The Kume Hiroshi-hosted NTV variety show “A” is on the rocks. The veteran newscaster made his comeback on this show in the spring after last year’s departure from the popular News Station, which he anchored for 18 years. But the Asian-themed show came at the wrong time, with relations between Japan and its closest neighbors, South Korea, North Korea and China all being at a low ebb. The Sunday evening show has had very poor ratings, only barely breaking 10% once in its first ten editions. Kume (photo, 60) is still popular enough that he can and should do much better, so he and the show’s sponsors have decided to call it quits. The show will go off the air at the end of this month.
• “Ima Ai ni Yukimasu,” last year’s hit love story that sparked a real-life romance between its stars, is to have a Hollywood makeover. “Daredevil” and “Alias” star Jennifer Garner (33) is to play the role portrayed by Takeuchi Yuko (25) in the original. She is said to have enjoyed the January screening in LA of a subtitled version so much that she approached Warner Brothers with the idea of a remake. No mention yet of who will direct the project or take the Nakamura Shido (32) male lead, but Garner’s fiance Ben Affleck has to be considered a candidate. Nakamura and Takeuchi announced their engagement in May and were to register their marriage this month. Meanwhile, the DVD version of the Japanese original goes on sale this week.
• Korean actor Bae Yong Joon (32) was hospitalized on June 19, right afterhe finished filming on his latest movie. Hugely popular in Japan, where he is known simply as “Yon-sama,” the star is said to have given his all on the last day on the set of “April Snow”. He collapsed from exhaustion shortly after returning to his home and was taken to a Seoul hospital.