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New censor guidelines of TV serials raises concerns in China

The six guidelines issued by the State Administration of Film, Radio and Television ban remakes of foreign serials.



Beijing: New guidelines by Chinese censors banning the remake of foreign television serials with themes like revolutions and family conflicts have created panic in the industry and raised concerns among viewers that such rules could further make the programmes more insipid and boring.

Chinese TV series fans are worried that they may have nothing interesting to watch on television after the country`s top broadcasting watchdog issued new guidelines that restrict the making of six genres of serials on the Chinese small screen, state-run China Daily reported today.

The six guidelines issued by the State Administration of Film, Radio and Television ban remakes of foreign serials.

The guidelines also demand that revolution-themed TV series clearly distinguish between friend and foe, and that serials in a modern setting cut down excessive displays of family conflicts.

Serials adapted from online novels and games are also "not encouraged".

The new rules could affect some of the translated versions of Indian serials shown on the entertainment channels as most of them are based on family conflicts.

The announcement about the new regulations "caused panic" among scriptwriters, such as Lin Lisheng and his peers, who complained on Sina Weibo - a popular micro-blogging service - that they might lose their jobs, the report said.

An official from the administration confirmed the information to Beijing News, saying the new guidelines became effective recently.

More than 900,000 bloggers discussed the topic on weibo.

"I am shocked by the guidelines. So will we still have interesting TV serials to watch in the future?" said Xu Kai, a loyal fan of historical dramas.

The guidelines demand that historical dramas cull out fabrication and dramatisation.

But in Xu`s opinion, as long as a historical drama, which is different from a documentary, gets the basic facts right, dramatised details are necessary because otherwise the show will be "boring to watch".

The so-called clear distinction between friend and foe, she added, will also make shows uninteresting because it will stereotype all the characters.

Xu`s views are supported by culture critic Tan Fei.

Tan said that the guidelines will prevent scriptwriters from fully applying their talent and creativity and pose a major challenge to the TV industry`s "core values".

He predicted the guidelines will have a "huge impact" on the whole industry as its favourite subjects and major sources of inspiration will be wiped out.

PTI

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