There have been a variety of opinions, both positive and negative, about “THE TIME,” the show. To be honest, I don’t know if what the program is doing is right or wrong at this point.
However, as a TV man who has worked on information and news programs for many years, there is one thing I can say for sure. That is, “In the current chaos of the television industry, where we don’t know what the right answer is, what the program “THE TIME,” is trying to do is the most “honest.
In a situation where you don’t know what the right answer is, I think there are two types of responses that people take. “One is to take a stopgap measure to secure the immediate result. Or, “It may be hard now, but I’m going to work hard every day so that my grades will improve in the future.
If it’s a stopgap measure, you might as well bring in a “completed popular person” from somewhere and do a program that relies on that person. We could cast a lot of guests who seem to be popular, and make the studio flashy. However, instead of doing that, they chose the “hard road” to make efforts for the future, and I feel that “THE TIME,” is the one that chose the “hard road. And that may be the path that the broadcasting station TBS dared to choose.
Roughly speaking, there are three “daredevil paths” in “THE TIME,” I think. The first is the “daring to go it alone” path, the second is the “daring to rely on local stations” path, and the third is the “daring to go it alone” path. The second is to rely on local stations, and the third is to take on the challenge of directing something you are not good at. Let me explain what I mean one by one.
1.The “Dare to go it alone” path
THE TIME,” has no commentators. Instead, there are so many announcers in the studio that you wonder, “Do we really need that many? There are so many announcers in the studio.
Normally, news and information programs put commentators, “professionals who give opinions,” in the studio and fill the time with “opinions given by professionals. Especially in recent years, when television has become known as a sluggish industry and production costs are being reduced, “how to make a long program without spending money by reducing the number of interviews by filling the time with opinions” has become the “most important key” to the success or failure of live programs.
In “THE TIME,” it is clear that they are trying to maintain the quality of the information program by eliminating commentators, eliminating the “padding” of impressions, and “maintaining the density of information without diluting it. Since there are no commentators in the studio, the announcers are required to “liven up the program with their own abilities. I think this is a direction that is only possible because of the presence of Shinichiro Azumi, a trusted ace who is “the most skillful person in the commercial broadcasting industry,” but it seems that they are trying to enhance the abilities of the younger announcers by daring to have many of them perform with Azumi on the morning program.
And why are there so many weather forecasters in the studio? Japan is currently experiencing heavy rains and abnormal weather, so much so that it is said that “every day is abnormal weather,” and every station is aware of the importance of weather information. However, even though they are aware of the importance of weather information, they still rely on outside companies that specialize in weather forecasting, making it difficult for them to be unique.
In such a situation, “THE TIME,” is new in that it boldly gathers a large number of weather forecasters in the studio and shows its stance of providing highly accurate weather information on its own. So far, it doesn’t look like these “many weather forecasters” are being used very effectively, but we can’t wait to see what kind of new and innovative weather forecasts they will deliver in the future.
In addition, a team of directors called the “News Team” broadcast the latest information from the streets. For those of us who have experience with live programs, this attitude of thoroughly eliminating “impressions” and reporting only the “facts” in a rich manner may seem like a lot of work, but I am sure that the day will come when the viewers will be able to appreciate the “richness of information.
2. “Daring to rely on local stations” is a tough road.
THE TIME,” which was once part of NTV’s “Zoom In! Morning! Morning! As someone who has experience with live news and information programs, I have to say that this is quite a “rough road”.
At the risk of sounding rude, I would like to point out that the announcers, directors, and cameramen of local stations are not as good as those of Tokyo’s key stations. The announcers and staff of the local stations have little experience in broadcasting to the whole country, and unless the programmers are patient and gain experience, they will not be able to improve their skills.
In fact, in the past, the NTV affiliate became “stronger” with “Zoom In! Morning! Morning! In the past, NTV affiliates became “strong” thanks to “Zoom In!
In the process, the quality of announcers and staffs improved to a new level. Then, many popular announcers famous for “zooming in” were born one after another in NTV affiliate stations across the country, and these popular announcers solidified the station’s “superiority in the region.
I am sure that this time TBS has decided to be patient for a while. They must have decided to wait for the announcers and directors of the affiliate stations to grow up.
Nowadays, the future of local stations is much bleaker than that of Tokyo key stations, and there is no hope for the future. It is a sad state of affairs that the morale of the employees of all the stations has dropped drastically under such circumstances. Considering how much the staff of the JNN affiliate stations would be revitalized just by having a chance to be active in the morning, it is highly worthwhile to “pretend to be a Zoom In imitator.
In addition, nowadays, broadcasting is not as expensive as it was in the Zoom In days. “In this sense, it makes sense that the time to imitate Zoom In is now.
3. “Daring to take on a production you’re not good at
There is one more thing that I feel about “THE TIME. It’s like TBS is daring to challenge every single direction that they seem to be uncomfortable with.
TBS, which has always been “orthodox” at best and “plain” at worst in its news and information programs, has never been good at soft directing, but they dared to show a “mysterious stuffed white bird” (apparently called the Shimanenaga family) and make it sing, or show a VTR of gymnastics, or have an actress run for the show. It was as if they were trying out the “good morning Asahi” of Osaka ABC.
There are some things that I personally think are a bit off, such as the live piano performance that reminds me of Osaka ABC’s “Ohayo Asahi Desu” or the persistent repetition of Godaigo’s theme song. But even so, I can see that they are making an effort to bring a “loose warmth” to the morning program.
To put it another way, I feel that even the appointment of Teruyuki Kagawa as the MC on Fridays, who wears the “young leaf mark”, is part of his effort to “dare to challenge a direction that he may not be good at”.
“It’s okay if the direction fails a little. It’s okay if you fail a little, you’ll get over your weakness. And the reason why he can walk these three “roads” with dignity is because he has a rare and famous announcer, Shinichiro Azumi. It is only Azumi who can warmly accept all the “challenges that may fail” and show them with an outstanding sense of security.
In addition, since she is not too strong, she is able to “make the show about her and not about ‘The Azumi Show. Most of the programs featuring announcers who serve as main MCs on other stations have the feeling of being “the show for the boss,” but it is because of Azumi that “she can play a supporting role and bring out the best in the other performers.
With the renewal of “News 23” last month, TBS’s news programs are now focusing on “investigative reporting,” which is the “road to the bottom” for them to be able to “report and get scoops on their own. I think we can say that this is the “road of the thorns” to be able to “report and get scoops by ourselves.
Whether it’s “News 23” or “The Time,” TBS is now seriously trying to “build up its basic strength from a long-term perspective. Such steady efforts may not have immediate effects. However, in the current situation where “trust in TV news and information programs as a whole is declining,” I believe that the day will come when stations that make such “honest efforts” will be rewarded. I hope they will persevere. I also hope that other stations will follow their example.
Text： Hiromichi Chinmoku / TV producer and writer
Joined TV Asahi in 1992. After covering the Great Hanshin Earthquake and Aum Shinrikyo as a reporter in the Social Affairs Department, he worked as a director for Super J Channel, Super Morning, and News Station before becoming a producer. After working as a director of Super J Channel, Super Morning, and News Station, he became a producer. He has been involved in many overseas projects, including coverage of China, the Korean Peninsula, and the terrorist attacks in the United States. In August 2019, he became an independent producer and has been active not only in broadcasting but also in various media. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Department of Newspapers, Faculty of Letters, Sophia University. As a member of the Society for Public Communication, she has studied regional media, and has researched and written articles on face-hame-panels as her life's work. His recent publications include "Dramatically Increase Access and Registration! "(Nihon Jitsugyo Shuppansha).
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