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Green light on Journey to the West reality show
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A TV talent show will start on the Zhejiang Television in December, aimed at choosing leading actors and actresses in a newly TV series adapted from the famous classic Chinese novel Journey to the West.

The talent selection will last no longer than two and half a months. It will move into the final stage next February, finally ending in May.

Legal Evening News reported on Monday the reality show has been issued a permit by the national authority, the State Administration of Radio Film, and Television (SARFT).

Zhejiang Television, who is to broadcast the program, has pledged that it will strictly abide by regulations issued by SARFT on October 1.

Du Fang, vice-director of Zhejiang TV's Program Department revealed that the entire national selection process will not be broadcast, only necessary video clips edited into the news. The program will be confined to 10 editions and with each shorter than 90 minutes. What more, the show will not be broadcast at prime time.

The top contestants in the selection show will snatch the coveted roles in the new TV series called Journey to the West. Those roles are the monk Xuanzang, who is determined to travel west in search of Buddhist sutras, and his three disciples, the capable Monkey, greedy Pig, Friar Sand and some smaller demons.

Organizers of the show have expressed that they will keep their promise to the champions selected in the show and give them a role in the new TV series. However, it is still not decided what role they will assume and how big a part they will have.

Before this, Beijing TV broadcast a similar reality TV show about another classic Chinese novel, A Dream of Red Mansions. Unfortunately it turned out that some winners were not guaranteed a role in the final production.

Reality TV shows like "Super Girl" and "Happy Boy" have become quite popular in China of late causing a viewing frenzy.
( November 13, 2007)

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