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Little ‘Love’ goes long way for Fuji TV

New drama scores 23% rating in Japan

TOKYO — Leading Japanese network Fuji TV kicked off the new year with a first-of-its-kind drama series in which each episode is broadcast on the same night in the primetime lineups of webs in five Asian countries.

The drama skein, “Love 2000,” is a spy thriller starring Miho Nakayama — a popular Japanese actress with a large following in Asia — as a computer-savvy office worker, and Takeshi Kaneshiro — the ultimate pan-Asian star who speaks four Asian languages as well as English — as a spy from a hell-bent Asian country who has found a way to infiltrate Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

Monday night runs

Show is produced by Fuji and broadcast on the web’s Monday night slot reserved for its top drama series. The same episode that hits the air in Japan is also broadcast Monday night in Taiwan by TVBS, in Hong Kong by TVB, in Thailand by ITV and in Singapore by TCS.

“For the year 2000, Fuji TV wanted to try something that has not been done in broadcasting,” said Masumi Kobayashi, a director in Fuji’s international department.

Over the past decade, Fuji has gained an audience in neighboring Asian countries for its drama series such as “Tokyo Love Story” and “101st Proposal.”

The first episode Jan. 10 scored a 23% rating in Japan, while in Singapore, where it was dubbed into Mandarin and broadcast with English subtitles, it gathered ratings of about 14%. In Hong Kong, the drama, dubbed into Cantonese, tallied a 7.2.

In Taiwan, the show is broadcast in Japanese with Mandarin subtitles, while it is dubbed into Thai for Thailand.

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