Since the smash-hit drama series Descendants Of The Sun ended its 16-part run, speculation has abounded as to who is to succeed Song Joong-ki – who played dashing Army Captain Yoo Si-jin as Asia’s next leading heartthrob.

From medical dramas to period pieces, an ambitious roster of TV shows starring some of the country’s most in-demand male leads are scheduled to launch in the coming months.

First up is the SBS show Doctors, featuring actor Kim Rae-won as a high school biology teacher haunted by his former medical internship, during which he accidentally caused the death of a patient. After meeting student Hye-jung, played by wildly popular actress Park Shin-hye, he is motivated to return to the hospital and become a neurosurgeon. The 35-year-old actor, who previously played a greed-driven prosecutor in the 2014 series Punch, will return as a warm character this time round.

kim woo-bin

Kim Woo-bin shows off his what he’s got.

The KBS2 series Uncontrollably Fond, which began airing on July 6 in South Korea, features model-turned-actor Kim Woo-bin, 26, in a heart-tickling romance with K-pop starlet and actress Suzy. The show marks Kim’s first time on the small screen since his role as a bad-boy millionaire in 2013’s The Heirs, and features him as an equally tantalising tease.

On July 20, the MBC series W will kick off with actor Lee Jong-suk, 26, as the male lead. Lee, who formerly played a tortured genius reporter in the 2014 Pinocchio, will return once more as a character with uncommon intelligence – a mystery-shrouded entrepreneur who previously won an Olympic gold medal, then switches careers to learn computer engineering and founds his own venture company, becoming massively wealthy.

The later months will see three period pieces. Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, scheduled to air Aug 15 on KBS2, will star Reply 1988 actor Park Bo-gum, 22, as a young prince in a story of teenage heartache set in the Joseon era. Kim Yoo-jung will play his female love interest who enters the palace disguised as a eunuch.

The SBS show Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, set for an Aug 29 release, will detail the story of Taejo Wang Geon, who founded the Goryeo Dynasty in 877.

The role of the cold and measured king will be played by Lee Joon-gi, 34, who is known for performances in numerous period pieces including 2005 film King And The Clown and last year’s TV series Scholar Who Walks The Night. The female lead role will be taken up by singer-actress IU.

Actor Song Seung-heon, 39, is lined up to star in Saimdang, The Herstory alongside Jewel Of The Palace star Lee Young-ae as a famed artist and principled royal standing against the corruption of the Joseon era. – Korea Herald/Asia News Network/Rumy Doo

 Song Seung-heon

Is actor Song Seung-heon hot enough for you?