Regulators Unveil (NEW) Rules for TV Shows

Regulators unveil rules for TV shows, aiming to lift industry

China’s media regulator moved to increase its oversight on TV shows, placing limits on the number of episodes per drama and calling for quality improvements, which could drive significant shifts in the industry.

Details: The National Radio and Television Administration set hard limits for length and more rules for how producers spend budgets. The notice publicized Thursday is critical of producers that “rush to shoot without sufficient preparation” and turn out low-quality shows.

  • To promote a “serious and rigorous creative style,” regulators set a limit of 40 episodes for show length, though producers are encouraged to keep within 30 episodes.
  • Producers must submit costs for review, in which actors’ salaries must not exceed 40% of total production cost, and the lead actor’s pay cannot total more than 70% of actors’ salaries.
  • The notice comes into effect from Feb. 6.

IMO: I hope production houses will still churn out long series with well-developed plots, perhaps in several seasons to circumvent these new rules, rather than making every story short and sweet, with neither richness of flavor nor bite.


You call 40 episodes “short and sweet”? LOL!

Yes. 30 - 40 episodes are. I think about 50 would be better. So many novels were and are written with many volumes. Such shortened episode count would be disastrous in adaptations. There would be little to nil depth.

PS: I am referring mostly to periods, fantasy and historicals. Modern/city dramas are fine at that range.


I would definitely watch way more Chinese dramas if they shorten the episodes (even their movies always last almost 2 hours). I think somehow it could be worked out. I always felt that some scenes in some real life story dramas I’ve seen (1930’s/1950’s) had no purpose in the story I was watching I felt and I call that, a useless ‘‘filler.’’ I could never connect the scene with the rest of the story, so I would be like; ok…what’s going on here? I repeated the scene, and it still didn’t connect with the story I was watching (this happened with several chinese dramas).

I am looking forward to this really happening, and hopefully soon.

You are always the bearer of good news for me. Thanks!

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The Chinese dramas are often like novels because of the length. It is impossible to develop a story and its characters within a few episodes like e.g. Western or Korean dramas do. It is like fast food and often super annoying to wait ages if/if not there might be a second season … I have this issue with all the US and European seasons I like and it is quite frustrating, having an interesting plot and when it gets more complexe it’s over, usually after 10 episodes… and 1-2 years later you get a second season with luck.

So for me the detailed and deep storytelling of Chinese dramas was definitely a reason to watch more Chinese dramas in general.

(I think they can only keep the quality when they focus on only 1-2 characters with so many episodes instead of showing different perspectives how they often do e.g. within fantasy and historical and war scenes or intrigues or also PoV of both, male and female characters etc.)


Not really. Most are about 90 - 100 minutes.

This is true with almost all dramas. I don’t think shortening will make it go away. I fear it will only dilute the content. But, we will see. For your sake, I hope it (the shortening outcome) will turn out well. :slight_smile:

Exactly :raised_hands: Anything bland and shallow, or rushed and ridiculous, would just be unsatisfying.


You are right the Chinese movies I watched are 1 hour 40 minutes or less. I thought Hong Kong movies were considered Chinese,too. To be honest I watch a lot of movies from Hong Kong because I like them a lot. Most of the main guys are so cute too lol

So far I’ve seen this and many more.
A Beautiful Life 2011 2hrs ///2 minutes
Chasing the Dragons 2017 ///2 hrs. 8 minutes
God of War/// 2hrs
The Great Magician/// 2hrs

All of Jet Li and Jackie Chan movies. Love’em!

I’m curious bc I also call Taiwanese dramas/movies Chinese too. Am I wrong to think that?

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Am I wrong to think that?

If you ask a native Taiwanese they’d probably say yes because they wanna be independent from China and they don’t consider themselves as part of China.

It’s a bit as if you’d throw Germany/Switzerland and Austria in the same pot just because they are all German speakers (more or less, the dialects are different too but the written form is the same, but for Taiwan, HK and China you have different dialects/signs. HK is Cantonese, China and Taiwan is Mandarin with Taiwanese dialect and Taiwan uses traditional signs while China uses simplified signs (that is like American and British English :wink: just even harder because some signs look too different to just know its meaning if one only learnt the simplified versions. The tone marks are also different between HK/Cantonese and China/Mandarin).


:rabbit2: 2023 new regulations on Chinese dramas.


Thanks for the info. I didn’t even know they speak German in Switzerland. or Austria since they sound different when I ‘‘hear’’ them talk.

Now, I have confirmation that I must not ever, ever, think Taiwanese want any association with China. It’s better to do some research and clear any doubts we may have.


Not only German, in the German parts /states they also speak different local dialects “Swiss German”. But the country itself also speaks French (or Swiss French) in several states (cantons), in the south it’s Italian and the small minority south west is Romansh (vulgar (ancient) latin)


S2 of Lost You Forever, might be affected!

:wink::+1:t5: Let’s get a head start! Put in your request for S2! Here’s the form.

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Some say it won’t be affected because filming was wrapped up before such new rules were in force. There’s a rumored release date of winter in early 2024. Only time will tell. I sure hope S2 will “appear” before us sooner rather than later, or as a surprise, in a flash release! :pray:


Hopefully the FL felt well again, and it did wrap prior, and will release even earlier. Maybe in a six month window, fingers crossed. :grinning::wink:


:pray:t5: Please tell me it’s still possible! :cry: Even with the foreboding of each character’s choices, I still want it all. I’m keeping my :crossed_fingers:t5: fingers crossed! :wink::+1:t5:


I wish they did not edit from 35 to 21 eps though :frowning: