China Bans their “American Idol” Show

Authorities last month had already ordered leading competitor Hunan Satellite to suspend broadcasts of the hugely popular “American Idol” type singing contest “Super Girl,” allegedly for running overtime. Stations were already cutting contest shows in which viewers vote for their favorite contestant, a concept frowned on by party cadres who don’t permit competitive elections or other facets of Western-style democracy.

China’s television watchdog has capped the amount of entertainment programs, including reality TV shows, that satellite channels can broadcast from the start of 2012.Each of the country’s 34 satellite channels will be limited to two such programs each week, said a statement issued Tuesday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television SARFT. Under the new directive, a channel can also broadcast a maximum of 90 minutes of content defined as entertainment every day during prime time – 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.The decision is the latest move to curb TV shows of “excessive entertainment” and “low taste”, said the statement. Within these brackets are some matchmaker programs, talent contests, talk shows and reality shows. Every channel has also been ordered to create a program that promotes traditional virtues and socialist core values.

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