TV Asahi’s strength in international distribution lies with its drama series, “especially our long-running detective series as well as our innovative medical dramas,” says Yumi Shimizu, co-director in charge of international distribution. “Adding to this, we used new approaches to produce Roppongi Class, the Japanese version of the popular Korean webtoon series, which has garnered strong interest from a young demographic this summer.” Animation for both kids and young adults are also steady earners, Shimizu notes.
As medical dramas are still a big draw for audiences, TV Asahi has a brand-new series called The Travel Nurse premiering this October. The drama centers on two freelance nurses who move from hospital to hospital with one suitcase. “It’s a medical story set in the chaotic field of aging society and one after a global pandemic,” says Shimizu. “Produced by the creators of our megahit medical series Doctor-X, we have high expectations for the show.”
There’s also a robust slate of formats in the TV Asahi catalog. Sneak n Shop, a game show in which contestants need to avoid drones chasing them, gathered interest from several territories this year, according to Shimizu.
The company’s brand-new launch is Fund My Fantasy, in which professionals gather to design a solution to various and seemingly impossible dream plans. At the end of the show, they will present the estimated cost to the audience. “It’s a fun show that stimulates and satisfies one’s intellectual curiosity,” says Shimizu.
TV Asahi is also rebranding and relaunching two of its longest-running series. One is the romantic reality show Sweet Kiss, Bitter Kiss, which follows young actors and actresses performing together in scripted love stories to see whether they will develop actual feelings toward each other. The popular show is now in its eighth season in Japan. The other one is My Life in Your Textbook, airing now for more than eight years. In the popular studio show, real people share their own roller-coaster stories firsthand—their journeys, highs and lows, hopes, fears and shattered dreams.
“We feel that there is high demand for both scripted and non-scripted formats,” Shimizu says.
As TV Asahi gears up for Cannes, Shimizu notes that “more than anything, we are excited to be back at MIPCOM and have face-to-face meetings with people all around the globe.” Shimizu adds that exploring co-production and co-development opportunities is also on the planner.
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