As the 90 year anniversary on 1 July of the founding of draws closer, authorities have ordered TV stations across the country to no longer air any detective shows, spy thrillers or dramas about time-travel for the next three months with immediate effect. Instead, programs praising the party are top priority.
This means that instead of spy dramas, such as Qing Mang (青盲), which was due to air next week, Chinas 1 billion or so television viewers can look forward to “safe” comedies about mothers and their daughters-in-law. We’re guessing there’s going to be a sudden spike in Tudou and Youku usage.
The financial consequences of the program changes might be serious as spy series are very popular this year and TV stations have invested large amounts of money buying and promoting the popular shows.
Television chiefs, who are already under pressure from the government regulators to curb other popular and profitable shows such as reality shows, now hope that the impact made by these regulations will not very last long.
Wang Weiping, the deputy chief of the drama department at China’s state TV regulator, is not too worried about a boring lack of content though. He believes that there are “dozens of good TV dramas related to the founding of the party” that are just waiting to be broadcasted.
Also, it’s nothing new to have TV stations changing up their programming:
“TV stations quite often have to rearrange the TV drama broadcasting schedule at short notice. We are always ready to rearrange things. And we normally don’t ask why,” Ouyang Lina of Oriental TV told the BBC.
More on Shanghaiist:
China bans adultery (on TV… during prime time)
Foreign cartoons banned from Chinese TV during ‘golden hours’
IMMORAL/CENSORED in China: Dating shows with gold diggers
Today’s Links: Ban on time travel TV dramas