×

China morality cops cancel shows

'Idol'-style reality show 'Super Girl' yanked

China’s broadcasting watchdog, the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV, has banned two popular reality and talent skeins for poor moral standards.

SARFT cancelled “Super Girl,” the hugely popular equivalent of “American Idol,” after it broke a cap on broadcasting time imposed by authorities to discourage young viewers from spending too much time watching it.

The broadcaster, Hunan Satellite Television, will not be allowed to screen “TV talent shows with mass participation” next year, the channel’s spokesman Li Hao told local media.

“Instead, the channel will air programs that promote moral ethics, public safety and provide practical information for housework,” Li said.

Super Girl” peaked in the 2004-05 season, when more than 400 million people watched the finale and the winner, Li Yuchun, became a national celebrity.

SARFT has also banned the movie channel of Shijiazhuang TV in north China’s Hebei province after its “Emotional Codes” talkshow “misrepresented events, magnified family conflict and depicted disrespect toward an elderly parent” in the pursuit of ratings.

The TV show “magnified distorted ethics and moral values” and “caused extremely negative social effects.”

Producers said the offending scene, showing a son treating his father disrespectfully and threatening to take him to court over money, had been scripted. But SARFT didn’t see this as an adequate defense.

China’s TV companies are tightly state-controlled and must adhere to tough rules on morality as well as strict political guidelines.

More TV

  • Baldvin-Z

    Iceland’s Baldvin Z Crime Series “Black Sands” Added to All3Media Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  All3Media is to handle international rights on Icelandic crime series “Black Sands” which, currently in development, is to be pitched at the Göteborg Festival’s TV Drama Vision confab on Thursday. “Black Sands” marks the first crime thriller to be created by Icelandic helmer Baldvin Z (“Trapped”) since the hit series “Case.” Commissioned by [...]

  • Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the

    Ad Time in Fox's Super Bowl Was Sold Out. Until it Wasn't

    Fox declared in November that it had sold all the advertising time available in its looming February 2 broadcast of Super Bowl LIV. But just this week, it found a little more. After holding nearly two months’ worth of discussions, Fox and the National Football League have devised a way to add commercial inventory to [...]

  • NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe'

    NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe' From 'House' Alums

    NBC has given out its fifth drama pilot order for the 2020-2021 season. The broadcaster has commissioned “Ordinary Joe.” It explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Dazzler, Tigra, Hit-Monkey, and M.O.D.O.K.

    'Howard the Duck,' 'Tigra & Dazzler' Animated Marvel Shows Not Moving Forward at Hulu

    Marvel Television’s remaining slate continues to dwindle. Variety has confirmed that the animated shows “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” — two of four animated Marvel projects set up at Hulu — are no longer in the works at the streamer. The other two shows, “M.O.D.O.K” and “Hit Monkey,” are currently still on track [...]

  • Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi movie

    After 'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Delay, Is the Force Still Strong With Disney Plus?

    The issues on Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series are either a minor stumble or a portent of trouble ahead, depending on who you ask. It was reported on Thursday that series writer Hossein Amini was no longer attached to the project as Disney wished to overhaul the scripts. The move led to pre-production in London [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content