The final episode of 'SMAP◊SMAP' aired on December 26.
The 5-hour special program began at 6:30 pm tracing over 20 years of the group's career. Most of the show was comprised of various clips from past episodes and scenes from '27-Hour Television'. At around 10:50 pm, a message from SMAP aired, saying, "20 years of SMAP◊SMAP and 28 years of the group's activities, we are very grateful for everyone's thoughts and feelings. Thank you very much."
The group also openly addressed their biggest hurdles, such as Mori Katsuyuki's withdrawal in 1996, Inagaki Goro's comeback after being arrested for attempting to avoid a parking ticket and disobeying a police officer in 2001, and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's comeback after being arrested for public indecency in 2009. At the end of the show, the five members performed "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana", perhaps for the very last time.
The first part of this episode received an average viewership rating of 14.1% (6:30 pm - 7:00 pm), and the second part received an average of 17.4% (7:00 pm to 10:00 pm). The peak was at 11:07 pm, which was the moment after they performed "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana", when Nakai Masahiro turned his back to the camera to hide his tears.
'SMAP◊SMAP' began its broadcast on April 15, 1996 and has aired a total of 920 episodes. It received its highest viewership rating of 34.2% on January 14, 2002 when Inagaki made a comeback from his scandal.
SMAP will not be appearing in this year's 'NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen', thus this is said to be the last of the group's activities.
It's truly an end of an era. How do you feel about SMAP's disbandment?