×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reality show stages seg, sparks scandal

Fuji TV canceling program

TOKYO — Reality bites — just ask Japan’s Fuji TV.

The network has found itself at the center of a scandal after it was revealed that an episode of a top-rated show featuring couples on the verge of divorce was staged.

The reality-based show, “Ai suru futari, Wakeru futari” (Couples in love, couples breaking up), which grabbed audience share of up to 27%, will be pulled from the air because of the scandal, Fuji TV said.

In the show, a couple whose marriage is in trouble take their problems to a celebrity panel, who offers them advice. If the couple decides they cannot work out their problems, they affix their signature seals to a divorce petition and end their marriage right before the final commercial break.

The couple’s names are not used in the program and their faces are not shown.

In a March 8 broadcast, the couple on the show was not married. The so-called wife, a woman in her 30s, said she was having an affair and wanted to leave her husband.

According to local media reports, the woman on the show was actually having these problems and the man sitting next to her was an actor. The woman later committed suicide when her real husband learned that she appeared on the show, the reports said.

Net apologizes

In the only official comment Fuji TV has made on the affair, Masaki Miyauchi, head of its programming and production department, admitted that the couple were not married and apologized to viewers.

The show, which took to the air in October 1998, was produced by Tokyo-based Japan Produce.

One of the celebrity panelists on the divorce show, a cross-dressing, middle-aged male singer named Kenichi Mikawa, was involved in another Fuji TV show that touched off an international incident. In 1998, he appeared on a gourmet travel show that featured a dish made with endangered Bengal tiger. Conservation groups blasted the network for its bad taste.

More TV

  • Joanna Klein Jennie Urman

    Jennie Snyder Urman, Joanna Klein Launch Prodco at CBS Television Studios

    “Jane The Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman and development executive Joanna Klein have partnered to launch their own production company, Sutton St. Productions, Variety has learned. The duo has multiple projects in development under their new production banner, including the comedies “You’re Killing Me” for streaming service CBS All Access and “Riches to Rags,” which is in [...]

  • 'Power' Shuts Down Production After Crew

    'Power' Shuts Down Production After Crew Member Killed

    The Starz series “Power” has shut down production after an on-set accident led to the death of a production assistant early Monday morning. Pedro Jimenez, 63, was setting up traffic cones for a shoot in Brooklyn at approximately 4:20 AM ET when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer, with the driver remaining at [...]

  • Fyre Festival

    Netflix to Release Fyre Festival Documentary Next Month - Watch Teaser Video

    The Fyre Festival is a gift that keeps on giving for video streaming services, as Netflix today announced a documentary about the disastrous 2017 festival, which collapsed before it even started and landed its organizer, Billy McFarland, a six-year prison sentence. “Fyre” will be directed by Chris Smith, who helmed last year’s documentary “Jim & Andy: [...]

  • Tom DeLonge

    Tom DeLonge Paranormal Series 'Strange Times' in Development at TBS (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge left the hugely successful band in 2015 in part to explore other opportunities, including his interest in aliens and the paranormal. His passion resulted in the acclaimed graphic novel, “Strange Times,” which is now being turned into a series for TBS. The series, which Variety can exclusively announce is being [...]

  • Jodie Whittaker Back as 'Doctor Who'

    Jodie Whittaker to Return as 'Doctor Who' in 2020 Amid Strong U.S. Ratings

    “Doctor Who” will be back on global screens in early 2020, with Jodie Whittaker returning in her groundbreaking role as the show’s first regular female timelord. The show was renewed by the BBC amid mixed overnight but strong consolidated numbers in the U.K., and strong ratings in the U.S. British viewers tuned in in droves to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content