Cinderella in Midsummer” (Fuji Television), starring Nana Mori (21) and Shotaro Mamiya (30), has started attracting a lot of attention as the first Monday-night romance drama in seven years. However, a dark cloud is beginning to hang over its future. A source at a major advertising agency said, “The first-run ratings were 6.6% and the second-run ratings were 6.6%.
The first viewing rate was 6.9% (according to Video Research, Kanto region), the lowest rating in the history of Gekijuku. The second episode was expected to turn things around, but the average household rating dropped another 1.5% to 5.4%.
The station is now struggling with the revival of a romantic drama after a seven-year absence.
Since the July 2006 season’s “Absolute Zero: Undetected Crime,” starring Kazuki Sawamura (56), there have been 18 consecutive double-digit first-run Gekkan 9 series until this April’s “Kazama Kochin: Kyobo 0,” starring Takuya Kimura (50). The start of the series finally came to an end with this film. A source in the entertainment industry tells us.
One of the main actors, Mori, has had a fulfilling year, giving a good performance in the movie “Father of the Galactic Railroad,” released in May this year, which drew a lot of attention, and in the movie “Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia,” released in June, in which she plays a double lead role with actor Okudaira Okane (19). Since this movie was a turning point for her, it was a great disappointment for her and others involved.
Furthermore, the rise of other actresses of the same generation is also causing impatience for Mori. A source in the entertainment industry continues.
Minami Hamabe (22), who is well known for playing the wife of Ryunosuke Kanki (30), the star of NHK’s TV series “Ranman,” is currently airing, Kanna Hashimoto (24), who has been cast as the lead in Fuji Television’s Monday 10:00 slot for the October season, and Naganami Hamabe, who has been riding the wave since playing the heroine in the NHK series “Half, Blue. Mei Nagano (23), who has been riding a wave since playing the heroine in NHK’s “Half, Blue,” is a young actress in her early 20s. Mori had hoped to break into this group with her latest film, but it will be difficult if things continue as they are now.
The miscalculation is not only on Mori’s part, but also on the part of her agency. A writer for a TV magazine said.
Until now, actresses such as Kana Kurashina (35), Tao Tsuchiya (28), Fumi Nikaido (28), and Ai Hashimoto (27) have led the way, but it has been difficult to find talent of the same generation as Mori who can compete with the next generation. For this reason, Ms. Mori has been carrying the full weight of expectations from her agency.
The agency’s miscalculation is particularly significant since Ms. Mori’s recovery has been remarkable since the beginning of this year. However, the drama is still in its early stages. The second half, when the love story becomes more complicated, is the highlight of a romantic drama, and that is where the true value of Ms. Mori’s performance will be tested. It will be interesting to see how much she can recover from this point.
This is a real test for both Mori and her agency, so let’s see what happens. ……
PHOTO： Yusuke Kondo