×
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

  • Charmed -- "Let This Mother Out"

    'Charmed' Showrunner Exits, Craig Shapiro & Elizabeth Kruger Board Series

    The CW’s reboot of “Charmed” is changing showrunners. Variety has learned that Carter Covington has stepped down as showrunner on the series, which has already been renewed for a second season. Husband and wife team Craig Shapiro and Elizabeth Kruger have been brought on to helm the series going forward. Shapiro and Kruger are currently [...]

  • Apple TV Plus Reese Witherspoon Jennifer

    What We Know About 'Amazing Stories' And Other Shows Coming to Apple TV+

    Viewers got a sneak peek of upcoming shows coming to Apple TV+, Apple’s newly unveiled streaming service, during the company’s live-streamed event in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday. The stars and creators of the most highly anticipated projects like Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and “The Morning Show” from Reese Witherspoon appeared on stage to reveal more [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    Richard Gere Series 'MotherFatherSon' Sold to Multiple Territories

    BBC Studios, the British public broadcaster’s commercial arm, has announced a raft of territory sales for Richard Gere starrer “MotherFatherSon,” a drama series written by Tom Rob Smith, Emmy-nominated for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The show will screen Tuesday at Series Mania, France, in the International Panorama section. Buyers for the eight-part thriller include [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer for 'Special'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases a trailer for “Special,” and Wrestlemania’s main event will be a women’s match, a first in WWE history. FIRST LOOKS Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming 15-minute comedy show “Special.” Ryan O’Connell stars in the semi-autobiographical series about life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. The series is [...]

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Lauren Whitney

    Miramax President of TV Lauren Whitney Exits to Join Spyglass Media Group

    Lauren Whitney, the president of television for Miramax, is leaving the company, Variety has learned. She will now become the president of television for Spyglass Media Group effective April 1. The news comes less than two years after Whitney first joined Miramax. There, she oversaw the studio’s television development, in addition to “Spy City,” produced by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content