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China's CCTV to broadcast Desperate Housewives?

Desperate Housewives: aren't there enough in China already?

The following is from a report that state-owned news agency Xinhua reproduced from
US network ABC is now negotiating with CCTV to show the first season of Desperate Housewives.

The dark comedy, which has just been nominated for 15 Emmys awards, is about four suburban women's daily lives behind the facade of an idyllic setting.

It will be the quickest that CCTV has brought an American TV series to the Chinese small screen in recent years.

China's media watchdog has passed the programme for broadcast but Chinese viewers will have to wait for the dubbing production.

When asked about whether the drama would be censored too much, the governor of CCTV-8 channel responded vaguely saying that nothing too racy or politically sensitive is allowed onto the screen.

Perhaps the people CCTV has realized that TV programs about misbehaving independent women are extraordinarily popular in China — witness the fact that almost every single urban Chinese woman has watched or heard of Sex and the City, even though that program was never officially broadcast or released on DVD in China.

Indeed, Sex and the City has been so popular over the last two years that it must have made DVD pirates a fortune in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and other places.

If CCTV does manage to actually broadcast Desperate Housewives, they will benefit from the fact that the Chinese Internet is already full of information about the series. On the other hand, as you can see from the links and sources below, there are already Chinese websites offering pirate downloads of Desperate Housewives, and the series has become a stock in trade of the pirate DVD merchants in Beijing and Shanghai, so perhaps it won't be such a big deal if CCTV does show some censored version of the hit show.

Desperate Housewives seems to most often translated as 绝望主妇 which is more like 'Hopeless' Housewives than 'Desperate', a linguistic trick which may enable CCTV to pass off the series as a cautionary tale.

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