China to restrict reality TV
Monday, January 15th, 2007

China will launch a crackdown on “vulgar” reality television shows, state media said on Saturday. The move is part of an effort to “clean up TV screens”, said Wang Taihua, the head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), according to a Xinhua report.

“There have been too many reality shows on our TV screens,” Wang said, speaking at an annual conference of TV bosses on Thursday. “Many are low-quality, low-brow programmes, only catering to the bottom end of the market. ”They are too chaotic and some of them are too vulgar. The government must strengthen supervision of entertainment programmes, and restrict the number of reality show programmes to upgrade their quality.”

Reality TV is booming in China, the report said. In 2005, Hunan TV, a provincial station, started the trend with the successful Super Voice Girls based on singing competition American Idol. Since then Chinese television stations have come up with more than 500 such programmes. Even reclusive Buddhists could not resist the lure of the market. Shaolin Temple, hidden among deep mountains in central Henan province and famous for its martial arts, teamed up with Shenzhen Television Station to run a Shaolin Kongfu star contest last year.

(Source: AFP)