TOKYO — Viewers sat down, tuned in and cried at the concluding episode of the Tokyo Broadcasting System hit “Beautiful Life” — the first drama in 17 years to cross the 40% ratings line.
Final episode of the hit series about a young hairdresser, played by heartthrob actor Takuya Kimura, and his wheelchair-bound, deathly ill girlfriend, played by Takako Tokiwa, was the second highest rated drama episode in Japanese TV history, with a 41% rating.
“People across Japan were enthralled by the love of these two characters, and they watched the final episode through their tears,” TBS said.
The network broke programming molds with the hit drama by using an untraditional Sunday night primetime slot for the show. Sunday nights are typically devoted to family and variety programming on the Japanese webs while weekday nights are stuffed with drama serials. TBS found that there were a lot of lonely hearts at home on Sunday night who would tune in to a weepy drama.
Asian broadcasters have been trying to get rights for the hit show, but so far TBS has not announced any international sales deals for the drama series.
Over the past two years, TBS has achieved success by turning its hit dramas into movies, but it has not decided if there will be a screen version of “Beautiful Life.”