TV Asahi Goes Big on Entertainment

Miyuki Nakasone, sales executive for formats at TV Asahi, talks to TV Formats about the global success of content originating in Asia and the trend of studio-based game shows.

The global success of Korean dramas and The Masked Singer has drawn considerable attention from the international TV community to what’s coming out of Asia, and TV Asahi has been feeling the glow.

“The first half of this year was truly a year for TV Asahi that has drawn the eyes of the world’s clients to us,” says Miyuki Nakasone, sales executive for formats.

The TV Asahi reality show Happily Ever Apart was featured by The WIT as part of the Fresh TV Formats at Digital MIPTV 2021, and its format #Hash Tag, a game show that sees participants use social media to play tag, also garnered attention and acclaim. “Several deals have been made for these new formats in the global market, and we believe that our efforts to develop a variety of new, attractive formats and introducing them internationally are gradually bearing fruit,” Nakasone adds.

Through conversations with its clients, TV Asahi has noticed a trend for studio-based game shows. “Additionally, they want games that are not only fun to watch, but also that they can participate in. Furthermore, there is a need for shows that are scalable so that the performance is not so much affected by the budget, which means, with a big budget, it can be created as a gorgeous show, and with a low budget, it can be as a reasonably fascinating show.” Another trend spotted by Nakasone is for shows that use new technology in the basic structure of the game. “Clients are always looking for something that no one has ever seen before, and providing them with such shows can be said [to be] our duty as a group of creators.”

TV Asahi has partnered with a number of international companies, including Banijay (Trick House, Beat the Champions), Warner Bros. International Television Production (Ranking the Stars) and Red Arrow Studios International (Crazy Elevator). It signed a deal with Craig Plestis’ Smart Dog Media in January to produce Red Light Green Light, which is currently being worked on for broadcast in the U.S.

“TV Asahi is well known in Japan as a powerhouse of entertainment shows and has many young in-house creators,” Nakasone says. “We also prepare enough late-night time slots to broadcast pilot versions of their innovative and fresh shows, and have a system in place to change the time slot from late night to prime time to make the show more popular if it shows signs of being a hit.

“As the eyes of the world turn to Asia, we believe that our environment that can foster excellent in-house creators is why our partners around the world find us valuable.”