Despite being dropped into a cannon fodder timeslot, TVB’s historical period drama The Executioner <刀下留人> has won the support of viewers and critics. Starring Kenny Wong (黃德斌) and Maggie Shiu (邵美琪), The Executioner made a grand finish with an all-time peak rating of 31 points during its final episode, which aired on Sunday, January 10.
The Executioner, a historical fiction series that takes place during the era of Emperor Chenghua in the Ming Dynasty, premiered on December 7, 2015. Praised for its unique script and meaningful dialogue, the drama averaged 1.6 million viewers per episode during its broadcast run. The last episode, which aired on Sunday, January 10, achieved an average rating of 28 points, peaking at 31. The entire series averaged to 25 points. This easily puts The Executioner as one of the highest-rated dramas of 2015, out-ranking even last year’s anniversary dramas.
Its competitors— Come Home Love <愛回家> and Wu Xin: The Monster Killer <無心法師>—neither improved nor worsened during The Executioner’s finale week. Come Home Love achieved an average rating of 23 points, while The Monster Killer stayed the same with 22 points.
The Executioner was met with mixed reviews when it first premiered on TVB Jade on December 7. Many critics found the title too corny and the main cast, which is largely led by smaller TVB actors, to be underwhelming. However, the series quickly picked up its pace and found its ground. Episode 25, which involved the death of a main character, received universal acclaim from viewers.