“Star Tanjo” (“Birth of a Star”) was one of the most influential TV series of the 1970s, an audition show that launched the careers of dozens of idol singers. “Star Draft Kaigi” (“Star Draft Council”; Nippon TV, Tues., 10 p.m.) takes the general structure of “Star Tanjo” — representatives of talent agencies bid for contestants — and tricks it out for 21st-century viewers with a variety-show component: a panel of comedians, in this case led by the duo Cream Stew and outspoken commentator Matsuko Deluxe, who make a point of picking on the contestants.
This week’s lineup features elementary school-age children, including a fashion model who has perfected a kind of “sexy expression,” and a boy who wants to parlay his skills at karate into a career as an action star along the lines of his hero, Bruce Lee.
The rock band L’Arc-en-Ciel, which is French for “rainbow,” is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and NHK will broadcast a special documentary on the group’s history, “L’Arc-en-Ciel Nijunen Kiseki” (“Tracing Back 20 Years of L’Arc-en-Ciel”; NHK-G, Sat., 1:20 a.m.).
All four current members of the Osaka-based group will be interviewed separately, supplemented by concert footage of some of their most popular songs. L’Arc-en-Ciel is considered one of the pioneering Visual-kei bands, who combine garish costumes and stage visuals with metal-derived pop. The band is celebrating the anniversary by embarking on a world tour, which will take it to New York’s Madison Square Garden in March.
CM of the week
Able/Chintai: Because it marks the start of a new fiscal and school year and so many people have to move for school or work, spring is the busiest season for changing apartments. So nationwide real-estate agency Able has hooked up with rental listings magazine Chintai for a series of TV spots featuring SMAP leader Masahiro Nakai.
In the Able CM, Nakai comes dancing into an Able office to a jaunty jingle while the smiling agents ply potential customers with floor plans. Everybody gets up and joins in an ecstatic musical number. In the Chintai ad, Nakai is seen perusing available apartments in the print magazine and on his cellphone, taking time out near the end to dance with a large blue cat. Was apartment-hunting ever this fun?