Renzoku Terebi Shōsetsu (連続テレビ小説, "serial TV novel"), also known as asadora (朝ドラ, "Morning Drama"), is a serialized Japanese television drama programs series broadcast in the mornings by Japanese public broadcaster NHK. The asadora started in 1961 with the black-and-white A Daughter and Me (娘と私, Musume to Watashi), starring Takeshi Kitazawa. Today, works in the first half of the year are produced by the NHK Tokyo Broadcasting station and works in the second half of the year are produced by the NHK Osaka Broadcasting station. Asadora currently airs in Japan Monday through Saturday morning on NHK General TV from 8:00 to 8:15, with a rebroadcast the same day from 12:45 to 13:00. The asadora have become some of the most popular shows on Japanese television, with series such as Oshin, earning an overall 52.6-percent ratings for the series. Virtually all of the storylines center on the life of a female heroine who faces challenges while working to achieve her dreams. The heroine is chosen by NHK through an audition that involves interviews with several thousand applicants. The winning actress not only stars in an asadora, but also becomes a spokeswoman for NHK, and is usually involved in NHK-sponsored events—including the annual Kōhaku Uta Gassen New Year's Eve event. Often, the asadora serves as a springboard for the actress to bigger and better opportunities within the Japanese entertainment industry. The current series is Hanbun, Aoi (2018).
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