Japan Hunk Hiroki Uchi joins "Osen" cast

The next step in the comeback of former NEWS member Hiroki Uchi is his first regular drama series role in almost three years. He will appear in NTV's "Osen," which stars actress Yu Aoi as the "okami" of a long-standing Tokyo restaurant. Uchi will play Yoshio Ezaki, a young and confident chef who comes to work at the restaurant.

In 2005, Uchi was suspended for underage drinking. He was subsequently removed from NEWS and demoted to trainee status within Johnny's Jimusho, but he finally returned to television work with the "Isshun no Kaze ni Nare" drama mini-series that aired in February.

"Osen" premieres on April 22.