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Overall rating of popular TV drama 'Nigehaji' hits 30%

A scene from the ninth episode of the popular drama series "Nigeru wa hajidaga yakunitatsu," starring Gen Hoshino, left, and Yui Aragaki. (Photo courtesy of TBS)

The overall rating of the popular TV drama serial "Nigeru wa hajidaga yakunitatsu" (The Full-Time Wife Escapist) broke its own record to reach 30 percent on Dec. 6, raising expectations for an even higher rating with next week's final episode, it has been learned.

    The Tuesday night drama, co-starring actress Yui Aragaki and singer-actor Gen Hoshino and aired by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), has been an enormous hit, depicting the unique and sometimes comical relationship of a newly "married-by-contract" couple that Aragaki and Hoshino play. According to TBS, the viewing rating of the drama's ninth episode on Dec. 6 marked the first time for the rating to reach 30 percent.

    The overall rating system was introduced by Video Research Ltd. on Oct. 3. It combines conventional real-time viewership among 900 households with so-called "time-shifted viewership" -- viewership within seven days (168 hours) from the initial broadcast using video recorders -- in order to better reflect the popularity of each program.

    In a time-shifted viewership ranking released on Nov. 14, "Nigeru wa hajidaga yakunitatsu" -- affectionately called "Nigehaji" for short -- earned the top place by registering 13.7 percent with its third episode aired on Oct. 25, even overtaking the real-time viewership of 12.5 percent for the same installment.

    The final episode of the drama is set to be broadcast from 10 p.m. on Dec. 20 and run 15 minutes longer than usual.

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