‘Granny’ pays a visit to Fuji TV’s growing family

Hit pic gets small screen makeover

Japan’s commercial broadcaster Fuji TV will air a primetime drama series based on hit pic “Granny Gabai,” the web has announced.

Skedded to start Jan. 7, the series stars Pinko Izumi as the title character, a salty granny in rural Saga Prefecture, who raises her 7-year-old grandson when his bar hostess mother runs into difficulties.

Based on the real-life grandmother of comedian Yoshichi Shimada, the character first appeared in Shimada’s best-selling autobiography. That, in turn, inspired “Granny Gabai,” helmed by Hitoshi Kurauchi and starring Kazuko Yoshiyuki. Pic became an indie B.O. phenom in Japan following its September release by T-Joy, which also reps the pic internationally. It also opened in Taiwan in September, where it has become a long-running hit.

“Granny Gabai” won the Grand Prix at the Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival this month.

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