The spring drama series that started in April are almost at the halfway point. As the drama productions compete for the top spot, the viewer ratings are a constant source of concern for those in the know.
However, it is generally accepted that viewership ratings do not necessarily indicate “widespread support” among the younger generation, as they are increasingly turning away from television. In recent years, there are also core viewership ratings and time-shift viewership ratings, but these are not available to the general public, so in many cases, the number of views of missed broadcasts is used as a barometer of popularity when writing articles.
In this context, REVISIO, Inc. actually measures the “amount watched” on TV screens and produces viewing data. The company has installed survey equipment equipped with human-recognition technology, which automatically captures the viewing posture of survey participants every second. The company then creates its own viewing data to determine who is in front of the TV set and whether they are watching it properly.
In other words, while conventional viewership ratings count how many people are watching, this system measures the number of people who are properly watching the screen. Let’s take a look at the “attention” ranking of April drama first-run broadcasts based on the company’s measurement data.
Drama First-run Attention Ranking for April 2011 Cool Drama Series (Individuals’ Overall Attention, up to 10th place)
No. 1 “Ranman” 69.0
No. 2 “The King’s Dedicated Ring Finger” 67.7
No. 3 “Pending Train” 67.4
No.4 “The Last Man” 65.7
No.5 “Dr. Chocolate” 64.4
No. 6 “Unknown” 63.6
No. 7 “Rationally Impossible” 62.1
No.8 “Kimichika Kazama -Kyobo 0-” 61.0
No. 9 “Special Investigation 9 season 6” 60.4
No. 10 “But the Passion is There” 60.4
The ranking of first-time viewer ratings is as follows (according to Video Research).
Ranking of April-starting dramas in terms of first-run ratings (to 10th place)
No. 1 “Ranman” 16.2
No. 2 “Last Man” 14.7
No. 3 “Kazama Kochin -Kyobo 0-” 12.1
No. 4 “Special Investigation 9 season 6” 9.4
No. 5 “Rationally Impossible” 9.3
No. 6 “Dr. Chocolate” 8.6
No.7 “Keiji to Kenji, Sometimes Hanzi 8.4% (4.6%)
No. 8 “UNKNOWN” 7.6
No. 8 “Pending Train” 7.6
No. 10 “The King’s Dedicated Ring Finger” 7.5%.
Since this is a drama that started in April, the morning drama “Ranman” is in first place, but since it is a morning drama, it should be treated differently here. Nevertheless, the fact that this drama was ranked number one in both “attention” and viewer ratings confirms once again the greatness of morning dramas.
Other than “Ranman,” the other three best films are “The King’s Dedication to the Ring Finger,” “Pending Train,” and “The Last Man. It is interesting to note that the top three in terms of viewer ratings are “The Last Man,” “Kyobo 0,” and “Special Investigation 9,” so the lineup is quite different. Incidentally, this is only for the first time. We asked media culture critic Hiroyoshi Usui to analyze what can be seen from the difference between this “attention” ranking and the ranking in terms of viewer ratings.
You said, “The ratings are the number of people who saw the show, and this attention span is how people who tried to see it saw it. We can’t simply compare them because they are based on different bases, but I think it is interesting to look at it. Still, I was surprised to see “The King’s Dedicated Ring Finger” suddenly at the top of the list.
The reason why Mr. Usui was surprised is because he can guess the reason for the high “attention” of the four films following “To the King…”.
Pending Train,” “The Last Man,” “Dr. Chocolate,” and “unknown” are works that have a very strong sense of novelty, such as a train that transports all its passengers to another world or an investigator who is blind, and that have never been seen before or are slightly different from previous works. The point is that this ranking is based on the first broadcast. The point is that this ranking is based on the first broadcasts. Viewers do not know what kind of dramas these new dramas are and cannot decide whether or not they should watch them next time. I think this attention shows that they want to understand what kind of drama it is first.
Therefore, it is surprising to see “To the King…,” which is not considered to have many new features, at the top of the list, he says. Indeed, the film is a love story between a poor girl played by Kanna Hashimoto and Ryosuke Yamada, a sergeant, and is a standard romantic comedy. It has little novelty.
The fact that this work is ranked 10th in the viewer ratings and has attracted a lot of attention indicates that it is watched by a wide range of viewers, in other words, “people who like it. The visuals of the actors, Ryosuke Yamada and Kanna Hashimoto, are also wonderful, and I think that people who want to immerse themselves in the sparkling world are taking the time to watch it.
Detective dramas such as “Kyobo 0,” “Special Investigation 9,” and “Keiji and Kenji” have good viewer ratings but have received less attention across the board.
Special Investigation 9″ and “Keiji and Kenji” are series. What supports the high viewer ratings of these works is people who have watched them before. They know the patterns to a certain extent, so they can at least go to the restroom in the middle of the show. The viewers of these productions want to enjoy the usual world, the usual patterns, that don’t deviate too far from their own predictions. In other words, the viewers do not have to concentrate on the screen in order to enjoy the world. In the case of “Kyobo 0,” the viewer may be able to relax a little because it is a subversive mystery in which the culprit is known at the beginning.
According to Usui, by looking at viewer ratings and the level of attention, one can also see the attitude of the production side for each work.
With the overall TV ratings declining and the numbers no longer as high as they used to be, “Special Investigation 9” is the one that is paying attention to the needs of its viewers and does not develop in a way that the viewers cannot follow it. On the other hand, “Pending Train” and other new works are taking on the challenge of creating new needs. You can see a little bit of the creator’s attitude in these films.
It seems that what the attention ranking indicates is not simply a matter of being interesting because it attracts attention. However, this “level of attention” may be an indicator from a different perspective than viewer ratings.
PHOTO： Kojiro Yamada, Yusuke Kondo, Saki Hotta, Takeo Yuzuru