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Sunday, Nov. 2, 2003

Channel surf

As part of its 45th anniversary celebration, TV Asahi will present a special live two-hour program Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. "Test the Nation" is modeled after similar programs that have aired overseas that measure the IQs of home viewers.

Touted as "intelligent entertainment," the special will somehow make an "IQ map" of Japan during the course of the program using test questions.

In addition, incoming data will pit right-handed people against southpaws, men against women, and even Giants fans against Tigers fans. However, viewers at home will be secure in the notion that their personal scores will be known only to themselves.

Though the show is not the usual "game variety" or quiz program, it will include lots of celebrities.

The studio portion of the test will be carried out by six competing teams, including wrestlers, doctors, comedians and "big-breasted female talent."

In Fuji TV's fall drama series, "Hakoiri Musume (Daughter in the Box)" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), Naoko Iijima plays Hana, an 30-plus single woman who grew up in a family-owned restaurant on Mount Takao in western Tokyo. Having led a relatively sheltered life as a girl, Hana left her family and moved to Tokyo proper, which, while it isn't that far from Takao, is completely the opposite in atmosphere from an isolated mountain village that can only be reached by cable car. Hana eventually returns home, disillusioned with city life and pregnant to boot. Her father is anxious, since he wants Hana to marry an upstanding young man who can eventually take over his restaurant.

Rumors in the village persist that the father of Hana's child is an Englishman named Keith (Mark Condon), who often hangs around Takao and appears to have a crush on Hana. The truth is that the father of her child is a former employee at the Tokyo design company where Hana worked, but he dumped Hana to marry the boss's daughter. In this week's episode, Hana decides to come clean to her father about the baby's paternity, but before she does, her father decides to take matters into his own hands. He goes to Tokyo to confront Keith and demand that he marry Hana. Keith, understandably, is very confused.

Extreme obesity is the subject of this week's installment of "The Sekai Gyoten News (World Shocking News)" (Nippon TV, Wednesday, 9 p.m.).

On a previous program, the subject was a German man who was morbidly obese. He was so enormous that he couldn't walk. Since then, he has undergone a six-hour surgical operation and lost 60 kg.

The program also visits Australia and some doctors who specialize in surgical procedures to alleviate extreme obesity.

And just so that you don't think fat people are exclusive to the West, the show's in-studio guests are three of Japan's most popular "fat" comedians.

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