Arashi hosting “24-Hour Television 36 Ai wa Chikyuu wo Sukuu”

Arashi has been chosen to be the main personality for this year’s charity telethon "24-Hour Television 36 Ai wa Chikyuu wo Sukuu".

The charity program started in 1978 for NTV’s 25th anniversary and has become a yearly tradition for the network, raising awareness and money for various causes over the years.

The theme for this year’s program will be "What is Japan…? ~The shape of this country~" which focuses on educating people about the negative aspects of Japan while also displaying the good the country has and is doing.

"We have a huge responsibility serving as the show’s main personality for 2 consecutive years. We want to spend lots of time preparing this year’s 24-Hour Television theme. We want to make this a program that encourages the viewers," Arashi stated.

Arashi has served as the main personality for the TV special 3 times in the past. The announcement marks the first time anyone has hosted the show 2 years in a row.

New NTV Drama to Star Yukie Nakama as a Ghost

NTV announced a new drama for the upcoming summer season called ‘Ghost Mama Sousasen ~Boku to Mama no Fushigi na 100 Nichi~‘ starring actress Yukie Nakama in the role of a ghost.

Nakama is going to play a police woman working at a Community Safety Department called Choko Uehara.

Uehara has a very bright and obliging personality and cannot look away when other people are in trouble. She’s living a happy family life together with her husband played Ikki Sawamura, her daughter played by Mirai Shida, and her son played Yuma Kimino.

NTV is going to air ‘Ghost Mama Sousasen’ every Saturday at 9:00 pm starting in July.

Saeko returns in NTV’s “Chou Saigen! Mystery”

Talento Saeko (25) is making her way back into television. Starting this spring, she will be a regular on a variety show for the first time in roughly 7 years, serving as an assistant host on NTV’s new series “Chou Saigen! Mystery.”

Saeko married baseball pitcher Darvish Yu in November 2007 and gave birth to her first child in March 2008. That same year, she let her contract with her management agency expire to focus on supporting Darvish and being a mother, though she continued to be active as a blogger and a fashion icon. However, after her divorce with Darvish earlier this year, it appears she may start doing more television work again.

“Chou Saigen! Mystery” first aired on NTV as a special titled “Chou Saigen! Bestseller” in August 2011 and January 2012, and it is now being turned into a regular show. The show will feature re-enactments of fictional plots from mystery stories, and as the stories progress, the studio panelists watching the re-enactments have to figure out various things such as who the criminal is or how the story will unfold.

The show will be hosted by Tutorial’s Tokui Yoshimi and Piece’s Ayabe Yuji. Saeko was chosen to be their assistant to help further the show’s appeal to women.

“Chou Saigen! Mystery” will air on Tuesdays at 9:00pm, starting on April 17. The first episode will be a 2-hour special.

NTV regains top spot in ratings

Broadcaster NTV has finally unseated Fuji TV in the ratings race (Kanto region). For seven years in a row, Fuji TV ranked #1 in the golden time (7pm-10pm), prime time (7pm-11pm), and entire day (6am-midnight) categories, but NTV took the top spot in all three for 2011.

For golden time and prime time, NTV had an average rating of 12.6%, 0.1% ahead of Fuji TV in both categories. For the entire day, both NTV and Fuji TV shared the #1 spot at 8.0%.

NTV ranked #1 in all three categories over a 10-year stretch between 1994 and 2003, but Fuji TV overtook it between 2004 and 2010. In 2011, NTV regained the lead with the help of several hit shows, particularly the drama series “Kaseifu no Mita” that reached ratings as high as 40.0% with its final episode.

Saito Takumi takes lead role of “QP” show

The popular manga “QP,” written by “CROWS” author Takahashi Hiroshi, is being adapted as a live-action drama series this fall. The show will star actor Saito Takumi (30) and will be directed by Miike Takashi, who also directed the live-action “CROWS ZERO” movie.

The lead role was originally given to actor Takaoka Sousuke (29), but the casting was changed after Takaoka had to resign from his management agency over controversial remarks he made on Twitter.

The main character of the manga was Ishida Kotori, also known as “QP,” the most powerful gangster in his area. The drama will shift its focus onto Azuma Ryo, Kotori’s close friend who has some hidden ambitions.

The series will be broadcast on NTV at 12:59am late on Wednesday nights. The first episode, scheduled for October 5, will start half an hour later at 1:29am.

Secret Agent to be Kuriyama Chiaki first lead role in drama series, “Himitsu Chouhouin Erika”

Actress Kuriyama Chiaki 26 is confirmed to be starring in a new drama series this fall. Although she has appeared in many television dramas during her 13-year career, this will be her first time playing the sole lead role in a series.

Titled “Himitsu Chouhouin Erika,” the drama has Kuriyama playing Takahashi Erika, a former secret spy for Japan’s Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office. One day, she met an ordinary salaryman and his son, and she ended up retiring and getting married to him while concealing her past. However, a year later, her former boss played by Sugimoto Tetta calls upon her to return to work, so she begins leading a double life as a housewife and a spy.

The show is described as a mystery series, with each episode revolving around a single case. Using her instant memory, excellent hearing, fighting skills, and mastery of disguise, Erika sets out to resolve a variety of incidents.

Ide Takuya will play a graduate school student who helps out as Erika’s assistant.

Seki Erika “Jigyaku no Uta,” “Teppan” is in charge of the screenplay, while Ueda Hisashi “Shiroi Haru,” “Ohitorisama” is directing.

Kuriyama has been chosen for the show’s theme song. The song is planned to be written, composed, and produced by Shiina Ringo.

NTV will broadcast “Himitsu Chouhouin Erika” on Thursdays at 11:58pm, starting on October 6.

3 personalities revealed for new cast of morning show “ZIP!”

On Monday, NTV revealed three of the daily personalities for the new weekday morning show “ZIP!” that begins on April 1, replacing “Zoom In!! SUPER.” It was already known that the main hosts will be announcer Masu Taichi (29) and talento Sekine Mari (26), but they will be joined by a daily rotation that includes TOKIO’s Yamaguchi Tatsuya (39), EXILE’s MAKIDAI (35), and Neptune’s Harada Taizo (40).

For Yamaguchi, MAKIDAI, and Harada, this will be the first time that any of them has served as a personality on a news show.

Their assigned days are not yet known, and the remaining two people in the rotation will be revealed at a later date.