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China TV cuts down on celebrity heat

B'caster asks producers to be self-critical, look out for lowbrow content

While Western media continues to be obsessed with all things celeb, China is heading in the opposite direction.

China Central TV says it wants to cut down on TV shows about celebrity lives and gossip.

The state broadcaster — which just breathed a sigh of relief that the popularity of “Super Girls,” the talent show that was a ratings winner on private TV last year, is now on the wane — has even begun holding internal seminars teaching producers to be self-critical and on the lookout for lowbrow content.

But CCTV should perhaps brace for a ratings drop.

The Chinese like to gossip as much as anyone else, and more people may be driven to the Internet to get their fill of showbiz tidbits. The Web is censored in China, but not state-run, and it is increasingly portable as millions of Chinese get broadband on their mobile phones.

Apparently the CCTV seminars encourage program-makers to “improve investigative reporting and cultural review programs in order to boost green audience ratings.”

Investigative reporting on state TV would certainly be new.

One can only wonder what fate awaits the paparazzo who dares to buck the government mandate.