24 March 2019
The TV dramas aim to promote President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream". Photo: Xinhua
The TV dramas aim to promote President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream". Photo: Xinhua

Censors release list of 127 must-see TV dramas for summer

With the long, hot summer just around the corner, China’s censors have come up with a list of 127 television dramas to be aired nationwide from July to October.

The recommendations are part of government efforts to promote the “Chinese Dream”, a slogan coined by President Xi Jinping to encapsulate the nation’s vision of a better future. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), which prepared the list, requires TV stations to purchase and broadcast some of the shows on the list during the four months, reported Thursday. 

In these shows, positive values are highlighted, there’s a clear line separating right from wrong, and government officials, cadres and soldiers are never portrayed as the bad guys, except for some in supporting roles, according to sources who have seen the list.

Predictably, the list includes dramas paying tribute to the sacrifices and heroism of the Chinese soldiers, historical narratives, and biographies of Communist Party pioneers such as Deng Xiaoping. There are also soap operas centering on family and personal relationships, but the storyline is always imbued with positive values, the sources said.

What’s out are those focusing on idolized stars and family conflicts, although such shows are always popular among Chinese audiences.

Many TV producers have lobbied hard to have their shows included in the list as they would have less options come next year, when a new policy allowing only for one TV drama to be broadcast on two satellite channels during primetime, will take effect, a business insider was quoted as saying.

This means they would incur losses if their shows are not squeezed into the TV stations’ programming before January 2015, the report said.

SAPPRFT spokesmen were not available to comment.

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