Opening Panel Round

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Our panelists answer questions about the week's news: Must-see Chinese TV.

PETER SAGAL, host: We want to remind everyone they can join us most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium. You can also see us December 8th in Lexington, Kentucky. For tickets and more information, go to, and you can find a link at our website:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Tom, the Chinese government announced this week it's going to start limiting public access to television shows that are what? You can only watch the television shows from now on in China that are what?

TOM BODETT: Oh, I think they're doing this in our country too. It's shows that are entertaining.

SAGAL: Yes, no more entertaining shows on Chinese TV.


SAGAL: Across America, people are marching in the streets because their homes are being foreclosed on. In China, the big problem, TV is too entertaining.


SAGAL: TV stations there must phase out fun shows completely by next year, leaving only the boring ones. The idea is people will choose to spend their time then contributing to culture rather than watch something called "Dancing with Actuaries."


SAGAL: After the anti-entertainment reforms are in place, Chinese viewers will only be able to see education programs, government propaganda and PBS.


BODETT: You know, I saw this article and it said that they're only allowed 90 minutes of entertainment programming in a week. So, like, what are they watching?

SAGAL: Well, they have like these Chinese versions of American shows. Like, their version of "Seinfeld" is about this quiet guy with some very contented friends and a perfectly normal neighbor, who always knocks before entering.



SAGAL: Their version of "Two and a Half Men" is about the aftermath of a terrible accident at an iPhone factory. It's very tragic.


BODETT: And their show "Big Brother" is really just a civics lesson.

SAGAL: Right.



Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.