China has long way to go in producing original TV show

Updated: 2013-11-05 17:03


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China has long way to go in producing original TV show

The screen grab of the verified account page of Hunan Satellite TV's popular reality show Where Are We Going? Dad on Sina Weibo micro blog. The show has garnered more than 1.5 million followers on the micro blog. [Photo/]

Chinese television industry's "fever" for overseas TV shows light up the screen, but it is also provoking worries on whether this action will reduce the television industry's motivation and capability for innovation, the People's Daily reported.

China's reality TV program Where Are We Going? Dad, featuring five pairs of star dads and children, gained nationwide popularity with ratings triumphs although just four episodes were aired. The show was based on South Korea's hit reality show Dad! Where Are We Going?

When the Korean-style TV show debuted in China, it quickly led the ratings. A good model normally is universal, which can be localized around the world and be embraced by a global audience.

Take for example the Dutch hit reality television competition The Voice of Holland. Franchise rights of the show were sold to almost 40 countries, including the US (The Voice), Germany (The Voice of Germany), the UK (The Voice UK) and China (The Voice China). Different versions of The Voice of Holland are becoming popular in their countries with high ratings.

Time-tested experiences combined with the fierce competition for program ratings is driving many Chinese producers and publishers to bravely import overseas program formats.

"Chinese Television experiences a process that from copying overseas programs or piecing an overseas format together to purchasing franchise rights of overseas shows, which may represent that China's television has stepped into a new stage," the People's Daily quoted Wang Leiqing as saying. Wang Leiqing is the director of Chinese Idol, a singing competition program based on the British television series, Pop Idol.

To some extent, directly importing a program format means taking a shortcut. "By importing TV program formats, what we achieve in several years may once mean more than ten years of efforts in other countries," Lu Wei, publicity director of the Voice of China said.

Also, the baseline of Chinese shows are improved by purchasing the copyrights from overseas because this means the production process can be broken down with predictable rules.

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