Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China Clamps Down on TV Programming Leading Up To Communist Party Birthday

Posted by w_thames_the_d on May 20, 2011


from the southchinamorning post

Television spies and criminals on the mainland will have to make way for Communist Party heroes – at least for the next three months.

Mainland authorities have ordered satellite TV networks to take spy and crime dramas off the air for the next three months, as the party gears up for the 90th anniversary of its founding on July 1.

The order was reported by mainland media and confirmed yesterday by a public relations officer with Tianjin Satellite TV. As a result, the station has to delay the screening of a new series, Qingmang – a 50-episode spy drama billed as China’s Prison Break– until after July.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and TV gave orders to satellite TV stations to screen only drama series that were “close to real life” and reflected “a positive life” in the coming three months, mainland media cited employees of Zhejiang , Tianjin and Jiangsu stations as saying.

The order was part of a campaign to create a positive mood – at least in the mass media – ahead of the party’s 90th anniversary, which will be marked by a huge celebration. Although the administration did not specifically order that only “red dramas” – those that praise Communist Party heroes and heritage – could be aired on the satellite television networks during the period, many stations decided to replace spy and crime dramas with the “red dramas” as they had already stocked up on many such series to prepare for the anniversary, the Tianjin TV employee and mainland reports said.

The administration declined to comment when reached yesterday.

The order follows a controversial ban last month on the screening on television or in cinemas of dramas featuring time travel – which the administration said distorted facts.

Cai Fuchao, appointed director of the administration in March, told a national conference on the cultural industry last week that the authorities planned to cap the number of entertainment programmes on TV and produce more programmes that fitted the “major propaganda themes”.

Spy and criminal series are highly popular, especially on satellite television channels. Zhejiang satellite TV, for example, had originally given primetime slots for this season to spy and crime dramas, including Qingmang and Qipao, both spy dramas.

Chongqing Satellite TV laid off 20 per cent of staff in its advertising department and cut the pay of front-line staff by 15 per cent after being turned into an ad-free channel mainly for “red classics” in a relaunch in March. It is expected to incur a loss in advertising revenue of about 300 million yuan (HK$358 million).

2 Responses to “China Clamps Down on TV Programming Leading Up To Communist Party Birthday”

  1. […] original post here: China Clamps Down on TV Programming Leading Up To Communist Party … Categories: Programming 0 Comments Tags: 2011-from, birthday-, communist, criminals-on-the, […]

  2. […] China Clamps Down on TV Programming Leading Up To Communist Party … […]

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