China's television authorities have denied that it will ban the
prime-time broadcast of TV drama series that depict extramarital
The Chinese newspaper, Mirror, reported last week that
family dramas showing people getting involved in extramarital
affairs would be kicked off prime-time TV because of fears that
such shows would negatively affect the Chinese youth and their
views of adult relationships.
"We have not heard of such a thing," a staff member at the
public relations office for the State Administration of Film, Radio
and Television (SARFT), said in a phone interview on Monday.
According to the newspaper report, SARFT will limit family
dramas and place controls on their content. A number of television
series contain plots in which a third party breaks up a marriage,
including the popular drama A Chinese Style Divorce. The
report suggests that SARFT's rationale for the move was that such
storylines are incompatible with the environment needed to
construct a harmonious society.
The newspaper also said SARFT will put limits on costume dramas
that are spoofs of historic events or fictional comedies, such as
the popular sitcom My Own Swordsman.
Wang Weiping, deputy director of the television drama department
of SARFT reported earlier that the administration plans to promote
more mainstream television dramas and limit fictional costume
But he did not specify what the limits on costume dramas might
China produced 12,447 episodes of television dramas, and 42
percent were historical costume dramas.
In June, the number of costume series that SARFT approved to
begin production had dropped to 4.5 percent of all series approved
by the administration.
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2006)