|Also known as||The Inheritors|
|Written by||Kim Eun-sook|
|Directed by||Kang Shin-hyo|
|Ending theme||"I'm Saying" (말이야) by Lee Hong-gi|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Executive producer(s)||Choi Moon-suk|
|Production company(s)||Hwa & Dam Pictures|
|Original network||Seoul Broadcasting System|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||October 9– December 12, 2013|
|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 Lee Min-ho, Park Shin-hye 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.
This was the first Korean drama co-produced by American digital distribution platform DramaFever and Korean production company Hwa & Dam Pictures. The series was a major hit in South Korea and received immense popularity across Asia.
The series follows a group of rich, privileged, and elite high school students as they are about to take over their families' business empires, overcoming difficulties and growing every step of the way.
Kim Tan (Lee Min-ho) is a wealthy heir to a large Korean conglomerate. He was exiled to the U.S. by his brother Kim Won (Choi Jin-hyuk), who tries to take control of the family business. While in the States, he meets Cha Eun-sang (Park Shin-hye), who went there to look for her sister. Despite being engaged to Rachel Yoo (Kim Ji-won), a fellow heiress, Kim Tan soon falls in love with Eun-sang. When Kim Tan returns to Korea, his former best friend turned enemy Choi Young-do (Kim Woo-bin) begins picking on Eun-sang to irritate Tan. Tension ensues when Young-do also falls in love with Eun-sang, and Kim Tan is forced to choose between responsibility or love.
- The future heir to the Jeguk (meaning "Empire") Group.  He is the son of his father's mistress, but is listed in the family registry as the second son of the wife in order to be a legitimate heir. Though hot-headed and at times immature, Kim Tan is warm-hearted and honest. 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.
- Down-to-earth and somewhat cynical, Eun-sang diligently works part-time jobs to support herself and her mother after her sister leaves for the U.S. She lives in Kim Tan's home, since her mother is a live-in housekeeper of the Kim family. She is enrolled in Jeguk High School on a welfare scholarship given by President Kim.
- The heir to the Zeus Hotel Group. Known for his cunning intellect and volatile manners, he is feared by his classmates, whom he bullies. He is formerly best friends with Kim Tan, but a misunderstanding made them enemies. 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.
Jeguk High School
- Kim Ji-won as Rachel Yoo
- 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". She dislikes Cha Eun-sang, and attempts many times to split her and Kim Tan apart. She is also on close terms with Tan's half-brother, Kim Won.
- Son of the Jeguk Group's secretary. Kind, cool-headed, warm, and smart, Chan-young 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 is also Eun-sang's best friend, and his friendship with her makes his girlfriend, Lee Bo-na jealous. Nonetheless, Chan-young thinks that everything Bo-na does is cute, especially when she is jealous.
- Daughter of the CEO of Mega Entertainment. Though somewhat spoiled, she is actually kind-hearted. She is Kim Tan's first love and ex-girlfriend, and now they are still on friendly terms. She is now dating Chan-young. She dislikes 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 became friends with her.
- Son of the attorney general. Calm and laid back, he runs the school broadcasting system together with Bo-na and later Eun-sang. He is also close friends with Kim Tan. Hyo-shin is constantly pressurized by his family to get into law school, despite his dislike for the profession. To overcome his family's pressure, he joins the army without telling anyone besides Tan and Rachel. Hyo-shin also has a one-sided crush on his private tutor, Jeon Hyun-joo, but later falls for Rachel.
- Park Hyung-sik as Jo Myung-soo
- Son of the CEO of Victory Law Firm, the largest law firm in town. He is quick-witted, playful and often jokes around. He often hangs out at night clubs and take photos of his friends. He is best friends with Young-do and Bo-na (the three often hang out together in Myung-soo's studio, where there is a wall covered in pictures of his friends and family.).
- Jeon Soo-jin as Kang Ye-sol
- The daughter of a former bar hostess who owns 10 large bars in Gangnam, Seoul. She is Lee Bo-na's best friend. Her existence in Jeguk High School was unremarkable until Rachel exposed her mother's profession, which temporarily halted her friendship with Bo-na. She has a crush on Choi Young-do.
- Choi Tae-hwan as Lee Sang-woo
- Choi Young-do's lackey.
- Yang Seung-pil as Hyo-joon
- Choi Young-do's lackey.
- Cho Yoon-woo as Moon Joon-young
- A victim of Choi Young-do's bullying at Jeguk High School due to his "welfare status". He later leaves to another school.
- 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, despite the latter trying everything he can to win his brother's heart. He is in a relationship with Hyun-joo, whom he later gives up on for the sake of the company.
- Lim Ju-eun as Jeon Hyun-joo
- A teacher at Jeguk High School. Diligent and earnest, Hyun-joo gets Kim Won's attention for her sharp intelligence, and they enter into a relationship. But she eventually broke up with Won to allow him to concentrate on running the company. She is also the private tutor of Hyo-shin, who had a crush on her.
- Kim Mi-kyung as Park Hee-nam
- The mute housekeeper of the Kim family, and mother of Eun-sang. She lost her voice when she was three years old due to a severe fever. She often gives advice to Kim Tan's mother. She is kind, and wants the best for her daughter.
- Kim Sung-ryung as Han Ki-ae
- Kim Tan's mother and the mistress of Kim Nam-yoon. Though somewhat vain and self-centered, she cares for her son deeply and only wants him to be happy.
- Jung Dong-hwan as Kim Nam-yoon
- President of Jeguk Group, and father of Kim Tan and Kim Won.
- Park Joon-geum as Jung Ji-suk
- 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 her husband, the chairman falls ill.
- Yoon Son-ha as Esther Lee
- President of RS International and Rachel's mother, who is engaged to Choi Dong-uk, Young-do's father. However, she still appears to be in love with Yoon Jae-ho, whom she previously gave up on to marry someone who would help her business.
- Choi Won-young as Yoon Jae-ho
- Jeguk Group's secretary and Chan-young's father, who is previously involved with Esther Lee.
- Choi Jin-ho as Choi Dong-wook
- President of Zeus Hotel Group and father of Young-do. He is controlling and violent, and became a womanizer after his first wife, Young-do's mother, left their family. He is engaged to Esther Lee.
- Choi Young-do's mother
- Seo Yi-sook as Lee Hyo-shin's mother
- Jung Won-joong as Lee Chan-hyuk
- Lee Hyo-shin's father
- Lee Yeon-kyung as Lee Bo-na's mother
- Ra Mi-ran as Jo Myung-soo's mother
- Choi Eun-kyung as Kang Ye-sol's mother
- Yoon Jin-seo as Cha Eun-suk / Stella (ep 1)
- Cha Eun-sang's sister
- Kim Heechul as music program MC (ep 4) 
- 2EYES as themselves (ep 4)
- VIXX as themselves (ep 4) 
- BTOB as themselves (ep 4)
- Jung Joo-hee as announcer (ep 15-16)
- Wang Ji-won as Yang Da-kyung (ep 17, 19-20)
- Kim Won's blind date woman
- Lee Hyun-jin as Lee Hyun-jin (ep 19)
- Lee Bo-na's older brother 
|The Heirs OST 1|
|1.||"I'm Saying... (말이야)"||Lee Hong-gi||3:50|
|2.||"Love Is..."||Park Jang-hyun & Park Hyun-kyu (Vromance)||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 (Vromance)||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 (Vromance)||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 (Vromance)||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||October 9, 2013||9.9% (13th)||12.0% (5th)||11.6% (7th)||13.1% (6th)|
|2||October 10, 2013||11.2% (13th)||13.4% (5th)||10.5% (11th)||11.8% (9th)|
|3||October 16, 2013||10.9% (9th)||13.9% (4th)||10.6% (10th)||11.8% (6th)|
|4||October 17, 2013||12.4% (8th)||15.2% (4th)||11.5% (10th)||12.7% (7th)|
|5||October 23, 2013||12.2% (9th)||15.6% (3rd)||11.4% (8th)||12.8% (7th)|
|6||October 24, 2013||13.9% (5th)||17.9% (3rd)||13.5% (6th)||14.8% (5th)|
|7||October 30, 2013||12.9% (8th)||16.2% (3rd)||13.1% (8th)||13.1% (7th)|
|8||October 31, 2013||14.1% (4th)||17.6% (2nd)||13.1% (5th)||14.1% (4th)|
|9||November 6, 2013||13.3% (6th)||16.6% (3rd)||13.4% (6th)||15.3% (6th)|
|10||November 7, 2013||14.3% (4th)||17.9% (2nd)||15.3% (5th)||17.2% (4th)|
|11||November 13, 2013||13.9% (4th)||17.1% (3rd)||15.4% (6th)||16.8% (5th)|
|12||November 14, 2013||14.0% (5th)||17.8% (4th)||15.9% (5th)||17.5% (4th)|
|13||November 20, 2013||18.2% (3rd)||22.1% (1st)||20.6% (2nd)||22.7% (1st)|
|14||November 21, 2013||19.4% (2nd)||23.4% (2nd)||22.1% (2nd)||24.6% (1st)|
|15||November 27, 2013||18.2% (4th)||22.7% (1st)||19.8% (2nd)||21.0% (2nd)|
|16||November 28, 2013||20.2% (2nd)||23.8% (1st)||21.1% (2nd)||23.2% (2nd)|
|17||December 4, 2013||21.4% (2nd)||27.6% (1st)||21.4% (2nd)||23.4% (2nd)|
|18||December 5, 2013||21.8% (2nd)||27.3% (1st)||23.9% (2nd)||26.5% (1st)|
|19||December 11, 2013||22.5% (2nd)||28.5% (1st)||24.3% (2nd)||27.0% (1st)|
|20||December 12, 2013||23.5% (2nd)||27.9% (1st)||25.6% (2nd)||28.6% (1st)|
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|
|21st 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 at US$30,000 for each episode. 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
- Hongkong – TVB J2
- Indonesia – RCTI, Iflix
- Israel – Viva
- Japan – KNTV
- Malaysia – ONE TV ASIA, 8TV (Malaysia), Iflix
- Middle East and North Africa – MBC 4
- Mongolia – Mongol TV
- Philippines – ABS-CBN, Jeepney TV, Iflix
- Romania – Euforia TV
- Singapore – ONE TV ASIA, MediaCorp Channel U
- Sri Lanka – Derana TV, Iflix
- India – Puthuyugam TV
- Thailand – Workpoint TV, Iflix, 3 Family
- Vietnam – HTV3 (September 15, 2014)
- Myanmar – MRTV-4
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. In 2016, it was announced that a Korea-Chinese film based on The Heirs is in the works.
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