“ATARU” Special Episode on TBS

TBS has announced that it will bring back the popular mystery drama series “ATARU” for a special episode early next year. The drama has SMAP’s Nakai Masahiro playing an autistic savant named Ataru (also known as Chokozai) whose incredible memory is the key to solving various crimes. The series got ratings as high as 21.7% during its broadcast from April to June of this year.

The main cast will naturally stay the same, as Nakai once again teams up with police detectives played by Kitamura Kazuki and Kuriyama Chiaki. The episode’s guest stars have not yet been announced.

At the end of the original series, Chokozai returned to New York, but when his younger brother Tasuku (who did not appear in the original show) becomes the suspect of a series of murders, Chokozai heads back to Japan to clear his brother’s name. Although he will be reunited with the two detectives, Chokozai will also have to deal with his toughest opponent yet – someone who has the same mental abilities as him.

TBS plans to broadcast the episode during the New Year’s period in 2013, but the specific date and time are still to be determined.

“Hanawake no Yon-shimai” drama series to star Mizuki Alisa

Actress Mizuki Alisa (34) will star in a new TBS drama series this summer, making her the first person ever to have a lead role in a drama series for 20 consecutive years. Her part this time is in “Hanawake no Yon-shimai,” based on a manga by Saimon Fumi (“Tokyo Love Story,” “Asunaro Hakusho”).

Serialized from 2005 to 2008 in Kodansha’s magazine Morning, “Hanawake no Yon-shimai” is a comedy depicting the ups and downs of four sisters. Mizuki plays the second eldest Takemi, who has divorced twice and is a single mother of three children.

Kichise Michiko (36) plays the eldest sister Fujiko, an “unbeatable” fashion magazine editor. Kanjiya Shihori (25) plays the third sister Sakurako, an employee at a wig maker who is easily swayed by others and who is searching for her true self.Kawashima Umika (17) plays the youngest sister Ume, a 2nd-year theater student at an art college who has zero experience in love.

All four of the sisters are connected somehow to a freelance photographer, played by NEWS member Kato Shigeaki (23). The sisters’ parents are being played by Endo Kenichi (49) and Miyazaki Yoshiko (52).

“Hanawake no Yon-shimai” will air in TBS’s Sunday 9:00pm time slot (currently occupied by “JIN”). The series will premiere sometime in July.