From February until August, Chinese TV “golden hours” (5-8pm) programming is going to go on moral diet, shedding excess and unwanted sex, violence, and moral degradation. This we learned from a Chinese report as well as Asia Times Online, where they quoted official Wang Weiping on the matter:
“The country’s satellite TV stations should only screen ethically inspiring TV series during prime time,” Shanghai Daily quoted Wang Weiping, an official from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.
It’s said that this is just one in a long string of clean-up jobs in the run up to the Olympics. What’s wrong with the state of TV? The Asian Times Online says:
In an attempt to woo audiences many broadcasters have allowed reality TV shows, crime series, featuring heavy dose of violence, as well as shows with explicit sex scenes to feature prominently on Chinese television.
For example, the Chinese report (first link) says that popular US TV show Prison Break was not allowed in China, in order to “protect youth.”
What will replace these shows are what are known in China as “main-melody” (主旋律) films, which are basically agitprop type films honoring the heroic deeds of the Party, military victories, etc. Think of this way: If Ron Howard was a Chinese commie, he’d probably be the best “main-melody” director there ever was.
Wang Weiping says that the public outcry and reaction is based on misperceptions of what “main-melody” implies—it’s not all about the Party, but also about the economic and political reforms; basically positive and uplifting can be included in the new, gentler and kinder version of “main-melody.”
Wang summed this up by saying in no uncertain terms: “Television is first and foremost the mouthpiece of the Party and the people, this is its primary mission, and only secondly is it for entertainment.”
Photo from lifeweek.com.cn.