Although Chinese audience might have become tired of the stereotyped talent shows that have been flooding the TV scene in recent years, a new one produced by Zhejiang Satellite TV station will soon debut in 2008, a show to cast the TV remake of Journey to the West, this time directed by Zhang Jizhong.
An official with the station told Metro Express newspaper on Friday that the show has just been approved by the national authorities to be aired after the Spring Festival on late nights. It will be the first of its kind to appear on the small screen in 2008.
In the first round of competition, which will be held in ten cities across the country, anyone interested can apply for any role he likes. But the runoff will focus on the selection of the four main characters: Tang Dynasty (618-907) Buddhist monk Xuanzang, a real historical person, and his three legendary disciples, the Monkey King, the Pig and Friar Sand.
Director Zhang Jizhong will be the chief judge for the competition.
Journey to the West, or Monkey King, is a classical Chinese novel written by Wu Cheng'en during the Ming Dynasty in the 16th Century. The novel tells of the adventure of Xuanzang and his disciples as they traveled west in search of Buddhist texts.
The story was adapted into TV series in 1983 by China's largest national TV network, China Central Television. The drama became an immediate smash hit and has been broadcasted every year in the past quarter of a century.
(CRI.cn, November 10, 2007)