Popularity of American TV dramas on the rise

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    A news report yesterday revealed that the popularity of American TV dramas has increased greatly in the last few years.

    This graph shows the number of American TV drama titles stocked by Tsutaya, Japan’s largest video rental chain( each DVD of a show is counted as one, there aren’t actually 172 different dramas available). This rise in the number of DVD’s offered demonstrates the rising popularity of American TV dramas in Japan. I wonder what shows the Japanese like?

    Well, here’s one that’s been popular for several years in Japan: 24. Japanese fans can’t seem to get enough of the fast-paced action and suspense that Jack Bauer offers.

    Prison Break is another popular title at the moment. I’m guessing it has something to do with all the commercials on Japanese TV that said, “DID YOU LIKE 24? IF YOU ANSWERED YES, YOU’LL TOTALLY LIKE PRISON BREAK TOO!!”

    Prison Break and 24 are popular, but the number one American drama rental at the moment is Lost. If you go to your nearest Tsutaya, you’ll find that almost every copy of Lost has been rented out, as the picture below demonstrates:

    What American drama will be the next big hit in Japan? The news program offered some speculation:

    They believed it will be Desperate Housewives. Why? Because it’s extremely popular in America. If it’s an extremely popular show in America, it will be extremely popular in Japan! Of course, similar titles such as Sex and the City & Ally McBeal have been hits in Japan as well.

    So, why are American dramas popular in Japan? Big budgets, interesting/original storylines, suspense, talented actors, and American “coolness”. It might also have something to do with the fact that most Japanese TV dramas are repetitions of the same tired old formulas, full of melodramatic overacting and overall lameness.

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