Drama Slots Increased Dramatically in 2022 as the Result of Pandemic | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Drama Slots Increased Dramatically in 2022 as the Result of Pandemic

The Staff Saw It! Weekly TV's Inside Story

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Alice Hirose (27) will star in two drama series for the April cool season, “Love, What’s the Serious Deal?” (Kantei and Fuji Television) and “Tantei ga Haya Tasaya – Spring Trick Return Festival” (Nippon Television Network Corporation).

Last fall, she was on location in Tokyo for “Love is a Serious Thing” last fall. No matter how many takes were reshot, Hirose always had a smile on her face and made the staff feel at ease.

The filming of “The Detective is Too Quick” had already been scheduled, but Kantele wanted Hirose to appear in the film, so they moved up the schedule by six months so that the filming would not conflict with “The Detective is Too Quick”. In fact, Kenichi Takito (45), who stars with Hirose in “The Detective is Too Quick,” is also starring in the drama “Home Appliance Samurai,” which is being broadcast on BS Shochiku Tokyu, which opened in March.

In addition to Shochiku Tokyu, Yoshimoto Kogyo and Japan Net also entered the business this spring. In terrestrial broadcasting, TBS, Fuji Television, and TV Tokyo have added drama slots, and NHK has established a new 15-minute drama slot “Yodora” (evening drama) on Monday through Thursday nights. NHK has established a new 15-minute “night drama” slot on Monday through Thursday nights. The increase in the number of double appearances can be attributed to the increase in the number of BS stations and the prosperity of drama productions.

The “Corona Disaster” has quickly established video streaming services, and dramas have become a stable source of content for viewers. Variety shows have a surprisingly large number of current topics, and they quickly become old. If there is no significant difference in production costs, it is natural to focus on dramas, which can earn money for a long time and are easy to monetize”, said a producer in a tv station.

In addition to terrestrial and BS broadcasting, video distribution services such as “FOD,” “Paravi,” and “Netflix” are also focusing on original productions. This means that “video distribution services such as FOD, Paravi, and Netflix are focusing on original productions, and offices with popular actors are constantly receiving offers,” according to a source at an advertising agency.

An entertainment industry executive shakes his head, saying, “It’s not that simple.”

Production costs are falling in inverse proportion to the increase in the number of drama slots. For supporting roles in productions that star idols or 2.5-dimensional actors and are aimed at a specific fan base, the fee is sometimes 10,000 yen for three days of work. I do it with the understanding that it’s ‘to give them experience. Because production costs are low, there is no money for the manager’s lunch or transportation, and in many cases, we ask actors to go to the site alone. With the increase in the number of productions, the number of staff with limited experience in drama production is increasing, which often leads to miscommunication on set.

With a small budget, the company is also struggling to gather extras.

The number of drama slots has increased, so the extras company is working at full capacity. Many productions rely on volunteer extras to cut costs. For productions that do not feature popular actors, there are not many applicants, so extras with no paychecks are playing multiple roles. It is an unusual situation.

As we have pointed out before in this series, overseas video distribution services such as “Netflix” have ample budgets. However, the number of views is calculated in detail. The damage is huge when a film fails,” lamented a senior executive at an entertainment company.

Actors with a proven track record often put their fee second and choose their work based on their relationship with the staff. If you work with a station or staff with whom you have built a relationship of trust, they will use you again even if you make a mistake.

Opportunities have increased, but so have risks. This is the state of drama production in 2022.

From the April 22, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • Photography Yusuke Kondo

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