According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Chinese government has issued a new set of rules for regulating reality television. China’s version the FCC, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, or SAPPRFT, has issued rulings regulating both the content and volume of programming that make both reality shows and the FCC into sympathetic characters.
The first rule limits each satellite broadcaster to one reality series per year. That’s broadcaster, not network, and could be analogous to limiting DirecTV to a single reality program across its entire channel lineup. The rule also clarifies that program content must be “close to the masses, with no exaggeration, and no mixing the spurious with the genuine,” suggesting that somebody in SAPPRFT has seen Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Another regulation limits a series to a single season per year, and the third confines episode rebroadcasts to two per day. This is in contrast to our self-regulated stateside programming, which gives a pass to pretty much anything short of outed child molesters.
No U.S. reality shows are currently airing in China, so that’s 1.5 billion people who missed out on being horrified by 19 Kids And Counting. The two most popular reality shows in China are currently spinoffs of Korean shows, including Running Man and Dad, Where Are We Going? Sadly, nobody is turning Subzero into plain zero on Running Man; instead the Chinese version, renamed Hurry Up, Brother!, is a standard competition game show. And Dad, Where Are We Going? is not a spin-off of Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet?, but celebrity fathers taking their kids camping. (This show actually sounds kind of interesting, depending upon how petulant the children are and how inhospitable the environment is.) Another popular reality program, the dating show We Are in Love, was recently yanked off of the air, with rumors suggesting that it needed “more normal people falling in love.” No word if Amy Schumer will be consulted to help rein in unreasonable contestants.
SAPPRFT’s reality programming rules take effect this July.