In recent years, Chinese variety shows industry has developed a lot but if you search it online, you will find that nearly all the Chinese variety shows are imported from South Korea.
During my high school period, there are only two shows that I expected to watch every week, but now, it is impossible for me to watch all the Chinese variety shows. So far, the most popular Chinese variety show is running man, which is imported from SBS’s original Running Man show. It was reported that Chinese broadcasting corporation paid 180 million RMB (about 19 million pounds) to SBS.
So, why Chinese broadcasting corporations need to import Korean-mode variety shows?
- First, Chinese culture and Korean culture are very similar.
Chinese Hunan Broadcasting Corporation is one of the first television corporations that buy the copyright from Korean Broadcasting Corporation. In 2013, Chinese version Dad! Where are we going? was on and the popularity is really hard to imagine. The show consists of 5 dads and their sons or daughter and they are required to finish different tasks.
This show become so successful in China because the way a family gets along with other members in the family is pretty similar between China and Korea. Chinese audiences accept this variety show easily.
- Second, Chinese variety show industry is still lack of creation and imagination.
I think compared with Japanese and Korean entertainment industry, Chinese entertainment industry started very late. Johnny & Associates launched first Japanese boy idol group Shonentai in 1985; SM Entertainment launched first Korean boy idol group H.O.T. in 1996; while China just launched first boy idol group TF boys in 2013. (There are many idols groups before them but none of the groups reached the same popularity with TF boys.)
Chinese broadcasting corporations are working hard to improve the show they produce. At the same time, Chinese audiences also need time to adapt to various variety shows modes.
No one is born with talented producing skills and editing skills. When importing the Korean variety shows, Chinese producers and editors are also developing their innovation ability.
Actually, Hunan Broadcasting Corporation has begun their own original program. I can see gaps between Chinese original program and Korean-imported ones, but this is such a development for Chinese entertainment industry.
I believe in the near future, Chinese producers will be able to create awesome original variety shows.