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NHK's "The Red and White Song Contest," the pubcaster's traditional end-of-year variety show, captured a rating of more than 40 share Thursday, boosted by the appearance of singing sensation Susan Boyle.
A Japanese broadcasting staple since the dawn of television in the 1950s, the show pits male and female singing teams against each other in a contest whose winners are determined by a panel of judges and an audience vote.
Broadcast on New Year's Eve, it has consistently been the highest-rated show on Japanese TV, other than for certain news and sports events.
A last-minute addition, Boyle received a reported $56,300 to sing her signature number, "I Dreamed …