for the sixth season, but the level of trending on social media platforms seems to be stable.
Meanwhile, “Mr. Sunshine,” an epic period drama about the confusing times in the early 1900s, topped the chart with a score of 284.5. The tvN show has only four more episodes to go before finishing up.
The Content Power Index, created by CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, measures the level of popularity, social media trending and influence on consumer behavior of entertainment TV programs aired on three major terrestrial networks -- MBC, SBS and KBS -- and seven cable channels owned by CJ E&M, including tvN, Mnet and OCN, during prime time. JTBC, another cable network that airs some highly popular entertainment shows and dramas, is not included in the measurement. (Yonhap)