This article offers an interpretation of the contribution of the recently deceased scriptwriter Nozawa Hisashi (1960–2004) to Japanese television production. Focusing on the recursive genre mixing in Nozawa’s television serials from 1992 to 2002, this article develops the notion of ‘televisual authorship’ to better situate individual creators of television programs in wider cultural and social contexts. Mystery thrillers and marriage stories became the major generic currents in Nozawa’s television serial dramas in a production context saturated with trendy love stories and also in a larger televisual atmosphere that questioned stabilizing forces in society, like the family. Committed to novelistic storytelling and socially grounded characterization, Nozawa transformed the traditional elements of crime and romance to underline love’s pragmatic role in the pursuit of social justice. Unfortunately, this ‘social message’ may ultimately be lost in the information mode of Japanese televisual culture.
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