China Rumored to Ban Certain Genres of Popular Dramas from Network Airing

Brain. Hurt. I’m glad that C-dramas mostly drive me batty or ragey and I quickly pull the plug on ones that looked promising but still ended up being a turd. Another reason to eschew C-dramas is the continued regulatory strong arming done by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) in setting down increasingly restrictive broadcasting rules. Earlier they mandated new commercial limits, and then followed that up with a prohibition on airing any non-Chinese produced dramas during prime time. Now the rumor has heated up that SARFT is about to go nuclear on production companies and is issuing a ban on the airing of certain types of dramas on network television.

The purported ban will be on palace intrigue dramas, bickering family dramas, drama adapted from video games, dramas adapted from online novels, and remakes of dramas. Seriously WTF? That’s like the majority of C-dramas being produced. I do not compute. Apparently the currently airing Xuan Yuan Sword is pissing off SARFT and if this regulation goes into effect, XYZ may be pulled mid-airing. If this passes, it will affect quite a few dramas I’m waiting to check out, such as the Best Time and Da Mo Yao, which are adaptations of Tong Hua novels, and Happiness of an Angel, the remake of the K-drama Thank You.

Right now SARFT apparently has met with the heads of the broadcast networks and studios to discuss this regulation. I’m not sure any sane human being would support it. I might find most of those C-dramas terrible, but I hate censorship more. The regulation doesn’t mean those dramas can’t get made, it just can’t air on network television. Which pretty much ensures it won’t get made, since the production companies can’t recoup the cost if it doesn’t air on network television for the commercial time slots.

I admit XYZ drove me absolutely bonkers (when Liu Shi Shi showed up with her historical version of the IPad and then started Googling on how to defeat a monster, I wanted to smash my television from the rage it brought forth in me), but I’m all in favor of studios continuing to make crap because if some viewers want to watch it, that’s fine by me. In conclusion, this is merely the C-media thrumming with speculation on what SARFT may be intending to do, but I can’t imagine this actually being promulgated since it’ll effective kill off C-drama production as it current exists.

[Credit: Sina news]


China Rumored to Ban Certain Genres of Popular Dramas from Network Airing — 23 Comments

  1. This is so sad and having just returned from China I can vouch to the very limited good tv programming. Only in Beijing was there a korean station available (think it was MBC or KBS), but only old family situation dramas were being televised. CNN is the only american station televised.

    I was surprised taiwanese pop was played on the equivalent of MTV, ’cause there was quite a difference between c-pop and t-pop groups. Oh well, it’s still an issue to be discussed and I hope ears and hearts are open in the discussion and that the matter is not imposed. What’s next, no kissing on tv?

    • Since most Chinese people prefer to watch Chinese programs on TV and American programs on line, it’s hardly surprising that there aren’t many Korean channels available. Hallyu has not and will never (IMO) penetrate China to the extent that it has Japan and Taiwan.

      • I disagree.
        I find that a lot of cpop bands are extremely kpop influenced head days (MIC is a good instance). Suju, for example, is extremely popular in China. I credit Suju for more than half of Hangeng’s popularity right now.
        In addition, there’s a reason so many Korean actors are branching into the Chinese market and so many dramas claimed to be remake of Korean ones.

  2. “I hate censorship more than crappy dramas”. My thoughts exactly.
    I don’t know what’s the goal but it’s just plain stupid. Do they want to kill the business? Oh, well, … Viewers will buy comps and watch foreign dramas online. Welcome to the club people!:)

    • Doesn’t China have a strict firewall? They might be controlling online access too. In which case, I pity our drama-addicted Chinese counterparts. 🙁

      Hey, maybe the remaining producers can make this work and start a new genre of dramas. Sometimes you don’t need to base on a manga or an adaptation, an original story and great cast can also work.

      • actually i think China has a better system for foreign drama watching, they have streaming sites that buy licenses of foreign dramas (like even american shows) and those are aired with chinese subs. my friends from china were lamenting to me that they can’t watch any american shows where they live because youtube removes most of these videos due to copyright and they can’t watch from these china sites as the license only applies to those in mainland china.

  3. Read about it a few days ago and rolled my eyes so hard they nearly fell out.

    Luckily, Chu Han Contention and Patriot Yue Fei are unlikely to fail even under those insane guidelines, but I think this will hit Da Mo Yao (I guess it depends whether it counts as proper novel or Internet one) an I have no idea about King of Lan Ling (would it count as a palace intrigue drama?)

    And Yu Zheng is pretty much out of business with this.

    I happen to love my period cdramas, so I hope these crazy restrictions aren’t true, but with SARFT, it’s safest to assume the worst.

  4. Is this to help take them in the direction of good, quality dramas and movies or is there another reason for this wave of restriction?

    Anyway, I love historical/fantasy C-movies and have been watching since- forever. BBJX was WONDERFUL and my first C-drama. A little escapism is good and distracting from a tired mind imo, but if ppl are getting confused, well…that’s not good.

    Sometimes I picture some viewers as no longer coming out to see the sunlight and are holed up in a basement somewhere subsisting on fantastical dramas and not really living or being able to function in society.

  5. Xuan Yuan really hurts my brain. It’s a pain to watch even though I love the whole cast. They lost me at the part about dreams where they had to enter dreams in order to escape their dreams.

  6. No need to be so dismissive about Cdramas – I’ve been enjoying the period fare a lot more than the crap coming out of Korea these days. I strongly doubt that SARFT will go ahead with these restrictions.

  7. Did they finally life the ban on time travel/futuristic dramas?

    I’ll agree though a number of the dramas currently airing are rubbish but really restricting things to the nth degree pretty much leads to people just turning off their television and finding some other avenue for entertainment (well I’m okay with that given the mess that is American broadcast television – but I’m probably in the minority here).

  8. this is total bullcrap!! where is the creativity? with all this censor and regulations is making c-drama boring! i understand pornography should be ban but time-traveling, family-problem dramas, online story to movie, and etc… the chinese government taking too much control… i been reading lots of stuff about the government wanting to control and have power in everything, “being conservative”, “what is right”, “what you are allow to watch”, targeting people who speak against them such as Ai Weiwei ahhum. they need to back off c-drama. let me know if there is a protest!

  9. What amazes me is that the C govt is successful controlling such a huge number of people. I don’t mean their hearts and minds, because you can’t command someone to dislike something, or not think something is pretty. What I mean is how they systematically block the internet, or domestic tv stations over such a huge geographic area.

    My impression is that the dam’s gonna blow eventually, and the floodgates of their idealism will not hold. People generally are smarter than their leadership believes them to be and will outmaneuver the blocks and bans. It’s just a question of time.

    The artistry coming out of the vast vast country has been proven over time. Can you imagine what would come from China if they allowed citizens free thought and movement? It’s kinda mindboggling.

  10. JUST DONT BANNED FEMALE MINISTER… its based on true historical figures with different twists, so I am sure its going to be criticize by the SARFT

  11. I don’t think that they can seriously do that to that kind of extent. Because money is a huge factor and the Chinese govt likes money and wants money. They probably will do some kind of ban but I doubt it will be all that huge.

    I agree that the censorship board is all sorts of crazy. they just like the power. seriously.

  12. Some higher official from The State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) is probably so pissed off because someone from heads of the broadcast networks and studios said something the higher official did not want to hear.

    The communist government can do whatever they want in China and to it people. You cannot stop the communist government censorship from happening its gonna pass the restrictive broadcasting rules they wish to impose.

    Do any of you remember Tiananmen Square protests of 1989?
    The Chinese protestors where fighting for freedom the the communist government squashed it by killing the protestors.

    The anniversary was June 4, 2012. Following 4 June 1989, the government conducted widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, expelled foreign journalists and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press.

  13. actually some of those ‘crap’ drama made me actually google more about chinese history that I would never really care about.

  14. I think it is so bs to censor/limit the genre c-drama!! I love time travel dramas its the best!! However, it is now censored :c Why do they have to ruin our lives like that!!!? Seriously, do they only want us to watch those freakin patriot war dramas ;c

  15. i don’t care what they do but pls give me my da mo yao drama adaptation before the law is implemented! i don’t care how crappy the drama adaptation may be or may not be, but it’s my favourite Tong Hua’s novel and I just want to see it come alive with moving visuals, breathtaking cinematography (*cross fingers) and a soundtrack to accompany it. THAT’S ALL.

  16. Time travel drama is my one and only favourie category. I couldn’t care less for the rest. However, they censored my favourite category already. What do I care if the rest are gone too? Just banned human imagination and creativity too next? Or maybe the way I eat should be more like them? Next time I know, I need to wake up at certain time and said “Pray to censorship” many times a day as a ritual, otherwise, I’ll be punished severely. Thank you.

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