Beginning with Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou, continuing with Sprout and the upcoming Piece the late night after midnight slot on NTV seems to have gone to Johnny's. With both Bakaleya and Sprout Johnny's is listed as the major sponsor for them and I will be surprised if Piece will be any different.
This actually seems to be a good deal for NTV as so far the ratings for the Johnny's dramas have been quite strong for the airtime. Especially Bakaleya that not only had rating high enough to extend its run but also get a movie out of it.
It also is a good deal for Johnny's as they are able to give their younger talents a venue to gain experience with acting in dramas as well as greater exposure. I am sure that the leads of these dramas were being eyed as potential leading men in dramas in the future, except for Nakayama Yuma who has already been a lead actor in a drama but it has been some time since he was last in a drama so perhaps this is more like a mini restart for his drama acting work.
These dramas also look to be beneficial to at least the agencies of young actresses and female idols. These dramas can work just as well as starting points for them as well as giving them acting experience. I think it is quite telling that each drama has members from female idol groups cast that they are being used for pretty much the same reasons Johnny's is.
I really hope these dramas continue for a long time. It really helps out these up and coming acts, especially with the ratings they get. As I am sure the executives in charge of the prime time dramas will be more likely to cast main cast members from these dramas than before as they would have proven that they can help bring in some ratings. And for the late night fare they are they tend to be actually surprisingly solid with scripts and production. Sure none of it is really anything to write home about, but it still seems to be the top of the line for programming that late.
Johnny's seems to have found an excellent way to promote their up and coming actors. And as long as the dramas continue to be entertaining you will not find me complaining.