Producers of TV shows often try out their new creations during the wee hours and if they attract enough viewers the show is bumped up to prime time. That’s the case with “Obosan Variety: Butchake-dera” (“Buddhist Priest Variety: In-a-nutshell Temple”; TV Asahi, Mon., 7 p.m.), whose prime time premiere is a 3-hour special. It’s a show featuring Buddhist priests talking about their work, which most people don’t really understand since they only have contact with priests when a loved one dies.
Comedy duo Bakusho Mondai are hosting the show, and during the special the duo’s taller half, Hikari Ota, tours Zojoji Temple — one of the biggest in Tokyo. In another segment, actor Koji Matoba goes shopping for a grave for himself and a priest comes along to offer common sense advice.