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Reality shows hit by Chinese censorship

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 02:52

Oct. 5 - A popular match-making show on Chinese television, called ''If You Are The One'', comes under pressure from the Chinese government to fit into the state media agenda. Toshi Maeda reports.

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Welcome to Chinese match-making show, "If You Are The One." Here, the judges are 24 single women. The mission for male contestants - to win the judges' heart and the title of the hottest bachelor. And that requires some dancing, too. It's hugely popular, perhaps too popular, because it's caught the attention of China's media authorities. The show was first criticised last year, by the country's communist regime, after a female guest on the show said she would "rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle." That was seen by authorities as promoting materialism among young women. Since then, the show has been watered down, much to the disappointment of viewers like 40-year-old Lu Juanxin. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 40-YEAR-OLD CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER AND "IF YOU ARE THE ONE" FAN, LU JIANXIN, SAYING: "Entertainment is part of life. The government shouldn't impose too many restrictions on it. If we pay attention to the details of the show, we will notice that the television station has made certain changes to echo the policies. To be honest, the show is less fun and amusing now." Beijing is stepping up its efforts to regulate entertainment shows on Chinese television to maintain "societal values." Wang Gang, who's the producer of "If You Are The One", is putting on a brave face. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) MATCHMAKING SHOW "IF YOU ARE THE ONE" PRODUCER, WANG GANG, SAYING: "I think a bit of restriction is a good thing, a bit of regulation is a good thing. But there is still space in the regulated zone. We still have room within the zone to produce a show that not only meets the government requests, but also entertains our audience to the maximum extent." Some media experts, such as University of China's associate professor Jin Yong, believe that the Chinese government's crackdown would have only a limited effect. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDIA STUDIES OF COMMUNICATIONS AT UNIVERSITY OF CHINA, JIN YONG, SAYING: "I think we will only see the effect of the censorship's obvious influence on the media for one or two months. Television stations are clever enough to deal with it and the audience have got used to the habit of watching entertainment shows for a long time. Once they are gone, the audience will call for it again." Last month, another entertainment show, called "Super Girl, the Chinese version of "American Idol," was suspended for a year. The reality singing competition was popular for provocative comments, an interactive voting system, and female contestants' modern outfits. The official reason for suspension was that the show had exceeded air time limits. Toshi Maeda, Reuters.

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Reality shows hit by Chinese censorship

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 02:52