If you want to guarantee sponsors for your drama series, hire actress Aya Ueto. At the moment she’s appearing in a record-breaking 19 TV commercials, which is probably why she manages to star in more than one series a year.

In her latest, “Zettai Rei-do: Mikaiketsu Jiken Tokumei Sosa” (Absolute Zero: Unsolved Cases Special Investigation; Fuji TV, Tues., 9 p.m.), she makes her first appearance ever as a police detective.

In episode one, Izumi (Ueto) and her partner Fukasawa (Tomomi Maruyama) are brought in when the decayed body of a woman is found buried at a construction site. Clues lead the special team to connect the body to a famous ¥3 million robbery case that occurred 10 years earlier and remains unsolved. The team starts re-questioning persons who were related to the old crime, but the more questions they ask, the more questions they have.

Another investigation group makes its debut on the new variety show “Fukashigi Tanteidan” (The Mystery Assessment Group; Nihon TV, Mon., 7 p.m.). The program asks viewers to submit questions they have about anything they don’t understand, no matter how unusual. The team then tries to explain the phenomenon.

On this week’s show, the comedy trio Morisanchu accompany a locksmith to a former bank building to try and crack the main safe, which has not been opened for many years.

In other segments, comedian Daisuke Miyagawa confronts a very mysterious “monster”; a scientific explanation of the mechanics of “love” is shown as a way of helping viewers find their perfect mates; and model Jun Komori visits some ancient ruins and has quite a scare.

CM of the week

McDonald’s: McDonald’s Japan is reportedly trying to figure out a way to attract new customers during those business hours when store traffic is relatively low. So the big question is: Which demographic never visits McDonald’s?

This is answered in the fast-food goliath’s newest commercial entitled “My First Potato.” An elderly man and his young granddaughter are at McDonald’s. He buys a coffee, while the little girl has an order of fries. She forces a fry into his mouth and he seems to take it reluctantly, just to make her happy. He starts chewing in that over-cautious way that would indicate he is wearing false teeth, but then he realizes how good it tastes and starts helping himself to the box of fries.

The voice-over implies that experiencing “good taste for the first time” can happen at any age. In other words, you’re never too old to become a McDonald’s junkie. The little girl, who can’t be more than 5, already looks like a veteran.

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