More and more young people are specializing in “winning”… “Focusing on comedy award shows” is the negligence of the TV industry. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

More and more young people are specializing in “winning”… “Focusing on comedy award shows” is the negligence of the TV industry.

The staff saw it all! Behind the Scenes of Weekly TV

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Hiroyuki Iguchi (40, left) and Futoshi Kawamoto (39, right) of “Westland” won second place in the “2023 First Half TV Program Appearances Ranking” with an increase of 135 from last year.

Nightingale Dance” won the “Tsugikuru Geinin Grand Prix 2023” (Fuji TV) held on July 8, and “Double Higashi” won the “ABC Comedy Grand Prix” (Asahi Broadcasting Corporation) held on July 9. This year, too, the comedy award races have started one after another.

The impact of “THE SECOND” (Fuji Television), held in May and featuring comedians who have been together for more than 16 years, was unexpectedly large. Not only the winner, ‘Gallop,’ but also the runner-up, ‘Machine Guns,’ have clearly seen an increase in terrestrial exposure,” said a director of a production company.

In recent years, gaining attention in awards shows has become a prerequisite for a comedian’s breakthrough.

On the other hand, “New York,” which has declared that it will not participate in the awards race, has reduced its work. The duo still has five regular TV shows, but the number of their two crown shows has dropped to zero as of this spring. It is probably the station’s judgment that if they don’t produce results in the awards race, they will become deja vu, no matter how successful they are.

It is true that continuing to compete in the awards race can create new appeal, but what is the reason for TV people to be so concerned about it? The broadcaster continues.

During the boom of “God of Entertainment” (NTV), the staff visited theaters frequently to scout for new talent. Until “Joy Man” appeared on TV, few Yoshimoto comedians and staff had even heard of it. However, the number of program staff members was drastically reduced due to the TV recession. Combined with the cancellation of live shows with a paying audience due to the COVID-19 crisis, the results of award shows and the number of views on YouTube, short videos, etc., became more and more important.

In fact, the two young duos that are expected to make a breakthrough in the future are the ones who have made their mark in the awards show.

Dambiramucho” made an impact at last year’s “M-1 Grand Prix” in the losers’ round by simply singing “To All Living Things” by Naotaro Moriyama (47). His “A baseball club” routine became a YouTube sensation, and if he can make it to the finals this year, he is sure to get a lot of exposure. Last year’s finalist, Kyu, is being pushed hard by his company, Titan, to follow in the footsteps of Westland.

Of course, some variety staff members are concerned about the supremacy of the awards race.

The competition is becoming more and more competitive, and the number of young people who specialize in “winning” is increasing,” says a director of a production company. However, the skills of manzai and konte are not necessarily the same as the skills to liven up a variety show. As was the case with Yasuko (24), a former Japan Self-Defense Force official, who won first place in this year’s “First Half of the Year Breakthrough Comedian Ranking,” variety shows require reaction and the ability to respond on location.

The only station that is currently discovering young people suited for variety shows is NTV, which broadcasts “Sekai no Hatto de Itte Q! All stations are trying to attract younger viewers, but all we see on their programs are people in their 40s, such as Takahiro Ogata (46) of Panther and Kuro-chan (46). If things continue as they are, there is no future for them.

Behind the boom in the awards race, the negligence of TV stations can be seen. ……

From the August 11, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Tetsuzo Takehiro

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