Promotional poster for The Heirs
|Also known as||The Inheritors
The One Trying to Wear the Crown, Bears the Crown – The Heirs
He Who Wishes To Wear the Crown, Endure Its Weight – The Heirs
One Who Wants to Wear the Crown, Bear the Crown – The Heirs
Those Who Want the Crown, Withstand the Weight of it – The Heirs
|Written by||Kim Eun-sook|
|Directed by||Kang Shin-hyo|
|Ending theme||"말이야" I'm Saying by Lee Hong Ki|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Executive producer(s)||Choi Moon-suk|
California, United States
|Running time||Wednesdays and Thursdays at 22:00 (KST)|
|Production company(s)||Hwa & Dam Pictures|
|Original channel||Seoul Broadcasting System|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||October 9, 2013– December 12, 2013|
|Preceded by||Master's Sun|
|Followed by||My Love from the Star|
|Full Korean name|
|Hangul||왕관을 쓰려는 자, 그 무게를 견뎌라 – 상속자들|
|Hanja||王冠을 쓰려는 者, 그 무게를 견뎌라 – 相續者들|
|Revised Romanization||Wang-gwaneul Sseuryeoneun Ja, Geu Mugereul Gyeondyeora – Sangsokjadeul|
|McCune–Reischauer||Wang'gwanŭl Ssŭryŏnŭn Ja, Kŭ Mugerŭl Kyŏndyŏra – Sangsokjadŭl|
|Literally, "He Who Wishes to Wear the Crown, Endures Its Weight – The Heirs"|
The Heirs (왕관을 쓰려는 자, 그 무게를 견뎌라 – 상속자들), also known as The Inheritors, is a South Korean television series starring Park Shin-hye, Lee Min-ho, and Kim Woo-bin. Written by Kim Eun-sook, the trendy drama is set in a high school populated by the privileged and uber-rich. It aired on SBS from October 9 to December 12, 2013 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 22:00 for 20 episodes.
The series follows a group of rich, privileged, and elite high school students as they are groomed to take over their families' business empires. These wealthy students seem to have everything under control, except their love lives. Kim Tan (Lee Min-ho) is a handsome and wealthy heir to a large Korean conglomerate who is sent to study abroad in the U.S. But in reality, it's a form of exile, as his elder half-brother back home, Kim Won (Choi Jin-hyuk) schemes to take over the family business. While in the States, Kim Tan bumps into Cha Eun-sang (Park Shin-hye), who has arrived from Korea in search of her older sister who claims that she is in need of money for her wedding. When Kim Tan's fiancée, Rachel Yoo (Kim Ji-won), arrives to bring him back to Korea, his heart is torn between love and duty. Both Eun-sang and Kim Tan return to Korea, only to meet again. Slowly, he finds himself falling for her, later realizing that she's the daughter of his family's mute housekeeper. Meanwhile, Rachel's future stepbrother and Kim Tan's former best friend, Choi Young-do (Kim Woo-bin) (who also go to the same school as Kim Tan and Eun-sang) starts falling for Eun-sang as well. Troubles arise as the heirs realize the differences between money and the real world and they soon learn what love is.
- Down-to-earth and somewhat cynical, she diligently works part-time jobs to support herself and her mother, and gets caught in a love triangle between Kim Tan and Choi Young-do. She lives in Kim Tan's home, since her mother is a live-in housekeeper. She grew up with Yoon Chan-young, her best friend, and is enrolled in Jeguk High School on a welfare scholarship. Kim Tan comes into her life and won't stop pursuing her, but though she does reciprocate his feelings, many are bent on splitting them up.
- Lee Min-ho as Kim Tan (김탄)
- Jung Chan-woo as young Kim Tan (middle school student)
- He is the future heir to the Jeguk (meaning "Empire") Group. Though hot-headed and at times immature, Kim Tan is warm-hearted and honest. He does not have a good relationship with his father and half-brother, the latter from whom he constantly seeks friendship (but who doesn't gives him any). He is actually the son of his father's mistress, but is listed in the family registry as the son of his father's second wife in order to be a legitimate heir. Prior to returning to Korea, he was exiled by his brother to study abroad in the U.S. Although he is engaged to Rachel Yoo, he is attracted to Cha Eun-sang at first sight and falls in love with her despite her poor background.
- Kim Woo-bin as Choi Young-do (최영도)
- Yang Hyun-mo as young Young-do (middle school student)
- The heir to the Zeus Hotel Group. He has an IQ of 150, but does not put any effort into his schoolwork. Due to this, he ranks 98th out of 100 in his class during the first Jeguk High School finals. Known for his cunning intellect and volatile manners, he is feared by his classmates, whom he bullies. His father, Choi Dong-wook is mercilessly strict and physically abusive towards him, and engages with him in judo matches to get him to do things. As part of his training as the next CEO of Zeus Hotel, Young-do is often seen washing dishes at the hotel, something he's been doing since he was in middle school. Though former best friends with Kim Tan, the two now have a mutual hatred for each other, which was partly brought about by the departure of Young-do's beloved mother. Young-do begins picking on Eun-sang to irritate Tan but he soon realizes that's not the only reason she's always on his mind.
- Kim Tan's older half-brother, an accomplished and capable young executive who runs his family's giant conglomerate, Jeguk Group. At constant friction with his family, he attempts to rule the company himself, and fears that Tan will get in his way. Due to this, he had never had a real brotherly relationship with Tan, who tries everything he can to win his brother's heart. He and Tan eventually learn to get along. He chooses to concentrate on running Jeguk Group at the expense of his relationship with Jeon Hyun-joo. Although Won attempts everything to save their relationship, Hyun-joo knows there's nothing he can do, and she breaks up with him to allow him to carry out his dream.
- Son of the Jeguk Group's secretary. He and Cha Eun-sang have known each other since they were kids and they've been friends ever since. Kind, cool-headed, warm, and smart, Chan-young is ranked number one in his class, and always sees the best in people. Despite being in the social care group, he doesn't get picked on by the "higher social status" students because he is the class president. He thinks that everything his girlfriend Lee Bo-na does is cute, especially when she is jealous.
- Kim Tan's fiancée. The rich, chic and haughty heiress of clothing company RS International, she is also known as "Jeguk High School's Paris Hilton." Her prickly personality of course extends to Cha Eun-sang, especially when she realizes that Kim Tan likes her. Furious and humiliated, she attempts many times to split them apart. Near the end, Rachel begins to have hesitant feelings for Lee Hyo-shin, with whom she has much in common. She also seems to be on close terms with Tan's half-brother, Kim Won.
- Son of the attorney general. He has a crush on his private tutor, Jeon Hyun-joo. (Also Kim Won's lover) His mother and father constantly pressure him to get into law school, despite his dislike for the profession. Calm and laid back, he runs the school broadcasting system. He is also close friends with Kim Tan. To overcome his family's pressure, he joins the army without telling anyone besides Kim Tan and Rachel, with whom he develops a friendship.
- She is the daughter of the CEO of Mega Entertainment, and therefore is somewhat spoiled but cute and has a good heart. Kim Tan is her first love and ex-boyfriend, and now they're still friendly and just nag at each other. She is super devoted and possessive towards her current boyfriend, Yoon Chan-young. She dislikes Cha Eun-sang at first for being Chan-young's best friend, believing that "there is no way for a girl and a boy to simply be just friends," but as the time goes by she becomes friends with her but she won't admit it.
- Park Hyung-sik as Jo Myung-soo (조명수)
- Son of the CEO of Victory Law Firm, the largest law firm in town. Quick to think on his feet, he's a slacker who doesn't want to inherit the family business. Playful and a joker, he prefers hanging out at night clubs and taking photos of his friends. Although he doesn't understand his best friend Choi Young-do all that well, he still tries to help him. Myung-soo often hangs out in his private studio with Young-do and Lee Bo-na, where there is a wall covered in pictures of his friends and family.
- Lim Ju-eun as Jeon Hyun-joo (전현주)
- A teacher at Jeguk High School, she is cool and collected, while being slightly awkward. She shares the same diligent, earnest personality as Cha Eun-sang. Hyun-joo gets Kim Won's attention for her sharp intelligence, and they enter into a relationship. But she knew it would never work out no matter how much she and Won wanted it to. She was previously the private tutor of Lee Hyo-shin, who had a crush on her.
- Jeon Soo-jin as Kang Ye-sol (가에솔)
- The daughter of a former bar hostess who owns 10 large bars in Gangnam, Seoul. Her best friend is Lee Bo-na, while her mother is friends with Kim Tan's biological mother. Her existence in Jeguk High School was unremarkable until Rachel exposed her mother's profession, which temporarily halted her friendship with Bo-na.
- Cho Yoon-woo as Moon Joon-young (문준영)
- A victim of Choi Young-do's bullying at Jeguk High School due to his "welfare status." He later leaves to another school.
- Choi Won-young as Yoon Jae-ho (윤재호)
- Jeguk Group secretary. Father of Yoon Chan-young, and previously involved with Esther Lee.
- Yoon Son-ha as Esther Lee (에스도 이)
- President of RS International. Mother of Rachel Yoo, and is engaged to Choi Dong-wook, Young-do's father.
- Kim Sung-ryung as Han Ki-ae (한기애)
- Mother of Kim Tan and the mistress of Kim Nam-yoon, Tan's father.
- Park Joon-geum as Jeong Ji-sook (정지숙)
- Chairwoman of Jeguk High School. Kim Nam-yoon's second wife, and Kim Tan's registered mother. Selfish and controlling, she attempts to take over Jeguk Group when the chairman and her husband Nam-yoon falls ill.
- Kim Mi-kyung as Park Hee-nam (박희남)
- The mute housekeeper of the Kim family, and mother of Cha Eun-sang. She lost her voice when she was three years old due to a severe fever. She often gives advice to Tan's mother, and although in the beginning she doesn't treat her well, they end up on friendly terms. She is kind, and wants the best for her daughter.
- Choi Jin-ho as Choi Dong-wook (최동욱)
- President of Zeus Hotel Group. Father of Choi Young-do, and engaged to Esther Lee. He is controlling, and became a womanizer after his first wife, Young-do's mother, left their family. He does not have a good relationship with his son, Young-do.
- Jung Dong-hwan as Kim Nam-yoon (김남윤)
- President of Jeguk Group, and father of Kim Tan and Kim Won. He has Eun-sang attend Jeguk High School, so that she can be told by everyone in her peer group why she and Tan can't be together.
- Seo Yi-sook (서이숙) as Hyo-shin's mother
- Ra Mi-ran as Myung-soo's mother
- Choi Ji-na as Yoo Kyung-ran (유경란)Young-do's mother
- Choi Eun-kyung as Ye-sol's mother
- Jung Won-joong as Lee Chan-hyuk, Hyo-shin's father
- Lee Yeon-kyung as Bo-na's mother
- Yoon Jin-seo as Cha Eun-seok (차은석) ("Stella")
- Cha Eun-sang's older sister. She is nicknamed "Evil girl" by Eun-sang for selfishly leaving their family. (ep 1)
- Kim Heechul as music program MC (ep 4)
- 2EYES as themselves (ep 4)
- VIXX as themselves (ep 4)
- BTOB as themselves (ep 4)
- Wang Ji-won as Yang Da-kyung, Kim Won's blind date (ep 17, 19-20)
- Lee Hyun-jin as Lee Hyun-jin, Bo-na's older brother (ep 19)
- Jung Joo-hee as announcer (ep 15-16)
- Park Young-ji as Da-kyung's father
|The Heirs OST 1|
|1.||"I'm Saying... (말이야)"||Lee Hong-gi||3:50|
|2.||"Love Is..."||Park Jang-hyun & Park Hyun-kyu (Bromance)||3:40|
|3.||"Moment"||Lee Changmin (2AM)||3:40|
|4.||"In the Name of Love (사랑이라는 이름으로)"||Ken (VIXX)||3:22|
|5.||"Two People (두 사람) (Remake)"||Park Jang-hyun (Bromance)||4:29|
|6.||"Serendipity (세렌디피티)"||2Young (투영)||3:37|
|7.||"Biting My Lower Lip (아랫입술 물고)"||Esna (에스나)||3:43|
|8.||"Here For You"||Big Baby Driver (빅베이비드라이버)||3:40|
|9.||"What We Used to Be"||Big Baby Driver (빅베이비드라이버)||3:27|
|10.||"Some Other Day"||Big Baby Driver (빅베이비드라이버)||3:27|
|11.||"I Will See You"||Trans Fixion (트랜스 픽션)||2:54|
|12.||"I'm Saying... (말이야) (Inst.)"||Lee Hong-gi||3:50|
|13.||"Love Is... (Inst.)"||Park Jang-hyun & Park Hyun-kyu (Bromance)||3:40|
|14.||"Moment (Inst.)"||Lee Changmin (2AM)||4:03|
|The Heirs OST 2|
|1.||"Story (스토리)"||Park Shin-hye||4:35|
|2.||"Crying Again (또 운다)"||Moon Myung-jin (문명진)||3:50|
|3.||"Only With My Heart (마음으로만)"||Lena Park||4:25|
|4.||"Don't Look Back (돌아보지마)"||Choi Jin-hyuk||4:07|
|5.||"Painful Love (아픈 사랑)"||Lee Min-ho||3:56|
|6.||"Love Is... (Acoustic Ver.)"||Park Hyun-kyu (Bromance)||3:10|
|7.||"In the Name of Love (사랑이라는 이름으로) (English Ver.)"||Ken (VIXX)||3:22|
|8.||"Growing Pains 2 (성장통 2)"||Cold Cherry (차가운 체리)||3:52|
|10.||"I'm Saying (말이야) (Piano Ver.)"||Various Artists||2:02|
|11.||"Dream Catcher"||Various Artists||2:30|
|12.||"Love Is... (Comic Ver.)"||Various Artists||1:25|
|13.||"Logical Love"||Various Artists||2:44|
|14.||"Weight of the Crown"||Various Artists||3:08|
|15.||"Aim at the Crown"||Various Artists||2:11|
|16.||"(별을 세는 아이)"||Various Artists||2:12|
|17.||"Portents of War"||Various Artists||1:58|
|18.||"Dream of One Summer Night (한여름 밤에 꿈)"||Various Artists||2:31|
|Episode #||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|TNmS Ratings||AGB Nielsen|
|Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area||Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area|
|1||9 October 2013||9.9%||12.0%||11.6%||13.1%|
|2||10 October 2013||11.2%||13.4%||10.5%||11.8%|
|3||16 October 2013||10.9%||13.9%||10.6%||11.8%|
|4||17 October 2013||12.4%||15.2%||11.5%||12.7%|
|5||23 October 2013||12.2%||15.6%||11.4%||12.8%|
|6||24 October 2013||13.9%||17.9%||13.5%||14.8%|
|7||30 October 2013||12.9%||16.2%||13.1%||13.1%|
|8||31 October 2013||14.1%||17.6%||13.1%||14.1%|
|9||6 November 2013||13.3%||16.6%||13.4%||15.3%|
|10||7 November 2013||14.3%||17.9%||15.3%||17.2%|
|11||13 November 2013||13.9%||17.1%||15.4%||16.8%|
|12||14 November 2013||14.0%||17.8%||15.9%||17.5%|
|13||20 November 2013||18.2%||22.1%||20.6%||22.7%|
|14||21 November 2013||19.4%||23.4%||22.1%||24.6%|
|15||27 November 2013||18.2%||22.7%||19.8%||21.0%|
|16||28 November 2013||20.2%||23.8%||21.1%||23.2%|
|17||4 December 2013||21.4%||27.6%||21.4%||23.4%|
|18||5 December 2013||21.8%||27.3%||23.9%||26.5%|
|19||11 December 2013||29.5%||28.5%||24.3%||27.0%|
|20||12 December 2013||23.5%||27.9%||25.6%||28.6%|
Awards and nominations
|2013||18th Anhui TV Drama Awards||Popular Foreign Actress||Park Shin-hye||Won|
|Popular Foreign Actor||Kim Woo-bin||Won|
|Baidu Fei Dian ("The Hottest") Awards||Best Asian Actor||Lee Min-ho||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Won|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Park Shin-hye||Won|
|Special Acting Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Kim Sung-ryung||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Lee Min-ho||Won|
|New Star Award||Choi Jin-hyuk||Won|
|Netizen Popularity Award||Lee Min-ho||Won|
|Best Couple Award||Lee Min-ho and Park Shin-hye||Won|
|Best Dressed||Lee Min-ho||Won|
|2014||50th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actor (TV)||Nominated|
|Most Popular Actress (TV)||Park Shin-hye||Won|
|Best OST||Moment - Lee Changmin||Nominated|
|2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards||Best Modern Drama||The Heirs||Won|
|Best Leading Actor||Lee Min-ho||Nominated|
|Outstanding Leading Actress||Park Shin-hye||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Kim Woo-bin||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Kim Ji-won||Nominated|
|Outstanding Director||Kang Shin-hyo||Won|
|Outstanding Scriptwriter||Kim Eun-sook||Won|
|Outstanding Theme Song||Moment - Lee Changmin||Won|
|9th Seoul International Drama Awards||Outstanding Korean Drama||The Heirs||Won|
|Outstanding Korean Actor||Lee Min-ho||Nominated|
|Outstanding Korean Actress||Park Shin-hye||Nominated|
|People's Choice Actor||Lee Min-ho||Nominated|
|People's Choice Actress||Park Shin-hye||Nominated|
|Outstanding Korean Drama OST||I'm Saying - Lee Hong-gi||Nominated|
|Only With My Heart - Lena Park||Nominated|
|7th Korea Drama Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Lee Min-ho||Nominated|
|Best Production Director||Kang Shin-hyo and Boo Sung-chul||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor||Kim Woo-bin||Nominated|
|16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival||Best Young Actor||Kang Ha-neul||Nominated|
|Best Young Actress||Park Shin-hye||Nominated|
|Best OST by a Male Artist||I'm Saying - Lee Hong-gi||Nominated|
|Moment - Lee Changmin||Nominated|
|3rd APAN Star Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Lee Min-ho||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Kim Woo-bin||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Park Shin-hye||Won|
Due to its star-studded cast and writer Kim Eun-sook (who previously wrote Lovers in Paris, Secret Garden and A Gentleman's Dignity), international broadcasting rights were sold to 13 countries. It had the highest selling price in Japan among all the 2013 Korean dramas. And as of January 26, 2014, the series has garnered more than one billion views on Youku, China's biggest video streaming site.
- China - Sohu and Youku
- Indonesia - RCTI
- Israel - Viva
- Japan - KNTV
- Malaysia - ONE TV ASIA, 8TV (Malaysia)
- Mongolia - Mongol TV
- Philippines - ABS-CBN
- Romania - Euforia TV
- Singapore - ONE TV ASIA, MediaCorp Channel U
- Tamil Nadu, India - Puthuyugam TV
- Sri Lanka - Derana TV
- Thailand - Workpoint TV
- United Arab Emirates - MBC 4
- Vietnam - HTV3 
- Hongkong - TVB J2
A 2014 Chinese television drama titled Billion Dollar Heir (亿万继承人) starring Yu Xiao Tong, Kan Qing Zi and Korean singer-actor Choi Siwon was originally reported to be a remake of The Heirs, but this was later denied by Choi and director Li Shao Hong, citing the completely different story and characters.
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- The Heirs on HTV3
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