Tv stations in Japan will normally launch slightly weaker dramas for the Spring season. But this has been an exception this year with all major Japanese tv stations pulling out all the stops for Spring season. Even though Fuji TV has managed to get Kimura Takuya, other tv stations are banking on young idols to battle the earlier. It has thus turned into a “New Faces” vs “TV Rating King”.
“Change” will be Kimura Takuya’s comeback drama with Fuji TV in three years since “Engine” in 2005. Besides being placed in the prime 9pm Monday timeslot, he also gets to pocket a cool 700万日元 per episode which is a record in Japanese drama history. But after citing scheduling conflicts, the drama which was supposed to be shown in early April has been pushed back to 12th May instead. Kimura’s primma donna actions has resulted in making the tv station and his legion of fans unhappy. Fuji TV has to now rely on re-runs of SmapxSmap SP and Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari starring Smap to fill the void.
Although Fuji TV has claimed that this is their programming strategy and didn’t want to clash with NTV’s “Gokusen 3” 1-on-1, the upper echelons at Fuji TV aren’t buying it. To hype up the prime 9pm Monday slot, Fuji TV has not only got Kimura Takuya as the lead but also global popstar Madonna to sing the theme song, “Miles Away” hoping that the ratings for the opening episode will get off to a rip-roaring start. But with the drama now being postponed to a later date, “Change” risks the chance of missing out on viewers who would have been in the middle of watching dramas airing right now. It would be hard for “Change” to prise viewers away and this is why Fuji TV is kinda depressed.
Fuji TV production personnel added that Kimura’s actons has also thrown the filming schedule into disarray and affecting other dramas that are being planned. With Kimura pocketing a cool 700万日元 per episode, it’s certainly not really worth it considering the “service” it is getting back in return.
Kimura Takuya has acted in a variety of roles: pianist, ice hockey player, pilot, etc. His every role always sparking in an increase number of people going for that as their career. His impressive showing as a prosecuter in “Hero” has made him the best choice for the role in “Change”. More people in politics probably?
“Change” tells of an elementary school teacher who gets thrown into the political arena and becomes Japan’s youngest ever leader. Besides knowing that Fukatsu Eri will play his secretary, Abe Hiroshi play election strategist who elevates Kimura’s character into the hotseat, Terao Akira plays a political bigwig who manipulates the scene in the background. Mixed-blood star, Kato Rosa who was in “Jotei” will also be in the drama. An impressive cast assembled indeed.
In order to make himself look authoritative, Kimura has been trying his best to put on the pounds. Not too long ago, a Japanese magazine managed to take pictures of him sporting a double chin and was using a jacket to hide his slightly protuding belly. The Japanese media aren’t buying into his new image and are labelling him as “Fat Kimura”. They worry that after the middle-aged Kimura finishes the drama, he might be unable to turn back into his slim body shape. Most of Kimura fans have the same opinion and are fighting to resist watching it for fear of seeing him in an unslightly manner.