Fujimoto and Yokozawa Locked in Scheduling Battle. Meet the New Four Heavenly Mothers Shaping the Reiwa Television Industry | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Fujimoto and Yokozawa Locked in Scheduling Battle. Meet the New Four Heavenly Mothers Shaping the Reiwa Television Industry

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It was announced that the late-night variety show “After My Husband Falls Asleep,” currently airing on TV Asahi’s late-night variety slot “Bara Bara Daisakusen,” will move to the Saturday late-night 12:30 AM slot and be upgraded to a 30-minute program this spring.

“The ‘Bara Bara Daisakusen’ slot was established for nurturing young staff. Initially, it was characterized by edgy concepts and castings, such as airing Ano-chan’s own program promptly. However, with the widespread adoption of catch-up streaming across various age groups, recently, programs targeting the mom demographic have been performing well in streaming. ‘After My Husband Falls Asleep,’ hosted by Fujimoto Miki (39) and Yokozawa Natsuko (33), has actually been the most viewed program in this slot. Its promotion is understandable,” said a television writer.


In 2012, Wakatsuki got married to an ordinary man and became the mother of two children. She briefly distanced herself from the entertainment industry, but upon her return in 2015, she quickly became highly sought after for variety shows and the like.

In the television industry, mom talents have long been popular, but Fujimoto and Yokozawa are particularly in high demand for schedules. Yokozawa is set to join the regular cast of “Pokapoka” (Fuji Television) starting this spring.

“What’s impressive about Yokozawa is that she took a proper maternity leave right after her breakout. This contemporary sense resonates with young moms of the Reiwa era. When Yokozawa appeared on ‘Shogen-sha Variety Anta Watchman!’ (TV Asahi), she honestly admitted that she realized the lack of reality in the mom clichés she created during her single days. But becoming a mom has added to her humor as a comedian,” said a production company director.

Fujimoto, known for her talk skills since her idol days, has gained significant popularity with her YouTube series “Mikiti Jinsei Soudan♡,” where she gives straightforward advice on various issues, carving out a position as a sharp commentator.

“Fujimoto has been competing in the variety industry with Chinatsu Wakatsuki, the same age, since the 2000s. Her ability to respond and comment can be said to be monstrous among mom talents. Yokozawa, Fujimoto, Chinatsu Wakatsuki, and Rie Kuwabata of ‘Kuwabata Ohara,’ 47, are referred to as the New Four Heavenly Queens of Mom Talents,” said a key station producer.

Kuwabata mainly appears on shopping programs, and while she was associated with the image of mom talents from a generation before, her YouTube channel has been a hot topic, showing signs of a comeback.

“The homely atmosphere she shows on YouTube resonates with the housewife generation. When the comedian Nagano joked, ‘If Kuwabata Ohara were there, it would be Osaka,’ it further boosted her popularity. Even Koji Higashino has been pushing Kuwabata as the mom talent coming this year,” said the aforementioned TV writer.

It’s said that the rise of the next-generation mom talents might reduce the work for veteran commentator-type talents.

“Mom talents are skilled in using social media, attracting many viewers who feel a sense of closeness. On the other hand, veterans like Akiko Wada, 73, haven’t updated their values, often causing controversies online with remarks like, ‘Is she saying that now?’ or ‘Her perspective is off.’ Fujimoto and Kuwabata’s life advice sessions on YouTube are of such quality that they could be broadcast as is on TV. Viewers follow them, so they are valuable assets for TV professionals,” said the production company director.

It is possible that mamatare will become the driving force behind variety shows in Reiwa.

From the March 29 , 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Yuri Adachi

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