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For every professional athlete who makes a long career out of his or her pastime, there are probably another 10 whose moment in the spotlight is painfully brief. That is the concept behind the occasional documentary series “Puro Yakyu Senryokugai Tsukoku Kubi wo Senkoku Sareta Otokotachi” (“Men Given Notice That They’ve Been Fired From the Fighting World of Professional Baseball”; TBS, Wed., 10 p.m).

As the title implies, cameras follow several professional baseball players after they’ve been let go by their teams. In one episode, a fourth year pitcher who was once considered very promising is told his contract won’t be renewed next season. His new wife is seven months pregnant and quit her job as a nursery school teacher, so he decides to give it another shot and try out for other teams. Another story centers on a Yomiuri Giant player who is living with his fiancee when he’s let go, and he postpones their wedding until he finds another team.

Survival reality shows live on in Japan in the form of the year-end special “Wild 9: Danjo 9-nin no Shokunin Hyoryuki.” (“Wild 9: Nine Male and Female Specialists Shipwreck Record”; TV Asahi, Thurs., 2:40 p.m.)

The nine people who are sent to an uninhabited island to survive on their own for an indefinite period of time include a chef from an Italian restaurant, a fisherman who works with spears, a former professional baseball player, a carpenter, a cartoonist, a singer, a potter, a student and an average salaryman. Each person is allowed to bring only three items of his or her choosing, and the only other people on the island are the members of the film crew. Supposedly, there is no script and no direction.

CM of the week


Reebok A man stands stationary on a pedestal in the middle of an empty white room. Model Tina Tamashiro enters in a skimpy white outfit and white sneakers. She circles the man and looks him up and down. He remains stationary as she touches him. Then she starts removing his monochrome clothing, even his shoes and his baseball cap. She puts them on. They’re all made by Reebok for the “Classic” Furylite line. He’s left, still unexpressive, in a tank top and trousers, now wearing her white sneakers. Tamashiro wasn’t interested in him, only his apparel, which is OK. He wasn’t interested in her either.

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