We finally have some information about the upcoming NTV late night drama. It is going to star Inagaki Goro from SMAP but will have plenty of Juniors in the cast. The name of the drama is in the Room and will start on January 12th. Inagaki's character will be a school counselor and of course the Juniors, that have not been announced yet, will be students.
Nikkan Sports article (Japanese)
I have to say I am surprised they are having someone as high profile as a member of SMAP be in one of these late night dramas. I wonder if this is to make sure the next drama in the slot is a hit after Piece not doing so well, but then again it could have been decided well in advance so who knows.
But I cannot wait to see which Juniors are going to be a part of this. I have the feeling that they may announce it at the Fresh Junior concert this coming week so I would expect members from noon boyz and Bakaleya6 to be in it, minus Jesse for reasons in the other drama news in this post.
Also I cannot help but think that someone out there is already spinning out a conspiracy story how this slot is probably part of the Michi faction now that SMAP is tied to it.
It seems like Lewis Jesse is changing his stage name to just drop his last name and go only by his first, Jesse, from now on. This comes with the news that he will have a role in the upcoming Getsu 9 drama, Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou, which will star Japanese actress Gouriki Ayame and air on Fuji TV beginning in January.
Jesse will be playing the part of the main character's younger brother that is named Shinokawa Fumiya.
Fuji TV OHP (Japanese)
Big congrats to Jesse for this. The Getsu 9 slot is a major time slot for dramas and he is joining a cast that has AKIRA from EXILE, who played the lead in the GTO remake that was rather successful, so it should at least start with good ratings. But even if it flounders in the ratings it will still be the most high profile drama he has been in yet and could work as a launching pad for him to become more of a regular on the prime time dramas. Which I am sure Johnny's is trying to go with him looking at his past drama work. I just hope he improves on his acting in time but until then at least he is a pretty face to look at.
For his stage name change I cannot help but think it may be to make him seem less "foreign". As though there are a few actors/actresses that are part-Japanese like him they either have Japanese names or at least either their surname or given name is Japanese unlike Jesse's case. So this could be a way to make his name not stand out as much in that crowd.