A rehash of projects we’ve seen before”… “Johnson,” a ringing program featuring a lineup of seasonal comedians, has been slow, “and for good reason. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A rehash of projects we’ve seen before”… “Johnson,” a ringing program featuring a lineup of seasonal comedians, has been slow, “and for good reason.

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Kamaitachi” is doing very well with over 10 regular programs. The company hopes to establish an unshakable position in the industry spotlight with “Johnson. Photo shows Kenji Yamauchi (43), who plays the role of a blabbermouth.

The variety show “Johnson” (TBS), which started with a bang last fall, continues to struggle.

As the successor to the legendary variety show “Lincoln” (’05-’13), in which big-name comedians such as “Downtown” and “Samaaz” performed together, “Johnson” was led by “Kamaitachi” and featured many “in-season” comedians such as “Mogrider,” “Mimikazu,” and “New York. However, the show was surprisingly low. At the end of November last year, the household viewer rating was 1.9%, as low as that of a late-night show,” said a TV magazine editor.

(A TV magazine editor) Since there is no sign of an upturn in viewer ratings, whispers are beginning to circulate that the program may be terminated this spring, but the director of the production company shakes his head and says, “That’s not going to happen.

If a show featuring popular comedians of the moment, such as “Kamaitachi,” were to be cancelled immediately, the relationship of trust between the station and their agencies would be cracked. It is common knowledge in the TV industry that a new variety show will not grow in numbers until it is recognized by viewers, and I have heard that TBS intends to continue the show for at least two years.

TBS would like to make the “Kamaitachi,” the champion in 2005, the face of the station in order to enhance the value of the “King of Conte,” which TBS hosts. I guess that’s where they want to be.

A producer at a key station believes that the reason for the struggling performance is the “boringness of the project.

The cloud of uncertainty began around the time they brought “Geisha Daitokai,” the famous “Lincoln” program, to the first broadcast, but they have continued to rehash projects that we have already seen before. The younger generation values “time performance,” so rather than airing a single project for an entire hour, it may be easier to create buzz by airing three short, 20-minute projects with an eye toward missed broadcasts and spreading the word on social networks.

It has also been pointed out that the comedians who appear on the show are at risk of being saddled with low ratings.

Before “Johnson” aired, “Kamaitachi’s” schedule was a battle to be fought over, but the slump in ratings has proven that they don’t have the numbers.

Tomoshige (41) in “Mogrider” was also expected to have unpredictable laughs like Eiko Kano (41), his senior at the office, but his surprise project revealed his common-sense personality in the middle of the show. The show lacks explosive power, is the assessment of the director of the production company.

The producer hopes that “Matsumoto Hitoshi’s (60) suspension over his troubles with women will change the winds of change.

Matsumoto had a lot of programs. TBS is going to put more effort than ever into making ‘Johnson’ its signature program.

Fuji’s “New Key” had long been rumored to be terminated, but just as the “Gakko Hide-and-Seek” project was successful and changed the situation, a variety show could be turned around in a flash if a single buzzworthy project is created. The key to the survival of “Johnson” will be whether it can produce a project that will become a selling point for the program by the time it is revamped in the fall.

Will “Kamaitachi” become a new leader in the comedy world? The first hurdle for “Kamaitachi” will be whether it can become a new leader in the comedy world.

From the February 2 and 9 , 2024 issues of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Yuri Adachi

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