China Has Too Many Singing Contests

I don’t know about you, but when I think China, I think musical competition reality TV. If that’s not how you see China, apparently you haven’t been watching Chinese TV lately. In the eyes of China’s media regulators, the television airwaves in their country are saturated with singing contests and have taken measures to resolve what they feel is “uniformity.”

China’s State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television released a statement that satellite broadcasters won’t be producing any new televised singing competitions. In addition, any similar show that has already been completed, but yet to air, will postpone their runs to avoid conflict with shows that are already broadcasting. Of those shows currently duking it out are The Voice of China, Chinese Idol, and China’s own version of The X Factor. Of the singing competition shows in the works, seven were lucky enough to continue their run, while two were forced to postpone. Three more shows were met with termination out of the gate, including one show called China’s Red Songs Contest.

It’s unclear at this point whether or not this new policy, which has been referred to as the “Song Restriction Order,” will have any effect on Michael Bay’s attempt to use Chinese reality TV to cast the next Transformers movie. In case you haven’t been following, Bay seeks fresh Chinese talent to cast Transformers 4 through a reality competition show called Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Talent Search (subtle, I know). Since the fourth film will take place in China, and is Chinese co-produced, the show will seek authentic Chinese actors, both professional and newcomers, to join its cast. Assuming Chinese media regulators don’t get in the way, good luck to those brave young actors vying for a shot to work with CG fighting robots.