Ninomiya Kazunari to Succeed Matsumoto Hitoshi in Matsumo to Nakai | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Ninomiya Kazunari to Succeed Matsumoto Hitoshi in Matsumo to Nakai

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Ninomiya, selected as the substitute for Matsumoto in the hosting role for “Matsumo to Nakai.” It was a sudden and unexpected decision, but what exactly happened behind the scenes?

Downtown’s Matsumoto Hitoshi (60) announced a suspension of entertainment activities and filed a lawsuit against the publisher Bungeishunju, among others, after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were reported in Weekly Bunshun. However, the calmness in the midst of the turmoil is still not in sight, and the repercussions continue to spread to various places.

On January 29, the sushi chain, Kura Sushi, which had been using the comedy duo in a commercial along with his partner Hamada Masatoshi (60), announced the replacement of the CM scheduled to be broadcast later this month as a measure following Matsumoto’s announcement of activity suspension. On the same day, Mr. Osaki Hiroshi (70), former chairman of Yoshimoto Kogyo and the original manager of Downtown, also commented on this issue. During a deliberation meeting on the Osaka-Kansai Expo held in Osaka city, he said,

“I’ve known him since high school graduation and even managed him. All I can do now is offer support from a distance.”

And he expressed his own feelings.

In the wake of Matsumoto’s recent controversy, various television stations are busy dealing with the aftermath each day. Particularly, attention has been focused on the replacement personnel for the Fuji TV-backed variety show Matsumo to Nakai. A sports newspaper entertainment desk shares insights on the program’s developments.

“After Matsumoto’s suspension, the latest episode aired on January 28, where Nakai (Masahiro, 51) made his first solo appearance as the MC, recorded an average household viewer rating of 7.2% in the Kanto region, according to Video Research. This is a notable increase from the previous week’s rating of 5.4%, indicating a rise of 1.8%. With Nakai as the solo MC for the first time and a luxurious lineup featuring Arashi’s Ninomiya Kazunari (40) and producer Akimoto Yasushi (65) as guests, the increased public attention and expectations resulted in positive outcomes. However, since the show’s start in April last year, the presence of Matsumoto played a significant role in casting major guests. The replacement for Matsumoto and guest casting are still proving to be challenging.”

At the end of the program, it was announced that the name of the program will be renewed to “Dareka to Nakai” starting next February 4, and that actor Muro Tsuyoshi (48) and comedy duo Sandwichman will be the guests. However, a replacement has yet to be announced, and the title was also tentative. In the meantime, the facilitator has finally been decided.

A source close to the entertainment industry provides an inside look at the situation.

“As the successor to Matsumoto, the new partner teaming up with Nakai will be Ninomiya from Arashi. The latest episode with Ninomiya as the host has already been recorded on January 28. Fuji TV has been inquiring about potential replacements for Matsumoto with various talents since the outbreak of the controversy. However, it was challenging to finalize the decision. In the midst of this, the recording scene with Ninomiya as a guest was lively, and Fuji’s staff, as a last resort, made an offer to Ninomiya. Surprisingly, he agreed, and with Nakai also giving his consent, the sudden decision was made for Ninomiya to be Matsumoto’s successor.”

With Matsumoto’s absence, the program’s very existence was in doubt, but the surprising collaboration of Nakai and Ninomiya, former members of SMAP and Arashi, was realized. A former professional entertainment industry insider continued, former SMAP and Arashi performed together.

“There have been a few occasions of former SMAP and Arashi members appearing together, such as on ‘Sakurai Ariyoshi The Night Party’ in October 2019, where Kimura Takuya (51) and Sakurai Sho (42) were present. However, co-starring as hosts on a regular program is a rare occurrence and is sure to attract attention. This collaboration could also serve as a catalyst to quickly dispel the controversy surrounding Matsumoto. The fact that there is no longer an influence from the former Johnny’s office (now STARTO ENTERTAINMENT) may have contributed to the smooth realization of this collaboration.”

After the program on January 28, Ninomiya wrote on his X account (formerly Twitter), “As expected, Nakai Masahiro is the strongest,” expressing his thoughts. Expectations are growing for the future of the revitalized “Dareka to Nakai” with the collaboration between Nakai and Ninomiya.

  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles