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Research and ranking; Kara explains love; “Knocking over a pile of blocks”; CM of the week: Pepsi

The “R” in the title of the daily variety show “R no Hosoku” (“The Law of R”; NHK-E, Mon.-Thurs., 6:55 p.m.) stands for “ranking” and “research.” Kids go out into the streets and find out what interests today’s junior high and high school students and then create rankings based on the research. In the studio these rankings are discussed by students along with guest celebrities and the host, Tatsuya Yamaguchi of Tokio.

On Wednesday, the special guest is all-girl K-pop group Kara. Researchers in the field survey 125 teenage girls to find out how they interpret Kara’s lyrics about love, and back in the studio the five members explain what the words are really about. They will also perform two songs live.

In 1982, actor Takanobu Hozumi published a book, “Tsumiki Kuzushi” (“Knocking Over a Pile of Blocks”), that described his daughter’s descent into juvenile delinquency. She eventually straightened out, but the book became a best-seller and was made into a TV drama, publicizing the family’s ordeal.

Next weekend, Fuji TV will broadcast the two-part sequel to the story, “Tsumiki Kuzushi: Saishusho” (“Tsumikikuzushi: The Final Chapter”; Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.), in which Hozumi (Masatoshi Nakamura) and his wife (Reiko Takashima) have to contend with the strong public reaction to his book and his new role as an advisor to parents with the same problem. The publicity is too much and eventually affects their daughter, Akari (Riko Narumi), who slides back into criminal behavior and, even worse, starts taking drugs.

CM of the week

Pepsi: Pepsi brings out the big guns in the endless diet soft-drink wars by hiring famously skinny superstar actor Yuji Oda for its latest spot. A besuited Oda lies on a park bench smiling, his head on the lap of his current paramour, a giant slice of pizza. The carb-bomb interrupts his romantic reveries: “Who’s that?”

Oda looks up and sees a hamburger lurking behind a tree. “You love me, right?” asks the pizza. “Of course, I do,” he says, as the hamburger cries in anguish, “Baka!” (“Stupid!”). Oda stands up and yells, “But I love you, too!”

Cut to Oda in front of two food stands, one for pizza, the other hamburgers. “I don’t want to choose,” he says, and then happily sucks down a bottle of Pepsi Special. As long as Pepsi’s on the menu, it’s OK to cheat.