China's popular TV talent show axed by broadcast watchdog

Changsa (China): China’s state broadcast watchdog has called off a popular TV talent show, the equivalent of “American Idol,” after it broke the cap on broadcasting time imposed by authorities to discourage young viewers from spending too much time following it.

Hunan Satellite Television will not hold TV talent shows with mass participation in 2012 in accordance with the order from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the channel’s spokesman Li Hao said after the “Super Girl” 2011 contest ended late Friday, reported Xinhua.

Li said the channel was accused of violating a broadcasting time limit for “Super Girl.”

In 2007, the SARFT banned talent shows during prime time (7.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.) on local satellite TV channels and restricted the broadcast time to 120 minutes per day after talent shows mushroomed in the wake of immense success of the “Super Girl” shows, which began in 2004.

“Hunan Satellite Television obeys the state watchdog’s decision and will not hold similar talent shows next year,” Li said. “Instead, the channel will air programs that promote moral ethics, public safety, and provide practical information for housework.”

“Super Girl” hit its peak in 2004-2005. More than 400 million viewers were glued to the TV for the finale of its four-month run. The year’s winning contestants, including the tomboy like winner Li Yuchun, gained nationwide celebrity status.

The show also initiated a platform for public participation by inviting mobile phone users to vote for their favorite contestant via text message, but that was banned by the SARFT in 2007.

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