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A top official from China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) has denied previous news reports which stated that the country's top broadcasting watchdog will issue new guidelines restricting the making of six genres of serials to be shown on Chinese television.
Speaking on August 10, the official from SARFT dismissed the news reports which had been released the previous week, describing them as false.
"How could this be possible?" said Wang Weiping, SARFT's vice bureau chief in charge of TV drama, speaking at the Huace Film and TV Creation Seminar hosted by Zhejiang Huace Film & TV Company. "The Chinese TV production industry has gained rich experience and is maturing all the time. It is inconceivable that the head office would come out with a ban like this."
He said the seminar was a true reflection of the maturity of China's TV industry.
"This untrue news has certainly provoked discussion on micro blogs, though most of the TV producers [at the seminar] didn't join the discussion, indicating that our TV production companies are rational. They understand fully our basic regulations, policies and guidelines."
Wang explained that SARFT's guiding principle as far as China's TV series industry is concerned is to monitor the number of series in production and improve the overall quality of TV series.
The seminar was also attended by the famous Chinese actor Zhang Guoli, screenwriter Zou Jingzhi, Liu Heng, and directors Zheng Xiaolong and You Xiaogang. They denounced the "chronic illnesses" endemic in Chinese TV series, and cited limited subject matter and low quality productions as the most pressing problems.
"There are no settled criteria in terms of choosing subjects," said Zheng Xiaolong, who directed Zhen Huan Zhuan (Empresses in the Palace). "As long as the producer brings to the fore the rich emotion implicated in the theme, he or she can make a great TV series."
The now dismissed news report cited six new regulations. Among them, adaptations of web novels and web games would apparently no longer be allowed television airtime. In addition, remakes of foreign TV shows would be prohibited; revolution-themed TV series must clearly distinguish between friend and foe, business dramas should be scrupulous about the kinds of values they promote, historical costume dramas must not distort historical fact for comedic purposes and, where modern serials are concerned, family conflicts should not be exaggerated. .
The original news report was first released on a micro blog published by the China script website Zhongguo Juben Wang. According to the site, news of the regulations first became public knowledge at a conference on national TV serials. Then an anonymous official from the administration confirmed the veracity of the new regulations to the Beijing News on August 2, saying that the new guidelines went into effect as recently as several days ago.
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