Wednesday, October 26, 2011

China to curb 'overly entertaining' reality TV -- Is this country trying anyyone else's patience?

China plans to limit reality TV shows and other light entertainment fare shown on satellite television stations as part of a drive to wrest back Communist Party control over cultural industries that are fueling more independent viewpoints.

The order from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, known as SARFT, refers to shows that are vulgar or "overly entertaining." It singles out programs dealing with marital troubles and matchmaking, talent shows, game shows, variety shows, talk shows and reality programming.

Such shows must be largely phased out by the beginning of next year by the country's 34 satellite TV stations, to be replaced with news and cultural programming. The order also bans viewership surveys and the use of ratings as the sole criteria for whether to broadcast a particular show.

The changes aim to "meet the public's demand for varied, multilevel, and high quality viewing," said the order, published Wednesday.

"Satellite channels are mainly for the broadcast of news propaganda and should expand the proportion of news, economic, cultural, science and education, children's, and documentary programming," the order said. more