China watchdog suspends production of Hunan Satellite TV’s “Super Girl”

19 September 2011 16 h 45 min 70 comments

On Saturday 17 September, Li Hao, deputy director of Hunan Satellite TV, announced that China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has suspended production of Hunan Satellite TV’s popular “Super Girl” talent show for one year.

The successfull TV show was sacked  for running overtime and Li said that Hunan Satellite TV had recently made changes in order to comply with SARFT’s requirement that episodes run no longer than 90 minutes.

Hunan Satellite TV didnt say what sort of program will fill the “Super Girl” time slot next year but the regional broadcaster plans to release a new lineup of shows, covering topics ranging “from housekeeping to ethics to public safety”.

The Chinese tv watchdog’s decision will make a big hurt to Hunan TV business as “Super Girl” was the nation’s smash-hit answer to “American Idol” and reached the same audience peak. With such realityshow, Hunan Tv and other China’s provincial-level broadcasters have in recent years attracted a huge audience nationwide and start to put strong pressure on the government China Central Television (CCTV).

In order to protect its nationalwide TV network and with other ”ethic and moral” principles, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, China’s media watchdog, issued rules in 2007 banning talent shows during prime-time, evening slots on local satellite TV channels. More recently, it also restricted the broadcasting time of these shows to just two hours a day due to official concerns that young viewers were spending too much time watching the hugely popular programmes.

“Hunan Satellite Television obeys the state watchdog’s decision and will not hold similar talent shows next year,” said to AFP Li Hao, spokesman for Hunan Satellite TV.

“I believe the reason that forced the administration to ‘regulate’ this program is that some television hosts in the program made inappropriate comments and some did not dress properly,” Jin Yong of China Communication University, told China daily.

Super Boy, another singing contest, was ordered in 2007 to show only “healthy and ethically inspiring songs”, avoid “gossip” and not show “bad taste” scenes of screaming fans or tearful losing contestants, the China Daily said.

In a statement on its website, the regulator also announced it had suspended a television station in northern China for showing programs which showed “disrespect toward an elderly parent and magnified family conflict”.  

SOURCES: Sina Tech, Xinhua, China daily, Reuters (19/9/11)

IN THE PRESS:

. Lights out for TV program Super Girl (China Daily, 19/9/11)
. China takes popular TV talent show Super Girl off air (BBC)
. Chinese ‘X Factor’ is banned from TV after viewer voting started to look a little bit like democracy (Daily Mail)
. “China suspends popular talent show for exceeding time limits” (Reuters, 19/09/11)

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