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September 2016

Research on Asadora—NHK Morning Drama Serials
How Did Viewers Watch and Perceive Asa ga kita?

Characteristics and Factors for Success Depicted from Regular Viewers’ Surveys

Wataru Nihei

The Broadcasting Research Culture Institute’s morning drama research project regularly conducts a survey on NHK’s morning drama serials, or Asadora, which have been attracting more viewership in recent years, in order to analyze viewing behaviors of the audience and factors for the popularity of the dramas. Following the first survey on Mare, the second survey of the project featured a recent series Asa ga kita. The results include the followings. The program was highly rated by viewers, earning 85 points out of 100, with more than 50% respondents giving 90 or higher. Those who watch Asadora regularly accounted for more than 70%, even among young people. The heroine of the series, Asa—a strong-willed, positive women—was favorably received both by male and female respondents, and so was the storyline that Asa was able to attain success thanks to the support and understanding of people around her. Many were deeply impressed with the meticulous depiction of relationships between the protagonist and people around her. The fact that Asa was modeled after a real person made the viewers watch it at ease, without anticipating unlikely development, which consequently engaged them in the drama deeply. The storyline and structure of the series raised the satisfaction level of the viewers and attracted them: rather than being truthful to the history, the drama took out episodes that would be too radical to fit into a TV program in the morning slot—at the start of a day—by taking into consideration the elements that people want to see in morning dramas (such as cheerfulness, optimism, and inserting gloomy or caustic episodes only for a short period of time), and the story develops without too much ups and downs, and with narrative arcs, each of which completes in a week or so. Meanwhile some pointed out that the program would not be rated as “the best” because of the too-much “comfortable and enjoyable” nature of its storyline and structure lacking stimulating aspects.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research


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