ONLINE CONCERT RECORD
A weekend concert by Hong Kong acting and singing superstar Andy Lau Tak-wah attracted a record-breaking 350 million viewers on Douyin, the mainland Chinese sister company of TikTok. The concert ran for two hours and attracted 100 million viewers in the first 30 minutes, with tens of millions more joining by the end. The figures beat Lau’s own previous record on the platform, which he set in July last year at a concert to celebrate his 40 years in the business. The South China Morning Post said the record numbers were swelled by a recent wave of nostalgia for Canto-pop or Cantonese-language contemporary music, though the paper also noted that Lau also performed a couple of Mandarin-language classics.
Tokyo prosecutors Tuesday arrested two executives of publisher and film production giant Kadokawa on suspicion of funneling bribes totaling ($540,000 (JPY76 million) to Takahashi Haruyuki, the former director of the Organizing Committee for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The arrestees, Kadokawa executive director Yoshihara Toshiyuki and office manager Maniwa Kyoji, are suspected of channeling the funds, in installments, to an acquaintance of Takahashi’s to ensure the company’s selection as an Olympic and Paralympics sponsor. In April 2019, Kadokawa was selected to publish the official guidebooks and records of the Summer Olympic Games. Takahashi was also rearrested; he had previously been arrested by prosecutors on a separate bribery charge. On Monday, Kadokawa chairman Kadokawa Tsuguhiko denied that his company had bribed Takahashi, describing the alleged payments as consulting fees.
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Disney+ will next month start streaming the first season of “Pink Lie,” a Korean unscripted reality TV show. The concept involves a group of young singles, each with a lie that makes them extremely hard to find love, put into a house with the sole goal of finding romance. Produced by CJ ENM, the show is branded as a Star Original. “Pink Lie” is hosted by Super Junior’s Kim Heechul, Lee Sunbin (“Work Later, Drink Now”), Song Wonseok (“Business Proposal”) and YouTube influencer Ralral. The streamer is upping its Korean content component and will Thursday upload “The Zone: Survival Mission,” a variety show starring Yu Jaeseok, Lee Kwangsoo and Kwon Yuri in a range of hilarious and unexpected situations.
Meanwhile, streamer ZEE5 Global will bow eight-episode spy thriller original series “Mukhbir – The Story of a Spy,” directed by Shivam Nair and Jayprad Desai, later this year. It will follow an Indian secret agent in Pakistan helps turn the tide of a war in his country’s favour. Stars include Zain Khan Durrani, Prakash Raj, Adil Hussain, Barkha Bisht, Harsh Chhaya, Satyadeep Mishra and Zoya Afroz in prominent roles.
Also in India, Applause Entertainment, which produces content for streamers, has greenlit crime procedural “Trail of an Assassin,” based on the book “Ninety Days: The True Story of the Hunt for Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassin” by Anirudhya Mitra. To be directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and produced by Kukunoor Movies for Applause, the series will be a blow-by-blow account of the aftermath of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s assassination. A former journalist, Mitra was one of the first to report on the investigation.
Toei Animation’s “One Piece Red” has become the top-grossing film in Japan for the current calendar year. As of Sept. 4, 2022, marking 30 days on release, the franchise film had earned $94 million (JPY13 billion). It is the ninth highest-grossing locally-produced anime film in Japan, closely behind “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” which was released in December and has a JPY13.75 billion total. Currently, 21st on the all-comers ranking, behind “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “One Piece Red” looks set to break into the top twenty within the week.
BOY BAND BORN
Hybe Labels Japan, an offshoot of Hybe Corporation, the backer of K-Pop sensation BTS, will launch its first Japanese idol group &Team on Dec. 7, 2022. The nine members of the new act were all winners in the “&Audition – The Howling” talent show which had its final episode on Saturday. Their names are K, Fuma, Nicholas, EJ, Yuma, Jo, Harua, Taki and Maki. Their final mission songs, “Melody” and “Running with the pack” are already available on streaming platforms.
Independent multiplatform production studio Peanut & Crumb, known for podcasts including “Get Birding,” has tapped Jack Howson to head up its audio division. Howson, who will steer the company’s audio content slate, was previously at Reduced Listening, where he launched Spotify’s “Decode” podcast. He has also worked on projects for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, and 6 Music, including co-producing the Lockdown Theatre Festival for BBC Radio 3 and 4
At Peanut & Crumb Howson will oversee documentary, drama, and new current affairs and cultural formats. Peanut & Crumb was launched in 2015 by BBC broadcaster Katie Derham and BAFTA nominated producer Jane Gerber.
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