Fuji TV’s Monday 9pm Drama Slot Sets Record Low Ratings | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Fuji TV’s Monday 9pm Drama Slot Sets Record Low Ratings

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The flagship drama slot stands at a major crossroads.

The Fuji TV drama series “366 Days,” starring Alice Hirose (29), which started airing on April 8th, concluded on the 16th of this month.

Inspired by the world of the artist “H Y”‘s hit song “366 Days,” the series tells an original story about a man and woman who reunite after 12 years to try to fulfill a love that didn’t blossom in high school. However, its ratings were tough. The first episode averaged a household rating of 7.2% in the Kanto region. As the series progressed, the ratings continued to drop, remaining in the low 5% range. Although there was a slight recovery towards the end, it ended with an average rating of 6.6%. Throughout its run, the series never reached double-digit ratings..

However, the industry’s evaluation is not necessarily negative, as revealed by a key network drama producer.

“There were mixed opinions, but sticking to a ‘traditional storyline’ likely made it easier for viewers to follow. The synchronization with the music and the plot twists resolved in the final episode were well-executed and pleasantly surprising. If I were to nitpick, I would have liked to see a bit more careful depiction of each character’s emotional changes leading up to the finale.

“After the second episode, the series struggled with low ratings, partly because the first episode resembled ‘Because You Gave Me Your Heart’ from the previous season on Fuji TV. In terms of acting, Alice Hirose and Gordon Maeda were excellent, and their reputation within the industry has undoubtedly risen.”

The actors performances and the traditional storyline of 366 Days were well-received, ranking 4th among April period dramas in terms of favorite registrations on the streaming site TVer, even surpassing TBS’s Sunday drama Anti-Hero. 


However, internally at Fuji TV, the series’ performance is being taken seriously. It has set a disappointing record for their flagship Monday 9pm drama slot. Following Midsummer’s Cinderella last July, “ONE DAY – Holy Night Noise” in October, and “Because You Gave Me Your Heart” in January, 366 Days marks another season without achieving double-digit ratings throughout the year. 

Despite the actors’ talent and the well-regarded concept, the current ‘Monday 9pm’ slot finds itself in a deep valley of poor outcomes. However, for the upcoming July season, Fuji TV is preparing a decisive move. They are eagerly progressing with the production of ‘The Beginning of the Sea,’ starring Ren Meguro (24).


“The upcoming drama ‘The Beginning of the Sea,’ slated for the July season, reunites the production team behind the social phenomenon silent (October ’22/Fuji TV), focusing on the theme of ‘parental love’ in a completely original work. Screenwriter Miku Namikata, who last collaborated with Meguro two years ago on ‘silent,’ returns for this project. The cast includes talented actors like Kasumi Arimura (31), Shinobu Otake (66), and Sosuke Ikematsu (33). The seriousness of Fuji TV’s efforts to revive the ‘Monday 9pm’ slot is evident from the casting and production team.”(According to a TV magazine writer)

While hopes are high for “The Beginning of the Sea” to become the savior of the dishonored “Monday 9pm” slot, Fuji TV insiders caution, “If this drama fails, it could lead to the worst-case scenario.” If the results don’t improve with this high-stakes drama, it may further fuel the internal debate about the necessity of the Monday 9pm slot, as has been whispered about within the network.

“Over the past year, Fuji TV has aimed to return to the core strength of ‘Monday 9pm’ with romantic dramas. While they typically achieved around 10% average ratings in the past, this year’s departure from romance has resulted in disappointing outcomes, posing significant challenges for the network. ‘The Beginning of the Sea’ is a gamble to revive the slot without relying on romance, but if unsuccessful, it could signal that the ‘Monday 9pm’ drama format is no longer relevant to modern audiences.

Currently, ‘Monday 9pm’ episodes still command budgets of up to 30 million yen each. If these investments don’t yield results, there’s discussion about changing the slot to a different type of content that could attract higher viewership. While Fuji TV values this traditional format, they are at a critical juncture where tough decisions may need to be made.” ( Fuji TV insider)

Facing a critical juncture, Monday 9pm prepares for the upcoming drama “The Beginning of the Sea,” starting in July, which could mark the beginning of its revival. 



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