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China Daily Website

China has long way to go in producing original TV show

Updated: 2013-11-05 17:03
( chinadaily.com.cn)

In fact, importing the program format is similar to introducing McDonald's to the world, which means only through a high degree of standardization can their localization become possible.

For meeting the requirements of a modeled program, Chinese production teams have to make every effort to fill in gaps in every single element of programming, including light, stage design, dance, sound effects, filming, equipment, shooting teams, post-production editing.

However, high levels of program quality and guaranteed television ratings do not allay some insiders' concerns about the future of the TV show industry.

Where Are We Going? Dad is a prominent example of using an overseas format that was highly appraised by the audience, but many insiders said that overly depending on imports may make Chinese TV shows lacking in the motivation and capability for innovation.

Innovation is not realistic for the wide chase after ratings in present-day society, said Yi Hua, a producer of Shenzhen Satellite TV. Due to a blundering atmosphere, the TV producer and the audience even have no tolerance for giving a block of time to a TV program.

The illusion that once you have a reliable overseas copyright, you can achieve strong ratings blindside many TV producers and publishers in China. For them, snagging a reliable overseas copyright is the key to surviving a new round of reshuffling in the TV industry. Once their bets win, their advertisements and sales would be improved as well, the People's Daily reported.

"A well-made TV program cannot be completed in one day. Instead, it requires abundant time and cost to cultivate innovative talent and accumulate abundant experience," added Liu Jingting, a lecturer at China Academy of Art.

Overseas program formats are the triumphs of steady accumulations over many years, which is not an inexhaustible source. "If overseas formats run out of steam, what would we do?" asked Lu Wei.

Zhejiang Satellite TV launched a home-grown entertainment program I Am Not Star on Aug 26, which invited Chinese celebrities' young children to join. It was not very popular although the show was leading ratings several times among the television series broadcast in the same time-slot.

The show's verified account on Sina Weibo micro blog has just garnered more than 556,428 followers, which is less than half of the almost 1.5 million followers of Where Are We Going? Dad.

Wang Leiqing predicted that after the period of purchasing overseas program copyrights, China TV shows will step into a new stage with Chinese TV producers cooperating with overseas agencies to create a TV format together.

"For Chinese TV shows, it is premature to consider completely depending on original programming. Next, we probably will continue to cooperate with overseas production teams in different ways," said Wang.

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