Japan's TBS, Wowow to Co-Produce, Split Broadcast of High-Profile Police Drama

Yoko Maki, Hidetoshi Nishijima and Teruyuki Kagawa

The first season of "Mozu" will be broadcast on TBS' terrestrial network in April 2014, while the second will run in the summer on Wowow's pay-channel.

TOKYO -- Japanese cable channel Wowow and TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television) are co-producing two seasons of police drama Mozu, starring Hidetoshi Nishijima, Teruyuki Kagawa and Yoko Maki. The first season will be broadcast on TBS' terrestrial network in April 2014, while the second season will run in the summer on Wowow's pay-channel.  

Kagawa appeared as the nemesis of the title character in TBS' mega-hit drama Hanzawa Naoki, which broke rating records with viewing figures of 42.2 percent for its finale last month.

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The two channels collaborated last year on Double Face, which also starred Kagawa and Nishijima, a version of Infernal AffairsAndrew Lau's Hong Kong crime thriller. Infernal Affairs was also remade into the Academy Award-winning The Departed. Double Face consisted of two partner episodes, each showing the same events from the differing perspectives of the main protagonists, with one broadcast on each channel.

Eiichiro Hasumi, who directed Double Face, as well as the Umizaru (Sea Monkey) series of box office smashes about rescue divers, will helm all 15 episodes. The first 10 are scheduled to make up the first season, with the remainder to be the follow-up season on Wowow.

"Mozu will aim for a cinematic look in terms of style, different to most Japanese dramas. Many Wowow viewers are big fans of foreign movies and dramas,” Mamoru Inoue, producer from the Wowow side, told The Hollywood Reporter

The first season Mozu no sakebu yoru will deal with an international terrorist plot, while the second will feature a mass killing in Tokyo. Although the first season will stand alone, it will feature riddles and clues included about the follow-up Maboroshi no Tsubasa, according to Inoue. Each season is based on a separate novel by Go Osaka.

The drama will be promoted on both channels, with Wowow hoping it will add subscribers to its pay-channel who want to watch the second season, as the network says happened after the broadcast of Double Face last year.

Shooting of Mozu began last month and is scheduled to run till next year.


Twitter: @GavinJBlair