Tunnel’s Possibility of Returning to TV with the Fuji’s New President Koichi Minato | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tunnel’s Possibility of Returning to TV with the Fuji’s New President Koichi Minato

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Koichi Minato, a close ally, is appointed as the new president of Fuji Television Network. Will his close friend “Tunnels” return to TV?

Fuji Television Network, Inc. recently announced that Koichi Minato, president of Kyodo TV, will become its new president. Mr. Minato is known as a famous producer of many popular variety shows, such as “Yuyake Nyan Nyan,” which gave birth to Onyanko Club, and “Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Deshita”,  which made the comedy duo “Tunnels” a star.

Mr. Minato is 70 years old. Some people in the company said, “ Mr. Minato is 70 years old, and he is already a person of the past .” There are also reports that he was not happy with the decision.

“However, under the early retirement system, all the human resources who have supported the variety department, such as Asuka Kataoka, who was a famous producer of “Mecha – Mecha Iketeru!”, have retired. As a result, only Mr. Minato remained. This feeling of tingling is the same as it used to be. I’m more anxious than I expected “(Fuji TV 50s employee)

While some have questioned the selection of Mr. Minato, there is a growing sense of “anticipation,” especially among young people.

Fuji Television has been shouting “reform” as if it were a slogan every time it revamps its programs. As a first step, in 2006 and 2009, the company asked employees over 50 years of age to take early retirement. However, there was no sign of a direction for the TV station.

The appointment of a new president was greeted with a lot of excitement among the younger employees, who said, “This is reform! In other words, he has made it clear that he intends to make Fuji TV the “Fuji TV of variety” from now on. With this, Fuji Television can finally change. But if it doesn’t change, it will end,” said an employee in his 30s at Fuji Television.

With Minato’s appointment as the new president, the future of “Tunnels” is the focus of attention.

In response to this report, Akashiya Sanma announced on the late-night broadcast of MBS radio’s “Young Town Saturday” on January 21, that he would be taking over the management of “Tunnels” as the new president of the company.

But, well, it’s going to be Tunnels, isn’t it?

The reason for this is that several articles appeared in the press asking, “Will Tunnels make a comeback?”

It is true that in the past, there were comedians like Tunnels, Downtown, and Ninety-Nine who could be called the “face of Fuji TV variety,” but unfortunately, they are no longer around. But that does not mean that we can ask Tunnels to do the job.

To begin with, no employee would be satisfied with the company’s decision to put them in place as the new face of the company, ignoring the wishes of younger employees, after having rejuvenated the company by inviting early retirees over 50 years of age. It is just an imitation of the past. I don’t think either Mr. Minato or Mr. Tunnels would want that to happen.

For the younger employees, Mr. Minato’s presence is a symbol of “Fuji’s variety programs,” but it is the younger employees themselves who are responsible for putting it into practice. They are also enthusiastic about discovering and nurturing the comedians who will become the “face of variety shows.

“Some people are calling for Downtown’s Matsumoto, but I believe that Chidori will be the “face of Fuji.” I would like Chidori to be in charge for the next five years, and during that time, I would like to bring up young comedians who can MC. Of course, it will not be easy, but if this cannot be done, I think Fuji Television will truly be finished.”

The new president, Mr. Minato, will be officially decided at the general stock meeting and board of directors meeting scheduled for June 28. Will this change in president prove to be a good thing or a bad thing?

  • PHOTO Yasuko Sakaguchi

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